August 28: Ventura County
Punta Gorda (Oil Island) to the Ventura Pier. 11.7 miles

After spending the night at Emma Woods Group Camp, which is situated between the railroad tracks and the freeway, we went with our day leader Burt Elliott back to Punta Gorda to start our day?s walk. (We were to be joined at noon by Don Mills.)   Our first mile was like walking through a labyrinth: first on the old Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), then across rip rap and then through a box culvert under the freeway and railroad?all happening within a quarter mile of our start. We then took an ad hoc trail which seemed to follow a buried gas pipeline (judging from surface indications) for a short ways. This afforded us a look down on the railroad tracks, and the railroad obliged us by having a long freight train pass below.
 
Then it was down and across the tracks, across an abandoned portion of the PCH and through a pedestrian undercrossing of the freeway. The rip rap here was not a problem as a wooden stairway had been provided to take us to the beach. After a short stretch of beach we were back up on the old PCH where we would stay for most of the day.
 
In this area the land between the shoreline and the base of the hills is a vast multiuse transportation corridor, leaving little room for hikers. What land is not used up by roads or railroads is residential. All of these uses have declared the ocean their enemy and have thrown down rocks and cement walls to keep it at bay. I see it like this: at first all human movement here was by foot. Then transportation became more and more ?sophisticated?. Horses supplanted feet, then came trains and automobiles, all traveling faster and faster. Along the way, those of us who travel by foot got lost in the shuffle, forgotten. So we find ourselves picking out a route from what is left over: makeshift drainage structures, abandoned sections of road, what beach is left after the sea walls and rip rap have been laid in place, or along streets in front of residences.
 
Past Hobson County Park, along the Rincon Parkway Campground, we no longer had house after house blocking off our view of the ocean; here it was RV after RV, parked in a row that seemed to go on forever. These obstacles, along with the constant rip rap, would keep us off the beach until Emma Wood State Beach. Here we rejoined the beach or the back beach until we reached the promenade in the Town of Ventura, just after we waded through the small Ventura River near its mouth. The river marks one boundary of the fairgrounds (called the Ventura Fairgrounds, but technically a district fairgrounds).  We followed a bike path for a ways in front of the fairgrounds, until it ended with a barrier signaling a spot where the sea had taken out part of it and the adjacent parking lot.  The parking lot is used by many people for access to the beach, but part of it is closed now, because a decision has not been made about rebuilding the bike path. This bike path and parking lot led to the promenade, which follows the city beach and gives excellent views of one of the consistently best surfing spots along this section of coast.
 
 Within a mile of gaining the promenade, we had reached the Ventura Pier and our day?s end. Some of us had anticipated shopping at Cheap Sports in Ventura for weeks, so we hit this store on what turned out to be a sale day, looking for socks, wickable shirts and other items to see us through to the end of our trek.  We were driven to our camp site for the next four days, McGrath State Park, featuring showers and pleasant camping spots.  Some of us noticed the damp ground at our sites, and found out that a week ago it was flooded because the Santa Clara river mouth closed.  (Jon Breyfogle; photos by Linda Hanes)

Left: Rip rap protects the 'parkway' on this long section of the Ventura coast. Right: Rincon Parkway RV Park.

