- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
The rattling sound was not coming from the Back Bay waters of Newport Beach, California. The metal on metal reaction that interfered with the natural silence that surrounded us was a consequence of “cross chaining,” which according to Dan from Trail’s End Cycling Center occurs when you use improper gears on a bike.
The vast terrain of Orange County creates the perfect ecosystem for birds. Perfect for the pelicans that fly over the ocean waters as whales migrate along the coast. Perfect for the 200 species of birds that make their homes in the marshes of the San Joaquin Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary. Perfect for the feathered creatures whose view would spill untold stories of commuters on their bikes from one town to another, or the people whose luggage rumbles through hotel corridors or the foodies who drop crumbs along the outdoor eateries.
From atop the Giant Wheel that rises 108 feet above Irvine from the Spectrum Center, the bird’s eye view of this planned urban community gives you a brief glimpse into the hidden nest that is Irvine in Orange County. Constructed in Italy, the Wheel was shipped to the United States via the Panama Canal. From the 24 gondolas, the vista spans from private residential communities to business centers, to and the 208 miles of bike lanes leading to the sandy coast.
With over 300 miles of trails for hiking and biking alone visitors can start and end the day outside just like the birds that fly overhead. The homes along Balboa Island or Newport Beach are a reminder that the outdoors reigns over day to day life with inviting patio seating areas brimming with succulent lemon trees.
Sandwiched between the pomp and circumstance of neighboring Los Angeles County to the North and San Diego County to the South, long time residents will tell you that “nothing is THAT far in Socal.” In one morning a visitor can walk on the beach, shop at the Spectrum Center and hike among the ancient oak and sycamore groves of Bommer Canyon.