Dockweiler State Beach to Manhattan Beach

I collected a good chunk of coastline today. Stringing this and four past hikes together, I have now traveled from Will Rogers Beach in Pacific Palisades all the way up to Lunada Bay in Palos Verdes.  I’m loving this June gloom.
Hiking Distance: Around 12 miles

Driving Directions: Head down Lincoln Blvd. from Santa Monica. Pass through Venice and Marina Del Rey. Turn right on Jefferson Blvd. (not Jefferson Way, which is in Venice). At a junction, turn left on Culver Blvd. Drive into Playa Del Rey. Turn right on Pacific Ave. which dead ends at 62nd Ave. There is parking on the street (not before 6 a.m.) and a pay lot at the very end.

        I geared up right at 6 a.m.  A cat stood watch, curious but calm.

               

I made my way out to the sandy beach. There is a concrete bike path, also used by pedestrians, rollerbladers, etc.  I decided to hike down the sand right along the shoreline to begin and then return on the bike path.  Photo 2 – The ocean entrance to Marina Del Rey

               

I passed several of jetties, all unique in design and in various states of disrepair.

             Photos 1 and 2 – Snowy Egret with kissable yellow feet.  Photo 3 – One-armed Kung Fu Crab

   One of the things that really makes this hike different, in both a good and bad way, is that it runs right beneath the flight path for outgoing jets taking off from LAX. It’s interesting to see these planes so close and from this angle.  Noise is a factor.

               

   So close you can almost reach out and touch it.

               

      Photo 6 – “Oh my God! Honey, come look at this. Remember when we went to Dockweiler Beach and Katie lost her pink glasses?…”

               

Photo 1 – Sitting on top of a hill were these colorful, re-purposed buoys.  Photo 2 – I believe this building is a youth center. The roof lines are unique.

               

Photo 1 – Dept. of Water and Power Plant.  These smokestacks (steamstacks?) gave me a real hankering for candy corn.  Photo 2 – Near The DWP plant is this massive “Bionic Bug” sculpture. Not sure what it is, actually.

               

A Chevron tanker was parked offshore. Check out the orange mini-sub, ready to launch into action.

Chevron Refinery towers – there’s something not totally unappealing about their size and symmetry.

        Camping beneath the towers.  I’d advise finding a new travel agent.

I spot my turnaround point, the Manhattan Beach Pier.

               

Photo 4 – Love this scene of a local taking a snapshot of a tourist.

        Just beyond Chevron, rows of multi-million dollar homes. This is The Strand.

               

               

I arrived at the Manhattan Beach Pier.

Gateway to Infinity

             I climbed the stairs  from the beach and toured the pier.

               

Surfer getting radical right below the pier.

               

The very noticeable red-roofed hexagon at the end is a small aquarium.

        Precious Child Tames Great White Death

               

The aquarium was closed to the public because school kids were visiting. I was able to pop my head inside and get a picture of this eel. What a ham! He sees my camera and breaks into a big smile.

        I rested on a bench at the end of the pier. It was surprisingly peaceful.  I spotted nearby Hermosa Beach Pier.

Heading back, to begin, I didn’t take the bike path. Instead I walked down The Strand which sits right above the path. People stroll along the sidewalk and check out all the super expensive homes with on the water views.

             At 26th St. I exited The Strand and walked up a short distance to a grassy park named Bruce’s Beach.

                    

The few trees here are really cool, twisted up like corkscrews.

             This plaque at the top tells of the park’s sad history.  Photo 3 – Surfboard bench

The park is terraced because it’s on such a steep incline. I watched as children made a game of trying to run up the hill from one level to the next. The ocean views were nice, even on this overcast day.

                         

                       

               

I returned to The Strand and took it to it’s end

               

I made my way down to the bike path.  Photos 3 and 4 – Walking up close to the Chevron Refinery. Spikes adorn the top of the the walls.  They look medieval and highly effective.

        I noticed a small rock placed inside a boulder. I took it out and found a hole bored all the way through.

               

   Passing the Bug again.

               

        At the southern end of Dockweiler Beach is a hang gliding school. I hung out a bit to watch a practice run but I’m not sure the guy ever got off the ground.

        This is a tight family. They all wore the same style of hat and sunglasses, and all rode bikes equipped with trailers.

             Dockweiler Beach has an RV park and fires may by made on the beach in front of it.  Smoke filled the air and, occasionally, my lungs.

               

Photo 2 – The Experiment. This jar was sitting there alongside the bike path.  What the heck is floating inside?!

             I passed LAX again.

               

    Pulling up to Playa Del Rey.   I end my interesting day of beach hiking.

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