Day 2 : Sunset at the Pacific Coast
After freshening up, I set off again to Long Beach. What I did not realize at the time was that the day was 4th of July and there were lots of people heading to the Beach, which meant traffic. As I entered Long Beach, I was immediately faced with a traffic jam and the sun was setting as I was sitting in the car, which was quite disheartening. At last, when I reached the entrance to the entrance to the beach, it was even more crowded with no parking spots available. There was an option to park right on the beach, but it seemed risky as it was summer and sand would be quite loose. Getting stuck in Sand was not a risk I was willing to take.
From my previous trips to Long Beach, I know there are other less popular entrances to the beach and I decided to check them out. Fireworks had started as well and it was getting more intense with time. The other entrances were crowded as well, but I had luck at the 3rd one I tried as someone was pulling out just as I was driving in and I parked there. It was a bit of a walk to the beach still and I carried a couple of lenses, the tripod and started the walk.
As I walked, I could see the sunset. It was clear and a beautiful red sunset. I found a great spot on the beach to just sit and relax. It was not so crowded on this part of the beach and I could hear the fireworks all around.
As it got darker, the fireworks became more intense. Soon, the entire coast line was lined by fireworks as far the eye could see.
The smell and smoke from the gunpowder was starting to get to me and and my eyes and nose was starting to burn, which meant it was time to get out of the place. As I got back to the car, I realised that I was quite lucky to have found a spot to park as there was a steady stream of cars passing by looking for a spot to park. The beach was also filled with cars by then and it had become very crowded. People were partying, drinking and generally having a good time.
The drive back to the hotel felt something like what would be like driving in a war zone. The sound of fireworks everywhere and smoke covered the roads. People were walking/running everywhere. Police cars all around and people driving rashly. It felt a little bit out of control really. I was glad to be back in my hotel room. Day 2 was officially over with another 520 miles on the road.