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MORE JOURNAL ENTRIES
»June 01 - Del Norte: Getting Ready
»June 02 - Del Norte: Planning the Hike is a Big Deal
»June 03 - Del Norte: We're Off
»June 04 - Del Norte: Reached Crescent City with no blisters yet!
»June 05 - Del Norte: From Crescent City to Damnation Trail Trailhead: 12 miles
»June 06 - Del Norte: On! to the Mouth of the Klamath River
»June 07 - Humboldt Northern: Leaving Del Norte on the Way South
»June 08 - Humboldt Northern: Gold Bluff Beach to Redwood Visitor's Center. 11.5 miles
»June 09 - Humboldt Northern: Redwood Visitor?s Center to Patrick?s Point
»June 10 - Humboldt Northern: Patrick?s Point to ClamBeach. 13.3 miles
»June 11 - Humboldt Northern: Clam Beach to Manila Community Center
»June 12 - Humboldt Northern: Manila to North Spit. 6 miles (12.8 incl. boat)
»June 13 - Humboldt Northern: South Spit of Humboldt Harbor to Table Bluff Beach. 5.2 miles
»June 14 - Humboldt Northern: Table Bluff Beach to Guthrie Creek Trailhead. 13.3 miles
»June 15 - Humboldt Southern: Guthrie Creek Trailhead to Devil?s Gate. 10.8 miles
»June 16 - Humboldt Southern: Devil?s Gate to the mouth of the Mattole
»June 17 - Humboldt Southern: A. W. Way County Park, layover day
»June 18 - Humboldt Southern: Mouth of the Mattole to Spanish Creek
»June 19 - Humboldt Southern: Spanish Creek to Shipman Creek
»June 20 - Humboldt Southern: Shipman Creek to Shelter Cove/Hidden Valley Trailhead
»June 21 - Mendocino: Chemise Mountain to Orchard Camp
»June 22 - Mendocino: Orchard Camp to Little Jackass Creek
»June 23 - Mendocino: Little Jackass Creek to 3 miles past Usal
»June 24 - Mendocino: 3 miles south of Usal to Westport Union Landing State Beach
»June 25 - Mendocino: Westport Union Landing State Beach to MacKerricher State Park
»June 26 - Mendocino: Layover Day in Fort Brgg
»June 27 - Mendocino: MacKerricher State Park to Point Cabrillo Lighthouse
»June 28 - Mendocino: Pt. Cabrillo Lighthouse to Buckhorn Cove
»June 29 - Mendocino: Mendocino County: near Buckhorn Cove (MP 46.3) to Elk
»June 30 - Mendocino: Elk to Stoneboro Road
»July 01 - Mendocino: Mendocino County. Stoneboro Road to Schooner Gulch
»July 02 - Mendocino: Mendocino County. Schooner Gulch to the Sonoma County line
»July 03 - Mendocino: Layover day at Sea Ranch
»July 04 - Sonoma: Meet the Hikers : Linda and Diana (and we-couldn't-do- it-without-you Mel)
»July 04 - Sonoma: Gualala Visitor?s Center to Stewart?s Point
»July 05 - Sonoma: Stewart?s Point to Salt Point State Park
»July 06 - Sonoma: Salt Point State Park to Fort Ross State Park
»July 07 - Sonoma: Reef Camp at Fort Ross to the Jenner River
»July 08 - Sonoma: Russian River to Campbell Cove on Bodega Head
»July 09 - Marin: West end Doran Beach Road to Lawson?s Landing
»July 10 - Marin: Dillon Beach to Tomales Bay State Park (Heart?s Desire Beach).
»July 11 - Marin: Meet the Hikers: Jon and J
»July 11 - Marin: Olema Layover Day
»July 11 - Marin: Laundry, Reading and Writing
»July 12 - Marin: Tomales Bay State Park, to the American Youth Hostel near Limantour Beach
»July 13 - Marin: Youth Hostel at Limantour to Palo Marin trailhead.
»July 14 - Marin: Marin County. Palo Marin trailhead to Pan Toll.
»July 15 - Marin: Pan Toll to Rodeo Lagoon
»July 16 - San Francisco: Rodeo Lagoon to the South End of the Golden Gate Bridge
»July 17 - San Francisco: Layover Day in San Francisco
»July 18 - San Francisco: South End of the Golden Gate Bridge to Fort Funston.
»July 19 - San Mateo: A Day with the Hikers
»July 19 - San Mateo: Fort Funston to Rockaway Beach
»July 20 - San Mateo: Rockaway Beach to Francis State Beach
»July 21 - San Mateo: Francis State Beach to the San Gregorio Country Store
»July 22 - San Mateo: San Gregorio Store to Pigeon Point Lighthouse
»July 23 - San Mateo: Pigeon Point Lighthouse to Waddell Creek.
»July 24 - Santa Cruz: Waddell Creek to Laguna Creek
»July 25 - Santa Cruz: Laguna Creek (Wilder Ranch State Park) to Downtown Santa Cruz
»July 26 - Santa Cruz: Layover Day, Santa Cruz Hostel
»July 27 - Santa Cruz: Downtown Santa Cruz to Manresa State Beach
»July 28 - Monterey Northern: Manresa to Moss Landing
»July 29 - Monterey Northern: Moss Landing to Marina State Beach.
»July 30 - Monterey Northern: Marina State Beach to Asilomar
»July 31 - Monterey Northern: Asilomar to Point Lobos
»August 01 - Monterey Northern: Point Lobos to Bixby Bridge. 11.5 miles
»August 02 - Monterey Northern: Layover day at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
