I broke the law for Word Press. That’s the dedicated blogger that I am. Last week Word Press, in an ever ending effort to create a tightly knit blogging community, expanded their virtual office challenge to walk/jog or run 5K on April 10. And then blog about it.
Being an habitual hiker, I took the opportunity to expand my hiking horizons that, of late, only seem to include the canyon park by my house and Red Rock in Topanga. Google maps on hand, I began mapping various routes, until the Trailmaster of hike-la.com (hike_zuma_beach_point_dume_trail.html) came to the rescue, suggesting the Point Dume/Paradise Cove trail, which clocks in at exactly 3 miles (just short of 5K). Taking into account my cheapskate habits, I added an extra 1/4 mile by parking my car across from Sunset Restaurant instead of shelling out $10 to the Beaches and Parks Dept.
Ottie and Portia in tow, visibly excited by the new environment rich in previously unknown smells, we set out in the early afternoon. The trail starts at the end of Westward Beach (known as Little Zuma to the locals), to the left of the large rock jutting into the ocean. It starts with a sandy and pleasant ascent on a narrow trail that never becomes too challenging. But challenge is not the point of this hike. Beauty is.
I have driven by Point Dume a million times. Some of the oldest and priciest Malibu homes sit atop those bluffs, built before millionaires and celebrities picked the ‘Bu as their residence of choice.But I had never physically climbed up there. And I was clearly missing out.
Along the trail there are several look-out points: to watch the expanse of Zuma Beach, the waves loudly breaking on the rocks underneath, the seagulls flying in perfect V formations, with a commander at the helm, and not one bird overtaking another.
Once at the top, reached through low vegetation, some tuna cacti and California poppies currently in bloom, Paradise Cove appears on the other side. A pretty and reclusive Cove so popular in the Summer the small parking lot is on a wait list basis, it was barely dotted with people on this gorgeous and slightly chilly April Sunday. It was easy to forget Los Angeles lay a few miles east, smog and traffic et al. The water was emerald green, actually clean, with surfers the only ones braving the chill.
At the start of the trail, a large sign indicated that dogs were not allowed. I hesitated a bit, looked left and right, saw the lifeguard busy talking to a bunch of fisherman and decided to break the law, allowing Ottie and Portia to follow me, armed with little baggies for impromptu physical necessities. I was not going to leave my pals in the car for 90 minutes, depriving them of an adventure they could dream about later on.
Heading back to the car, there was no way the lifeguard couldn’t have seen us but I reckon he found Ottie and Portia too cute to harass us. All is well that ends well.