Thornhill Broome State Park to El Matador State Beach.

September 1, Ventura/Los Angeles County Thornhill Broome State Park to El Matador State Beach. 11 miles

Our start with Burt Elliott was under overcast skies at Thornhill Broome. After a short walk along first cobbley and then sandy beach, we took to our old friend Highway One, known locally as the Pacific Coast Highway or the “PCH”. Also walking with us was Rodrigo Rangel from La Pax, Baja Sur, a coworker of J’s.
It was soon afterward that Burt morphed into “Big Eagle”, super geocacher. Geocaching is the sport of placing little treasure boxes in hidden spots and inviting, over the web, people to find them, take some of the treasure and leave some new treasure behind. This requires a GPS (Global Positioning System) hand-held unit, because the position of the cache is given in latitude and longitude. When geocachers are close to the quarry, they can consult other descriptive clues from the web. Burt is an avid geocacher and had coordinates for “1 Eyed Willy’s Treasure by Six Goonies”, a cache with a pirate theme. With its coordinates downloaded into a GPS unit (N 34-04.063 and W 119-00.572), we were on its trail and soon at its location. A search in the rip rap produced the treasure box. We took nothing but signed in and left a CTE 03 T-shirt. A check of the web site for this cache indicates that Sonoma County Coastwalkers Simone Wilson and Creighton Bell have already visited this site.
Our road walking continued and at Deer Creek Road Tom Maxwell, long-time Ventura County Coastwalk Coordinator, joined us. We were still in Ventura County and now at a popular surfing area”, County Line Beach.” A little more road walking was done to Staircase Beach, where we rejoined the ocean and soon crossed the actual county line on the sand.
Here, some 40 Coastwalkers and friends of Coastwalkers met us. Introductions were made with greeting words for us from Don Nierlich, Coastwalk’s LA County Coordinator, and Ranger Superintendent Hayden Sohm, representing the California State Parks.
Then Wayne Ferber (whose son Jeff guided us in San Luis Obispo County), representing the Santa Monica Mountains Natural History Association, said some kind words about Coastwalk and its efforts in fostering a California Coastal Trail and presented Coastwalk with a check for $500 to further the Coastal Trail. Coastwalk is indeed honored by this gift and Wayne’s encouraging words. Also present from the Association were Jim Hines, president, Trudy Hines, Franz Krajenbrink and Barbara Wallace.
Both at this beach gathering and at a luncheon presented at Leo Carrillo State Park other people were met and welcoming talks given. My list is undoubtedly incomplete, but present and noted were Ken Kearsley, City of Malibu Mayor and council members Sharon Barovsky and Andy Stern who welcomed us to their city with banner and proclamation; Melanie Beck, Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area; Coastwalkers Jim Moreland, Bill and Ellen Frost, Earl Duryea and his daughter, Karen, Tamara Blustein, Annie Salerno, Sharon Shorer, Lu Plauzoles, Susana Nierlich and Milt McAuley (local patron-saint of trail advocates).

After lunch, the visitors departed, and we Coastwalkers set about pitching tents at Leo Carrillo, ready for a three-night stay. Afternoon hiking was delayed until after dinner because of the need for a low tide. At 6 PM, we began by retracing our steps back out under the highway to the beach, now considerably broadened by the outgoing tide. After about a mile of beach walking we were forced up to the highway for another mile or so, then back to the beach to the end of our day just after sunset.
In succession we walked El Pescador, La Piedra and El Matador State Beach. Each of these beaches is separated by rocky points and by private property. The points several times end in massive rocks cut through by sea caves, which we utilized for passage from one beach to the other. The homeowners on the bluffs make certain that beach walkers stay on the beach. Hundreds-of-feet long stairways cascade from the bluff tops to ten or so feet off the beach. The last section would be counterweighted like a New York City fire-escape. One could go down and then up, but never the other way around. We also noted some stairways that have fallen into disrepair, and a couple of places were pointed out where the Coastal Commission has evidently approved new private stairways onto the public beaches. (Jon Breyfogle; photos by Linda Hanes)

Left: LA County Coordinator (and webmaster of this site), Don Nierlich, presents Malibu Mayor Ken Kearsley with a copy of “Hiking the California Coastal Trail” after the Mayor welcomed the group, while Malibu-Sector State Parks Superintendent Hayden Sohm listens in the background.  Right: Expedition members are greeted. Tenth-hiker Hélène Baouendi (at left) rejoins the group after recovering from a broken ankle.