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Southern California Railfanning: Visiting San Clemente, CA
  After picking up my 2010 Chevy Impala rental car from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, I headed for the freeway and eventually ventured out to Interstate 5 to the beach town of San Clemente, CA. San Clemente was home to "The Western White House" when Former-President Richard Nixon was in office. It is worth noting that President Nixon signed into law, the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970 which created Amtrak! I parked the car at the San Clemente Metrolink Station (this station is not served by Amtrak). They have an interesting system where you park your car, then pay with cash or a credit card at a kiosk for however much time you want to park there. After paying to park, I started walking up the San Clemente Beach Trail. Included here is a photo essay of the trains and the area that I explored today, enjoy!!!
To start the day, here is Train #572 lead by F59PHI #452 heading for San Diego. F59PHI's
were the power for all of the Surfliner trains I photographed during this trip.
LEFT: A nice sign giving you information about the San Clemente Beach Trail. There is a warning about snakes on that sign but
I didn't see any (which is probably a good thing!). RIGHT: Where I stood to get this photo was at the bottom of the staircase you
see here. At the bottom of this staircase is the beach and Pacific Ocean, now if only I knew how to surf something other than the
internet, then I'd be all set!!! The crossing was at Dije Ave. and this is only a pedestrian crossing to allow access to the ocean!
Must be nice to just walk down the stairs from home to the ocean to get in some surfing!!!
Grab the surfboard, cross the tracks, and head for the beach!
Yep, there's the ocean at the bottom of the stairs!
Back to the trains! Here we have northbound Train #775 bound for Los Angeles and eventually San Luis Obispo!
Next up is Train #774 heading for San Diego at Dije Ave. This train started the day in San Luis Obispo!
At Corto Ln. is northbound Train #577 headed for Los Angeles.
The San Clemente Pier Amtrak/Metrolink Station. A few Surfliner trains do stop at this station.
The San Clemente Pier. This is a public fishing pier that provides great views of the ocean and the
beach! There is a seafood restaurant on-site along with a snack bar at the far end of the pier!
I knew I had to take a walk down this pier while here!
Looking north from the pier!
My attempt at nature photography! A couple resident pelicans sitting on the guardrail of the pier!
Looking back towards the beach and some very expensive real estate from the end of the pier!
Walking back up the beach trail towards the Metrolink Station, you can see just how big that pier is!
At El Portal is Train #578 heading for San Diego.
A winter home would be so nice here!!!
Finally, Train #583 heads north past the Metrolink San Clemente Station.
  I decided to call it a day here after photographing Train #583. One thing happened just before I photographed that train that I can honestly say has never happened before...A bird decided to leave his "calling card" on my camera!!! Thankfully, that little rodent with wings didn't damage the camera but it sure was a strange thing nonetheless! I drove to a nearby Albertson's grocery store to pick up some consumables for the hotel and to give may hands a good washing with more than cold water! (which was all that was available at the beach) I then programmed the GPS to get me to my hotel in San Diego, a Courtyard By Marriott. This hotel is located in an area filled with large businesses and is near Interstate 805. The hotel clearly is designed for business travelers and features some nice amenities including a 37 inch HDTV, wired high-speed internet and a very comfortable bed! My only complaint about this place is that you couldn't reduce the room temperature below 68 degrees! I'm a New Yorker and sleep with the window opened when the outside temp is 45! I called the front desk about this but there was nothing they could do, oh well! I decided I wanted to go to Wendy's tonight so after finding one on the GPS, I ended up driving over to what used to be a Wendy's but was now some kind of health food store! (Maybe my GPS was trying to tell me to eat healthier? It must not know I'm on vacation!) Garmin needs to update its maps! I ended up eating at McDonald's next door then drove back to the hotel and eventually called it a day! I had realized just how tired I was as I ended up falling asleep with the light on in the room sometime after 9pm and woke up at nearly 4am! So I had slept some 6 hours or more with the light on, this never happens! I know I haven't gotten a heck of a lot of sleep on this trip but I guess I really was tired this time! Tomorrow, I would make the trip over to Torrey Pines Beach to continue this railfanning journey, click below to see those photos!!!