Pier at Port Hueneme to Thornhill Broome State Park

August 30, Ventura County Pier at Port Hueneme to Thornhill Broome State Park. 15 miles

Shortly after our start, again with day leader Burt Elliott, we stopped at the recently completed memorial to the victims of the Alaskan Airlines disaster near Anacapa Island. Then we started along the broad beach, with firm sand due to the low tide. We walked along Ormond Beach and on our left looked upon the signs of American industry: a power plant, numerous industrial buildings and an immense slagheap. Editors note: local environmentalist have had some success in stopping development and saving the wetlands behind the beach at Ormond. The Coastal Conservancy funded the purchase of several hundred acres several years ago. The old industrial development remains a problem for the environmental quality of the area.

After three miles, our beach walk was cut short by the imposing fence protecting the Point Mugu Naval Weapons Station from the general citizenry. For us this meant the beginning of some serious road walking, on Arnold Road and then Hueneme Road. We walked past vast fields of sod and sod to be. Southland Sod Farm farms this area ,if that is the term for this enterprise. [motto: “Instant Grassification”]. Near the end of this portion of the walk, we came upon more traditional agriculture, such as citrus, strawberries and bell peppers. After turning onto Naval Air Road, we took our lunch under a gazebo surrounded by jet fighters and various missiles from WW II to the present; an outdoor museum of armament tested by the Pt. Mugu people. Naval Air Road dumped us out onto Highway One at Calleguas Creek just as the highway ceases to be a freeway. We continued along Highway One on the “bicycle lane” for the rest of the day, soon entering into the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. (Note from Linda: On the Pacific side of the highway is a small viewing stand where one can look at the lagoon and nature preserve which runs parallel to the ocean for several miles, and attracts many birds and birdwatchers. One day this property, now belonging to the US Navy, may become part of Santa Monica Mountains NRA, and there might be a visitor center and boardwalk into the preserve. Right now the visitor center for SMMNRA is way on the other side of the mountains, outside the park, in Thousand Oaks.)
Just past Mugu Beach we entered a huge road cut at Mugu Point and were able to look at the wildly twisted rock formations of the white, black and brown rock strata. The natural, uncut hillsides were covered with cactus and giant coreopsis. It seems like only yesterday the mountains we passed through were covered with redwoods and rhododendrons. Editors note: The walkers have entered a wonderful place called Point Mugu State Park. Inland are many miles of trails in wild country, including one Native American Trail that starts near Mugu Rock and climbs steeply to La Jolla Canyon, site of a major village. (Jon Breyfogle; photos by Linda Hanes)

Left: Memorial to the lost lives in the airliner crash offshore. Right: View east from Mugu Rock.