It's here -- the chili cook-off and carnival put on each year by the Malibu Kiwanis Club, the annual end-of-summer punctuation mark. Details at their web site here.
Preparations for Pepperdine's annual flag display to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks have begun. Founded seven years ago by then-student Ryan Sawtelle, who stayed up all night with a group of friends to place the flags in time for the Sept. 11 sunrise, the simple and moving memorial instantly drew reverent crowds. These days, the flags go up well before the anniversary of the attacks and stay up well after.
Hurricane Marie has passed to the south of us and instead of rain, she sent a bit of surf.
A lot of surf, actually.
And a lot of people came to the Malibu Pier to see it. They jammed PCH:
...filled the beach:
And turned the sidewalk into a carnival:
The TV crews were there:
A drone was there:
Photogs made camp:
Bits and pieces of the pier came loose:
A bulldozer built up a sand berm:
And hundreds of people hit the water. (Including Laird Hamilton.) (More Laird in the video below.)
Because the whole time, this was happening:
Laird shooting the pier, on Vimeo via Dual Hemisphere Media.
* Updated to add Laird Hamilton video.
Big waves along the coast, and big trouble -- a surfer died at the Malibu Pier.
Not much info yet about the surfer, who news reports say was discovered unconscious in the water late this morning. From KTLA, which has the most information right now:
The distress call in the 23000 block of West Pacific Coast Highway (map) came in at about 11:20 a.m., according to Inspector Rick Flores of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The man, who was in the water and unconscious when rescuers got to him, had been surfing near the Malibu Pier, according to Capt. Eric Howell of the Fire Department's Lifeguard Division.
Though lifeguards got the man to shore and paramedics took him to a hospital, he never revived.
The pier itself has suffered structural damage, according to The Malibu Times. Big waves loosened a piling and California State Park officials have shut down most of the pier for most of the week. Details here.
Surf is supposed to be even bigger tomorrow and lifeguards are asking people to please stay the hell out of the water.
Meanwhile, here's the surf near Little Dume this afternoon:
Believe it or not, Maisie was there first.
But Walt decided she needed somewhere to rest her head.
(Thought balloon for Maisie: "Sigh.")
Malibu traffic this summer has been off-the-charts awful and on Saturday, I got the worst of it. Kanan Dume Road, the main artery from the 101 to Zuma Beach, was gridlocked. Starting ON the freeway. And because an errand had taken me to Agoura Hills that afternoon, I was caught.
No problem, I thought, after it took 20 minutes to drive 20 feet. I'll ditch the worst of it by taking Mulholland Highway, already one of my favorite roads, back to Malibu Canyon and head home that way.
Great idea, except Malibu Canyon Road? Closed. So, long story short, I took Piuma Road. (And if you know enough about Santa Monica mountains geography to point out that to get to Piuma you have to drive down the supposedly closed Malibu Canyon road, I have only this to say: hush. Also, unmanned barricade.)
Piuma is, to put it mildly, twisty.
But if you've never really had a sense of the mountain range that splits LA in two, then you should take a Valium and drive it.
You wind up far above Malibu Canyon Road:
Where you get a great view of the Rindge Dam:
Why was Malibu Canyon Road closed on the hottest Saturday of the summer so far?
It looks like crews were replacing electrical poles.
And the payoff for all the traffic and detours and delays (and the joy of re-joining PCH at Las Flores for another stop-and-go half hour) was a vertiginous view of the Pacific, the color blue split wide open, that had the little point-and-shoot utterly outmatched.
Low tide, low clouds, rising sun -- did someone say 'dogs'?
Yes, also (out of focus) (hey, it's a point-and-shoot) dogs:
Raise your hand if you think I kept shooting until a seagull flew through the photograph.
You know my methods, Watson.
Another year for this little blog, a not-so-secret love letter to my favorite place. It's a pleasure to share it with all of you.
The fact that we had to tailgate for a second for me to get this shot probably made this guy feel right at home.
But my favorite "I was born here" vanity plate is still "EVITAN". (Picture reading that in your rear-view mirror.)
We've got several flocks of wild parrots in Malibu, including a bunch based at the market on Point Dume. They're rowdy and raucous and very opinionated about what you just bought to make dinner.
Shooting into the light makes the sensors go nuts but even though today's sunrise didn't look quite like this, it's a good approximation of the heat yesterday, temps in the high 80s, so much humidity that it felt like being poached.
Drive just a little way into the hills in the west end of Malibu and where the roads end, the undeveloped mountains begin. It's a busy border with strollers and dog walkers, hikers and bikers and, thanks to easy living afforded by food and water from landscaped yards, abundant wildlife.
That's where the little cottage sits, at the very back of a large property that borders conservancy land. The rear deck is cantilevered over untouched open space and from there, every day, we spend time with coyotes.
The pups smell them:
We see them:
And they see us:
Last night, just at sunset, we heard them. (That little 'woof' at the 17-second mark? Walt, asking for an encore.)