Monday, July 21, 2014

Beach & Movie Ranch

Spent the bulk of my day with my buddy Thomas (who is visiting from Ireland). This morning we had breakfast at Denny's before heading to one of my favorite beaches in SoCal, El Matador State Beach. A friend of mine introduced me to this beach over 20 years ago. I like it because it's very secluded and normally not that packed. It's not your typical beach with sand and water. You park up top of a cliff and hike your way down to the beach below. There are a ton of cool rock formations, caves and small pockets of sand for sun bathers.

When we got there the parking lot was packed so we managed to find a parking spot on PCH not far from the parking entrance. We made our way down to the beach and it was pretty full. For a Monday this surprised me as the many times I had come in the past there were just a handful of people there, but this time I'd say there were about 50 or so people. Which compared to something like Santa Monica Beach which can have 1000's was really nothing.

Thomas and I headed north, in order to get to other parts of the beach you had to go through these caves in the mountainside and depending on the ocean levels, you had to wade through water. The levels weren't that bad and the water came up to our knees. The second patch of beach was alot less crowded with maybe six people there.

We continued to go north. I had never gone pass this point so this was all new to me. Again the water was up to our knees so it wasn't that bad as we walked through the caves. The third patch of beach wasn't that large and mainly made up of large rocks. There wasn't anybody in this section. Thomas and I sat on some rocks and just chilled for about 20 minutes. During this time Thomas went and played around with the sea life. We noticed that there were caves north of us but it didn't look like you could get through them without getting waste high in the water but when a life guard came and disappeared into the caves and then reappeared about ten minutes later and wasn't that wet we figured there must be a way to get through them. And sure enough when we tired there was this large cave that you could climb through to get to the other beach. Again the water was only get knee deep.

The fourth section of the beach was much larger but it looked to be very private and only had two people on it. This part of the beach looked like the only access came from the houses above. We continued north to this house on the water that had a large amount of boulder sitting under it and leading to the water. We started to climb over those to see what was on the other side and it looked as though the beach continued on for bit more. There were some folks flying kites but again there were very few people there. We decided to stop at this point and once again sit on some rock and just chill. And like before Thomas went after some crabs.

We were there for about a half hour when the life guard from earlier said that we should start to head back as the tide would be coming in and if we wanted to get back to El Matador Beach and didn't want to have to swim we would need to head back soon. So we along with a few other people started to make our way back. The water was rising but only to just above the knee.

Once back we decided to walk south on the beach, this side was littered with people and debris like seaweed and such. But we did find some rocks to hang out on for a bit.

After two and a half hour we called it a day and headed back to the car. On our way up to beach we drove past an area that reminded me of a cool place to visit call Paramount Ranch. So on our way back I figured we stop by and check it out. Paramount Ranch was once an old studio backlot where they shot a ton of movies and tv. It was once owned by Paramount (hence the name) but is now a national park.

There is still an "old" western town there and maintained for tourist. And from 1992 to 1997, the town was used as the setting for the television show, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

We walked around and took pixs for about an hour before getting back in the car and heading for a late lunch/early dinner at Islands. 

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