The All Trails app has all the secrets.
I was driving one morning for rideshare (like most mornings) but had the camera in the car. I decided to take a break and again found myself relatively south in the county, near Rancho Palos Verdes and Long Beach. The app showed a small hike at a place called, "Bluff Cove."
Maybe it was the time of day that I visited: morning, just after sunrise with soft light beaming over the cliffs, , but Bluff Cove is the most incredible slice of California coastline that I have seen since moving here:
I always love when strangers unintentionally provide a sense of scale or give a sense of the human experience in a moment. Thank you to this man:
Apparently, I hiked this area, "incorrectly," because there was a walking trail that keeps you high, above the water and stretches for about 2 miles. Instead, I could not resist heading down towards the water, because, well:
Being able to see the bluffs and the cove in the distance felt so "California." It was paradise, I was excited, relaxed, and alive all at once. Is this beauty real?
A little foreshadowing in the image above and below, keep an eye out for surfers...
Couldn't get enough of this coastline:
One of my favorites from this miniature morning hike: a surfer was done for the day and was making his way back to the top of the ridge, presumably to head back to his car. I don't know if he noticed me and the camera, but he just happened to stop and peer into the water for moment. It was long enough to capture him with a soft sunrise cascading over the bluff:
I've not seen many light conditions like this. The softness:
Depending on whether you're viewing this page on a cell phone or a desktop computer, you might be able to see a few black specs in the water in these next two shots...
...believe it or not, and as I hinted about a moment ago, those specs were surfers:
Bluff Cove is the most populated surf spot I've seen thus far in California. Despite the distance, I tried to capture as many images as I could of them at play:
This is a completely, normal, natural and inevitable part of the activity, but this is exactly why I don't surf:
More power to him and he was fine afterward. Respect, genuinely.
More foreshadowing, keep and eye out for the birds:
Like I said, I did it, "wrong," and ended up down by the rocky beach. But it was the right place:
I learned a little something about coastal birds during this visit. There seemed to be a couple of species hanging out by the water, but these soft white ones, with black beaks and a hint of yellow near the eyes, were egrets. I had the chance to witness a very natural, primal moment of one being territorial and thankfully had the camera ready. To see the hair standing up on the back of it's head as a visual cue for aggression was pretty awesome:
No one ended up fighting, but this one definitely defined and defended its space.
I may watch too many Pixar movies, but I'm pretty sure these two birds were having a conversation about life:
I feel like this one summed up the enterity of the experience. Birds in flight in the foreground with surfer specs in the distance:
I'm glad there was one image that felt good in black and white, but the last few images captured on the way back to the car felt best in vivid color:
There's no other way to put it: blue water, sunshine and listening to ocean crashing against rocks just makes you feel good:
Lastly, and my favorite of the morning; California is so amazing that, between land and ocean this one image/ view contained the full spectrum of color, or all the colors on the "color wheel." ROYGBIV, the acronym that represents colors: red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo and violet...can be found somewhere in this image.
I promise you that all I did was increase the contrast and sharpness, like I would for any image, and increase the saturation to bring out the colors and check this out:
Bluff Cove ✓
Spectacular views and breathtaking experience.
A must see in Southern California.