Hiked August 9, 2017

Yet another day of short hikes, two in Ventura and one in Oxnard. Summertime is the perfect time for short hikes and cool ocean breezes.
Ventura Botanical Gardens: 3 miles
Emma Wood State Beach: 2 miles
Silver Strand Beach: 2 1/2 miles
Total: 7 1/2 miles

The trailhead for the Ventura Botanical Gardens is behind Ventura City Hall. I parked down the street and walked up because I wanted to check out the buildings. It’s pretty cool, lots of decorative details and a statue of Junipero Serra welcoming visitors.

Interesting priest heads on City Hall. Their eyes follow you.

Ventura Botanical Garden is kind of unusual. It’s not a traditional garden. Rather it’s a winding trail with benches and other fun stuff along the way. Currently there aren’t that very many plants. In a few years, when this garden becomes fuller and more established and everything goes according to plan, this could be one of Ventura’s premiere destinations. At the beginning of the trail there are a few interesting plants, mostly native to Chile. As I wound my way up, I passed view points with rock benches and stone walls.

I spied the Amtrak Surfliner below. The Ol’ 452 barrelling through Ventura.

I reached a paved road and crossed over. Photo 2 – Bad Robot!

In the background, the Ventura Pier; In the foreground, a railroad trestle; Later in the day I would drive right between them on that curved freeway on-ramp.

As I hiked I had a flash memory. When I was a kid my dad would take me to a shooting range just a couple minutes walk from where I was standing. Before that I had no clue I had been here before, so many years ago.

Photo 1 – I passed a set of stairs heading steeply up a hillside. I would be coming down them in a few minutes. Photo 2 – Roads and Destinies Converge Photo 3 – I hiked west, over to a flat area with nice coastal views.

Photo 3 – The Ventura County Fair in full swing below. Photo 4 – Tower on a nearby hill. I wonder if I can climb to it someday.

I backtracked a bit and found myself standing at the entrance of the old shooting range. It’s now closed to the public. I saw a man climbing up the hill next to the range’s fence. I decided to follow suit. It was quite steep and I had to use my hands a couple times to keep my balance.

RIP Groot

Quite a view of East Ventura.

An even prettier view down the coast.

Photo 3 – The saying on this stone pretty much summed up my day. I forgot all about the clock, all the human measures of time, and took as long as I wanted or needed.

My next stop was Emma Wood State Beach. I paid a parking fee and started out. I was immediately met with a choice to go right or left. I went right under a small trestle, and would loop around and finish on the trail that starts on the left. I was led right down to the beach.

Very nice.

The trail is set back a few yards because there’s really no comfortable way along this rocky beach. Photos 3 and 4 – Looking up and then down the coast.

The trail is lined with rocks making it easy to follow.

Somebody spent the day creating smiley faces.

Looking back at the hills above Ventura, I noticed the tower that sits across from Ventura Botanical Garden.

On the beach there were several teepee-like structures. I headed over to check them out. I got close and noticed a homeless guy sleeping inside so I backed off.

Photos 1 and 2 – A few years back during another hike, I stood on the other side of this trestle and stared down to where I was now standing.

Continuing on the loop I headed north and away from the beach. The return journey was pleasant and shady in places.

My final stop was Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard. I parked in a lot by a lifeguard tower. From here I went straight (west) and took a right toward the beach.

When I reached the jetty I made a right and headed down the wide, sandy beach. Photo 2 – I parked on the other side of the channel for my Oxnard Beaches hike. I recognized these seal statues.

Photo 2 – Anacapa Island looking lovely.

Beautiful girl learning to surf.

Pure Joy – two buddies frolic by the seashore.

I reached the end of the beach and a wall of murals.

Again I recognized a turnaround point from another hike, that one coming up from Port Hueneme.

Photo 1 – Port Hueneme’s historic lighthouse.

I headed out onto the jetty closest to the harbor, which is hard, unforgiving and a bit treacherous.

The other jetty is what I really came here to see. In 1970 the cruise ship La Jenelle wrecked on this point. Instead of clearing the wreckage the ship was filled in and covered with boulders, creating this jetty. Large sections of rusted metal are still visible.

More wreckage.

Walking past the murals again, I found one that depicts the fate of the La Janelle.

Instead of heading down the sand I returned via the street next to the beach. A day like today makes me feel blessed to be alive and healthy enough to hike. I’m grateful.