Alex Hughes …August 2017 . I sat looking at the hundreds of cars stuck on the 5 going northbound realizing how dependent on cars we are in California. Each day, these people simmer in traffic as their anger starts to rise trying to get to their destination. Maybe that is work or a day off, it could be either.
Luckily, I happened to be on a bus to San Clemente not on a car! Nice! It was the NCTD 395 going through Camp Pendleton. Honestly, there really isn’t anything on the base except for mountains and the chaparral landscape. You do get to see some heavy machinery/ tanks and realize that we are well protected here in Southern California. I enjoyed the change of landscape however from the crowded suburbs and retail spaces of Vista and the beaches of Oceanside.
The trip was close to two hours with me being the only passenger up there. I later learned that “nobody takes this bus” from one of the bus drivers which is a plus for those wanting to escape the crowded buses in the city where you have to deal with the “other problems”. I got to San Clemente and had to walk in order to get to the beach. The funny thing was I spent most of the day at San Onofre State Beach which is still part of San Diego County. I did not manage to get to the San Clemente side.
Photos by Alex Hughes
On the other hand, San Onofre was really nice and quite a change from down south as there was more shrubbery invading the beach as well as train tracks. There was also lots of wood that offered housing for the local surfers which is quite popular here. You will see some graffiti on the path to this beach claiming “their territory”. If you have more time as well as not getting your shoes wet, you can get to the pier on the other side of the beach. Just don’t miss the bus! This bus does suffer from timing however as the bus does not always stop at San Clemente when it leaves the Oceanside Transit Center.
Plan ahead! If you do not want to drive to San Clemente and want to get some exercise then take the 395! You will see North County! P.S. Take you ID because you are going to be going on Camp Pendleton!