Venice Pier to King Harbor, Redondo Beach

September 5: Los Angeles County Venice Pier to King Harbor, Redondo Beach. 12.8 miles

Today the CTE 03 met Stan Bluhm, Coastwalk board- member and our leader for the day. Stan’s first task was guiding us around the harbor at Marina Del Rey, because there is no provision for getting people across its mouth. As we walked around, one couldn’t help but notice the immense wealth tied up in stationary moving objects. Boats must be bought with the idea of keeping them tied up at the dock all the time.

Past the harbor, we came to Ballona Creek, or more properly, the remnants of Ballona Creek. We reached it near the end of its channelized mouth and walked upon a levee separating it from the harbor before crossing it on a bridge. Once great wetlands were associated with this creek; today they are all but gone with only a small remnant that might yet be saved. (Linda’s note: down here I have noted wetlands described as “mosquito-infested mud flats”, “smelly backwater sloughs” and “wastelands filled with trash”, all of which are probably true but don’t leave much room for wetlands as nature’s spawning grounds.)

Back on a beach for the first time, we then started walking through Dockweiler State Beach. Some walked at the water’s edge, and some along a wide and winding concrete path in the sand. All walked under the flight path of all the outgoing air traffic from Los Angeles International Airport. Conversations paused frequently, as all sound was drowned out by the jet engines close above. Soon after we passed the Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant, some square mile of treatment facilities, followed by two electric generating plants. Offshore, a super tanker was discharging crude oil from Alaska for refining at El Segundo. We have come a long way, indeed, from Del Norte County.

Leaving such industry behind, we entered Manhattan Beach either by walking along the water or upon the strand; then, after a short rest at the Manhattan Beach Pier, we continued on to the Hermosa Beach Pier, and a reception party for us. Organized by Coastwalk board member Joy Neri, it featured the reading of a laudatory city proclamation by Mayor Michael Keagan. J.R. Reviczky, council person, was also in attendance. The next town to the south was Redondo Beach, where we were welcomed by Chris and Diane Cagle. Chris is a city council person, his district encompassing the pier, marina and the Coastal Trail. We then reached King Harbor, noting orange Garibaldis in the clear waters. As we ended our hike for the day, the pathway we were following took us through a multi-story concrete parking-structure, another first for the CTE 03.

The walk was over for the day, but we had a fairly long commute ahead of us as we will be staying for the next four nights at the Los Angeles/South Bay Hostel in San Pedro. The hostel is at Point Fermin on the Palo Verdes Peninsula on what used to be the grounds of Fort McArthur – the hostel itself is comprised of several of the Fort’s old buildings. It is next to Angels Gate Park and has a magnificent view with the Korean Friendship Bell in the foreground and Santa Catalina Island lying out on the horizon. (Jon Breyfogle; photos by Linda Hanes)

Left: Chris and Diane Cagle and “guide” Stan Bluhm in Hermosa Beach.  Right: Korean Friendship Bell (Fort McArther) and Catalina Island.