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Just Walkin' The Beach
updated: Jul 21, 2012, 9:30 AM

By The Urban Hikers (Stacey Wright & Peter Hartmann)

A few weeks ago we took a morning hike along the railroad tracks beginning just west of Miramar Beach near Montecito Creek to the point at Summerland, and told you about it. Today, we’ll take you back to Eucalyptus Lane, showing you some of the sights along the beach, out at sea, and elsewhere. We’re also really excited to share with you “rare footage” of one of the true icons of the Miramar, Jacques Renon... with a cameo appearance by the incomparable Grover Cleveland Barnes (more on him in our next story).

We began our journey on the sand, just below the wooden sluice near Summerland Point. Last week we showed you Bobby Korner’s fading mural - today we share “California Light”.

Next we came to an old lifeguard stand with a strange puppet-like thing inhabiting it. Let’s just say it warranted documentation for historical purposes...

These photos show the view as we headed toward Miramar Beach, a couple of the beach houses along Fernald Point, and some early morning beachcombers.

And this is the scene looking back over our shoulders toward Summerland - so beautiful!

Next we came across this inviting little palapa. It made us want to stop and rest for a spell, but alas, we carried on with our not so strenuous beach walk.

And then we came upon a very unique “light house”.

This Fernald Point pad was once home to one of the UH...Oh those were the years...That’s when walkin’ the tracks became a very useful and routine route for getting from point A to point B in the quickest possible time.

Here’s another cool Fernald Point home, as well as the public beach access, which is located at the end of Posilipo Lane.

This is a classic shot of the once magnificent Miramar Hotel…

And out of the UH archives, we retrieve a photo of one of the UH with his younger brother enjoying a little well deserved recreation after a grueling swim and dive lesson from the legendary Gallic “professeur de natation”, Jacques. The other UH also took lessons with her twin sister at about that same age but was too traumatized by the experience to have kept any photos of that chapter in her life...

Right about now it’s time to describe to those who never had the opportunity to meet Jacques, or encounter his very special ways, just what a tyrant he truly was. So legendary was he, that Al Reese sang about him at the Miramar Lounge, and Mark Somebody-Or-Another (aka fstopper) made a really great video – Are You a Guest of the Hotel? – showing Al at the keyboard and footage depicting Jacques doing what he did best – patrolling the Miramar on his bicycle, wearing nothing but his very skimpy Speedo swimsuit. Disclaimer for fstopper: While the guy in the video looks a whole lot like Jacques, but we can tell you with 100% certainty that he’s an actor... but Al Reese IS the real deal. For anyone who remembers this part of the Miramar history, this You Tube video is a must –see. It’s hilarious!

Back at the beach, there were several paddle boarders enjoying a coastal paddle.

A couple of the quintessential Miramar beach houses...

And last but not least, we have an EXCLUSIVE shot of the old Miramar raft, now in dry dock on the overgrown hotel grounds. Oh...it pains us so to see this magnificent remnant of our childhoods rotting in the sun along with the rest of the hotel grounds. We pray for the day that the raft is restored to her former glory, launched back into the Pacific, tethered to the hotel boardwalk and available to every brave soul who ventures out to greet her. But then again we doubt that in this day and age the Miramar’s attorneys will allow such a folly...

In our next installment we promise to tell and show you more about the history of the Miramar Hotel including the story of an amazing gentleman, Grover Cleveland Barnes. Plus we’ll share info and photos of a little general store that used to be located on Eucalyptus Lane and some other local lore that’s sure to fascinate you.

But for now, we encourage you to go out and explore our marvelous town on foot, keep your eyes, ears and minds open to all that you encounter, and above all, expect the unexpected.


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