Thursday, April 15, 2010

Catalina Island

My wife and I had attended a convention in Anaheim and stayed a few days afterwards to see the area.

We decided to go to Long Beach to see the Queen Mary which was interesting, but since we have cruised over 16 times we opted not to go on board.

While driving over I had seen a sign of ferries that went to an island in the Channel Islands (which I had flown over a number of times when flying out of Los Angeles airport).

In less than an hour we were headed there.

The ride was about an hour’s trip from the California coast to an island called Catalina, it’s actually Santa Catalina, but no one calls it that. The island is only 22 miles long so that is covered with lush forests.

As you arrive at the port of Avalon you see a large round building which I later learned was a casino which draws many to the island.

My wife and I walked around in the town and walked up to an overlook quite a piece from the business area. It was a beautiful area for photos. There are no vehicles allowed on the island.

Afterwards, we sat in a café and just enjoyed watching people and the surrounding of this unique place. While there we ran into a couple from back in Nashville, Tennessee, where we lived at the time and enjoyed ourselves with them for some time.

The island has secluded coves surrounded by the ocean with abundant sea life, exceptionally clear waters, and a wide variety of colorful marine life. Within just a few miles of Avalon, you can see a sea lion colony, thriving kelp forests, and schools of flying fish. Whales, dolphin, and sea lions can also be spotted from your boat as you near Catalina Island.

There are spectacular canyons, scenic coastline, and unspoiled countryside alive with native plants and wildlife. You can sometimes buffalo, deer, wild boars, wild turkeys, bald eagles or the Catalina Island foxes

Nestled in a small valley on Catalina Island nearly 12 miles outside of Avalon is El Rancho Escondido, “the hidden ranch.” Still a working ranch, it was originally started as the Wrigley family's Arabian Horse Ranch.

We have many fond memories of your visit there.

“The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.”-- Isaiah 34:14

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