The Coast News Group

Adventures in the Del Mar slough

DEL MAR — A coppla old geezers were quaffing a few adult beverages and talking stories when the reminiscing turned to the neat improvements being made to the Del Mar slough now known as the San Dieguito Lagoon.
Early on the area was mostly swamp land that ended where the river poured into the ocean. The fairgrounds was a barren wasteland except for a small riding stable and golf course. The greens were difficult to maintain because of the intrusion of alkaline that seeped up from the water table. Horses were furnished to the Del Mar Hotel for its guests who wished to explore the area on horseback.
Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn rafting on the Mississippi peaked the interest of three school boys who put together a raft from discarded lumber. On their journey along the slough they could see crabs of all sizes and mullets leaping out of the water looking like flying fish. Efforts to catch them on a hook were futile because of their small mouths.
One excursion became newsworthy when the boys’ raft became lodged in the railroad trestles. Innertubes used for emergencies had been left behind. Because of fast flowing water there was nothing for the young sailors to do except to wait for someone to become aware of their plight. A fisherman in a small row boat eventually came to their rescue.
Did this close encounter with danger end the desire for rafting? No way. A few days later the boys were back ready for another trip down to the sea.