Yesterday The Man and I went with our new binoculars in hopes of spotting some whales and of course the ubiquitous sea lions. The sea lions, however were scarce, with only a few spotted on the buoy and a rare bark. Often we catch sight of a huge masses of dolphins far offshore, but no such luck yesterday. All we saw mammal-wise were a few small pods of dolphin (probably common dolphins) as they fished off the rocks and near the beach at Zuma.
What was a real treat was how the rains have turned Los Angeles into a velvety green pasture from a distance. And up close, the hillsides on the bluffs were packed silly with giant coreopsis in bloom.
We started our trip fully provisioned with excellent sandwiches from Whole Foods and a few apples (Pink Lady variety, which I’d never had until last week and I heartily recommend). We always check the parking up on the bluff first. It’s free and of course close, but there are a scant eight spots or so and we rarely catch one on a weekday (I’m not sure why we look anymore). So we went back out to PCH and proceeded down to Zuma beach and parked as far south as possible (yes, it costs $6 and the bathrooms are about as scary as they come). The trek up the bluff is a little tougher than it used to be, as the heavy rains recently have washed away a lot of the softer sand that used to pad the trail (and one spot where most of the trail is missing completely). I switchback trail of stairs puts you up on the bluff with an amazing path that winds around the flat cliff-top.
There are many small turnouts on the trail where you can sit protected from the wind and watch the waves crash on the rocks and coves and hear the distant buoy. (Watch out at the edges of the trails though as the recent heavy rains may have made some areas unstable.) At the far end of the path there is a small wooden deck with benches and a stunning view of Dume beach and the ample surfers that ride the waves.
We settled in below the deck on a little open spot on the path and had our picnic and watched the brown pelicans and cormorants fish. It’s a worthwhile trip, especially if you live on the westside and don’t have to make a fully cross city trip for it.