»August 03 - Monterey Northern: Bixby Bridge to Andrew Molera State Park.
»August 04 - Monterey Southern: Andrew Molera State Park to Partington Cove.
»August 05 - Monterey Southern: Partington Cove to Mile Post 23.6
»August 06 - Monterey Southern: Mile Post 23.6 to Gorda
»August 07 - Monterey Southern: Gorda to Salmon Creek via the Cruikshank and Buckeye Trails
»August 08 - San Luis Obispo Northern: Salmon Creek to Ragged Point Inn
»August 09 - San Luis Obispo Northern: Ragged Point to Vista Point 4, just south of Point Piedras Blancas
»August 10 - San Luis Obispo Northern: A Typical Day
»August 10 - San Luis Obispo Northern: A Coastwalk Perspective on the Hearst Ranch
»August 11 - San Luis Obispo Northern: Vista Point 4 to Shamel County Park
»August 12 - San Luis Obispo Northern: Shamel County Park to Villa Creek
»August 13 - San Luis Obispo Northern: Villa Creek to Morro Bay
»August 14 - San Luis Obispo Northern: Morro Bay to Moñtana de Oro.
»August 15 - San Luis Obispo Southern: Layover day or Foothill Road to Avila Beach
»August 16 - San Luis Obispo Southern: Avila Beach to Pismo Beach State Park
»August 17 - San Luis Obispo Southern: Pismo Beach to Guadalupe Beach
»August 18 - Santa Barbara Western: Guadalupe Dunes to mile post 2.82 on Brown Road
»August 19 - Santa Barbara Western: Brown Road to Lompoc-Casmalia Road/San Antonio Road junction
»August 20 - Santa Barbara Western: Intersection of Lompoc-Casmalia Road to Floradale and Ocean Avenues
»August 20 - Santa Barbara Western: Intersection of Lompoc-Casmalia Road to Floradale and Ocean Avenues
»August 21 - Santa Barbara Western: Floridale and Ocean Avenue Intersection to Mile Post 7.00 on Highway 1
»August 22 - Santa Barbara Eastern: Mile Post 7.00 on Highway One to Gaviota State Beach.
»August 23 - Santa Barbara Eastern: A Santa Barbara Layover Day
»August 24 - Santa Barbara Eastern: Gaviota State Park to El Capitan Beach State Park
»August 25 - Santa Barbara Eastern: El Capitan Beach State Park to the Goleta Pier
»August 26 - Santa Barbara Eastern: Goleta Pier to East Beach.
»August 27 - Santa Barbara Eastern: East Beach to Punta Gorda (Oil Island)
»August 28 - Ventura: Punta Gorda (Oil Island) to the Ventura Pier.
»August 29 - Ventura: Ventura Pier to Port Hueneme Pier
»August 30 - Ventura: Pier at Port Hueneme to Thornhill Broome State Park
»August 31 - Ventura: Layover day in McGrath State Park
»September 01 - Los Angeles Western: Thornhill Broome State Park to El Matador State Beach.
»September 02 - Los Angeles Western: El Matador State Beach to Dan Blocker State Beach
»September 03 - Los Angeles Western: Dan Blocker State Beach to Las Tunas County Beach
»September 04 - Los Angeles Southern: Las Tunas County Beach to the Venice Pier.
»September 05 - Los Angeles Southern: Venice Pier to King Harbor, Redondo Beach
»September 06 - Los Angeles Southern: Layover day at the Los Angeles South Bay Hostel
»September 07 - Los Angeles Southern: King Harbor Redondo Beach to Point Vicente
»September 08 - Los Angeles Southern: Point Vicente Lighthouse to Korean Friendship Bell at Point Fermin.
»September 09 - Los Angeles Southern: Korean Friendship Bell to 54th Place and Ocean in Long Beach
»September 10 - Orange: Day 100: 54th Place and Ocean to Magnolia and PCH
»September 11 - Orange: Intersection of Magnolia and PCH to Crystal Cove Park Historical District
»September 11 - Orange: Meet the Hikers: Ginny, Janette, Jean & Max
»September 12 - Orange: Crystal Cove Historical District to ?The Pilgrim? at Dana Point Harbor
»September 13 - Orange: Doheny State Beach to San Clemente State Park
»September 14 - Orange: Layover Day at San Clemente State Beach
»September 15 - San Diego Northern: Meet the Hikers: Steve and Hélène
»September 15 - San Diego Northern: San Clemente State Beach to Las Pulgas Road
»September 16 - San Diego Northern: Oceanside Harbor to Carlsbad State Beach
»September 17 - San Diego Northern: Carlsbad State Beach to San Elijo State Beach
»September 18 - San Diego Southern: San Elijo State Beach to La Jolla Shores Beach
»September 19 - San Diego Southern: La Jolla Shores Beach to Ocean Beach Pier
»September 20 - San Diego Southern: Ocean Beach Pier to Broadway and Harbor
»September 21 - San Diego Southern: Coronado Ferry Landing to YMCA Camp at Imperial Beach
»September 22 - San Diego Southern: YMCA Camp at Imperial Beach to the Border
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