Running (Slightly) Afoul of the Law

P1030159At this point, I decided to check and see if the road did, in fact, continue.

The last thing Kitty and I did on our weekend of coastal adventure was to drive around the Palos Verdes Pennisula.  I did this with a little thrill of danger in my heart because I’ve read for years about the way the Palos Verdes Pennisula is slumping away into the sea.

It’s a piece of land that sticks out from the mainland and it’s beautiful, but it’s falling apart due to natural geologic and oceanographic processes apparently exacerbated by lawn irrigation and septic leaks.  Most of the info I found online is pretty dry, but there’s an article on Easy Reader News that, while long, is interesting.

As we drove around Portuguese Bend, we encountered a sign that said basically, Use Extreme Caution: Constant Land Movement. With more details that we couldn’t read at 35 mph.  I would love to have a shot of that sign, but the bumpy, winding road didn’t have a wide enough shoulder.

I spotted a sign referring to Abalone Cove and saw a dirt road leading through an open gate. Three tween girls walked around the bend and grinned at us as they passed the car. We saw a sign facing us that listed rules for use of the nature preserve.

But the steep road and the geologic uncertainty freaked me out.  I could just envision the Sonata toppling over a cliff just beyond our view.


Kitty got this shot of me looking down at Abalone Cove far below.  A steep gravel one-way road twisted down to the shore from where I stood, camera-less.

I’d just decided to pull the car over and invite Kitty to walk up and have a look when a big parks police truck with red lights on top pulled up behind me.

A female officer got out of the passenger side.

“I’m just trying to figure out how to get out of here at this point, ” I said.

“Was the gate open when you got here?” she asked.

“Yes. Absolutely.”


This is what we would have seen if the gate hadn’t been standing wide open.


And, um, this, which would have been helpful information.

The nice ranger advised that I could back out if I wasn’t comfortable turning around in the wide space that was bordered on one side by a rock wall and on the other by a hundred foot drop. 

Thank you, officer.


A brief glimpse of the part of Abalone Cove which can apparently be accessed by legal means.  It would be fun to go back and hike out there. Backing down that road was not much fun.

We enjoyed the views along the rest of Palos Verdes Drive, which I would recommend if you’re in the area.  Nice Sunday drive.

Then we headed back to Hydra in the high desert with the 4 pound 3 ounce fresh rhubarb pie that we picked up on our lunch stop back at Jongewaard’s Bake n Broil.  That’s a lot of fruit for $11.95!

November 3, 2013



5 thoughts on “Running (Slightly) Afoul of the Law

  1. torty2010 says:

    I have some friends who live above that cove and we’ve been talking about hiking down – they say it is a steep little walk!

    • Sundry says:

      It looks like it! I can hardy imagine driving my sedan down it. The park police drove down in a big big truck and turned around somewhere. I want to go back and explore more!

  2. markrhunter says:

    Sounds like a fun walk — although a not so fun drive.

  3. kitty says:

    Darn, wish I’d gone with you before the arrival of the law…I want to go back too!

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