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Veronique de Turenne

Point Dume

the view at Point DumeThread your way through the residential flats of Point Dume, where mega-mansions line the bluffs and modest ranch homes sit on grassy lots, none for sale for under two million dollars, and there it is, the headland, a hump-backed peninsula that marks the northern curve of the Santa Monica Bay. There's always a breeze there, always the sound of waves. Sheer cliffs drop to rocky coves, to secret pocket beaches, to rock piles and rookeries and seals basking in the sun.

please be carefulIt's a place of superlatives, one of the most beautiful, most dramatic, most accessible -- and most fragile -- bits of coastal wilderness in Malibu. The paths are clearly marked. The signs couldn't be plainer. It's an ecosystem where a single misplaced footstep can cause damage, can displace a lizard or injure a giant coreopsis or weaken the dune structure so it crumbles, erodes away in the wind and rain.

So what are these two guys doing? Like dozens of people each week, they've stepped off the marked path, climbed over a barrier and hiked across the delicate dunes. But these two guys have upped the ante. Look closely and you'll see they've got climbing gear.

What are they doing? Selfishly, carelessly, cluelessly abusing a national treasure for their own pleasure. It ought to be a crime.

Oh wait -- it is.trespassing at Point Dume

Next entry: When all is right with the world

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