Saturday, December 12, 2009

Come take a walk with us...

Hubby and I have had a little project going on
for the past 3 or 4 years.
We walk the beach as often as we can...
not every day, but whenever we have a span of time to spare,
we stroll the beach to the north and to the south.

We've made it our pet project
to find as many access-ways to the beach as we can on this bay,
and we've decided to call them, "beach portals."

We take pictures of them,
and try to learn all we can about each one.
And who knows...
maybe one day we'll write a book

what is the definition of the word "portal?"
por·tal (pôrtl, pr) - noun
entrance, entranceway, entryway, entree, entry -
something that provides access (to get in or get out);
"they waited at the entrance to the garden";
"beggars waited just outside the entryway to the cathedral"

we try to answer several questions:

...whose portal is it? did it come to be a portal in the first place?
...what does it mean to the people (or even animals) who use it?

~Meet the beach portal for Old Camp McQuaide~

This particular beach portal
is the access way to a 400 acre piece of land
that used to be called Camp McQuaide during WWII...

...named in memory of the deceased,
Major Joseph P. McQuaide,
who had been the Chaplain of the 1st California Infantry
and the 250th Coast Artillery for many years
Following the expansion of the US military in 1940,
the camp was developed as a
Coast Artillery Replacement Training Center
and in 1943, it was converted to the
West Coast Processing Center...
the official stockade for all stateside
Army AWOLs (Absent With-Out Leave)
and other troublemakers.

Even now, there are unseen underground
bunkers along the bluff that have long been locked up.
Some, however are used to house farm equipment for farmers
who now work the strawberry fields up the hill a ways.
Under this very spot... is a huge empty bunker.
You can stand on it and see the
large metal pads where gun mounts used to sit.

There is even an old amphitheater that sits
just up off the bluff... all closed up, and not in use for many years...
but back in the day, it was used for entertainment for
military personnel.
Its a grand old place. I've been inside it before...
but unfortunately I have no photos.
Its got a huge solid wood stage,
with floor to ceiling burgundy velvet curtains,
and rows upon rows of beautiful burgundy cushioned seats.
Back in its day, I'm sure it was considered to be plush!
I've often wished I could just go in,
sit down and see back in time...
to the shows that were given back in the 1940's.

See that small plateau across the gully?
There's an old gun mount there too...
and a bunker beneath it.

Just past the trees to the left,
there's a private air strip...
I wonder if it was used during WWII?
I bet so, but I have no proof. Not yet...

The camp was decommissioned after WWII,
and sold to become a private high school
for boarding students.

What a place to go to school, hmmm?

This old Camp McQuaide,
is the only true privately owned beach on the bay...
or so we've been told.
Its the only part of the beach that you can allow
your dog off his leash,
and you can't be cited for it!
The rest of the bay is public,
and all dogs must be on the leash.
I used to bring Jazz here almost every day.
I sure miss the ol boy!

(unfortunately, vandalism is a problem)

And so here it is...
the lantern lined "beach portal" of Old Camp McQuaide!

So far, I can only go back to the 1940's,
but there is much more history to this place,
and I plan to find it ...

For now, I hope you enjoyed hearing of one of the many
"beach portals" on the Monterey Bay, California.


  1. Hi Vicki...what a wonderful walk Vick with you, I have thoroughly enjoyed it...and the history is fantastic!!! Wow, rich velvet burgundy curtains, how sumptuous that sounds!!! Great pics...and I'll definitely be first in line to order a just have such a way with words!!! Great post Vicki...I have thoroughly enjoyed it...Much Love, Dzintra♥x

  2. Vicky I really enjoyed coming along this walk along this particular beach historic so many spirits walked this way so long ago! If those burgandy drapes could talk!
    This portal is a quiet place to remember your Jazz..what a smile he had!

  3. You truly are an amazing woman! I am so glad to have found your blog and be able to read all the wonderful things you share about your life. The portals are fabulous reading and I too look forward to the book :)