Imperial Beach

On Tuesday morning before the booth opened, seven of us drove to Imperial Beach, the southernmost town on the Pacific coast of the United States. We ate breakfast at The Wave Cafe. As we drove through town, I noticed this statue of a surfer in a small plaza along the beach. As always, I eat faster than I should, so I had time to walk the few blocks to get this photo and be back before the others were ready to leave. Nate came along with me.

Imperial Beach has a surfing culture. Many of the world’s most famous surfers are from the area. The statue, The Spirit of Imperial Beach, was put up in 2008 in honor of the town’s heritage. Some surfers consider it good luck to touch it before heading out to sea. The base of the statue is a tribute to the annual Sand Castle Days.

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Arlyn and Marcy Nies are Awana missionaries in the Dakotas. They were attending CPC and came along with us to breakfast.

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After breakfast at The Wave Cafe, we wandered over to the pier. I had a great idea — go down under the pier, put the chair in the sand and take a photo as a wave washed around it, as you see below. What you don’t see is what happened two seconds later, as I rushed ankle-deep into the water to keep the chair from being washed out to sea. That’s why the photo is slightly blurry and not very well composed. And why my shoes, socks and pants were wet.

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I am capable of learning from experience, so I set the chair a bit further up the beach and took another photo.

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That’s a Western Gull standing under the pier. The Coronado Islands, owned by Mexico, are visible in the left distance.

If one were so inclined, it would be an easy thing to kick, step on or probably grab the Rock Doves on Imperial Beach Pier. I was only inclined to photograph them with a small red chair. They paid me very little attention.

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David and Daniel strolling further out on the pier. That’s Tijuana, Mexico on the hill visible over the railing.

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I’m perpetually amazed at the tolerance my friends have for me, my chair and my photographs. Without hesitation, Daniel, Julie, Marcy, Arlyn, David and Nate granted my request to pose in the plaza that leads to the Imperial Beach Pier. Let it be known, however, that I let them choose the pose. The brightly-colored artwork is titled “Surf Henge.”

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Confession. I saw this done somewhere else — I don’t remember where — but without a chair. I had it in the back of my mind to try it the next time I saw words painted on pavement. It just happened to be on Elm Avenue,  a side street on our way from the pier back to the car.

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I was taking a photo of the STOP painted on Elm Avenue when my friend Julie said, “Roger, trolls. Take a picture of the chair with the trolls.”

I looked where she was pointing and saw this mural painted on the side of Bibby’s Gift Shop, so I did as I was instructed.

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