Travel log


The Venice Canals were voted number 2 on the top 10 walks in LA. So I figured I'd check them out. It's a series of shallow canals created by developer mogul Abbot Kinney in 1905.  From the diverse architecture to the quiet atmosphere, it's a nice place to escape the busy city life. A must see when you hit LA. 

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The day started off bleak. Not only did I get a late start, but the marine layer (heavy fog) looked to be settling in for good. So I stopped by the Visitor Center, grabbed a map and planned to head home. I’d hit the Marina another day, when the sun was out. As I pocketed the map, the attendant handed me a post card. “In case none of yours turn out,” she said,“You’ll have one good photo.”

Thanks Information Lady. I stuffed the card into my backpack, cinched up the straps and headed out into the mist… to take some crappy photos.

And as luck would have it, the sun came out.

(Standing downwind of this thing, I'm reminded of why I loath sea lions. And then of course it opened it's mouth. What a horrid sound. The next time you feel the urge to call out, keep it to yourself you wretched sea mutt)
(Is there a rule that says every harbor must have at least one pirate? Because there should be)
(I'm thinking he's a Magnum P.I. fan too)

(somebody's living large -- check out the chopper on the back deck)

What's in a name?

You can tell a lot about a person by what they name their ship. The harbor was full of vessels dedicated to women -- whether it was the one that got away, or the one that stayed, only the christener knows. The most common beauty was Ariel. There were the sequels, Blessed II,Viking Too, R&R 2, which makes me wonder what befell the originals. There were the fish lovers, Marlin, Black FinGreat White, the wanderers, NomadGypsy, the high and mighty,Crème de la Crème, the drinkers, MojitoTequila, the need for speeders, Neck SprainBullet, the relaxers, Chill Pill, Pain Killer, No Problems, the suck ups, Love you, Mom, the song lovers, Lost Shaker of SaltFree BirdMiss American PieBad Moon RisingHang on SloopyCan’t Touch This (granted this could fall under the need for speed category, but I’m thinking he’s a closet MC Hammer fan), the uninhibited, Foolish Behavior, the myth hounds,Pegasus, Valkyrie, Unicorn, the creative thinkers Miss Demeanor, Maine Squeeze, Common Cents, So Knot UsSail Asylum, the creative drinkers, AqualoicScotts ‘n’ Water, Ship Faced and the Clint Eastwood fans, Make my Day.

However, the best name I found goes to--

Yeah, I won't be riding with him anytime soon... or her. Well, maybe her.

According to the brochure, this is 'the perfect place to stay and play.' If you're not into the boat scene, there are a few parks, marina-side shopping, waterways for bird watching, plus paths to the beach and the Venice canals. If you're in the mood for fine dining, the locals recommend Killer Shrimp and Tony P's Dockside Grill. One has excellent seafood, the other has hulking steaks and big screens. I'll check them out and let you know.

So that was my adventure of the week. Until next time...

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A Cossairt shortcut: The route Bryan and I took in 2006. We woke up at the butt crack of dawn and gunned my little sister's Neon up an icy canyon trail with hair pin turns and no guard rails. We topped out on a butte, surrounded by four feet of snow. I'm not sure this was a time saving route as the map suggested, but it was an adventure. Along the way we knocked/scraped/ripped a few unwanted plastic undercarriage covers off my sister's car and not only increased her aerodynamics but also her gas milage. You're welcome, Bean.
The adventure crew in 2010
The pictures that follow are a combination of two different trips to Bryce Canyon, five years apart, shot with three different cameras by three different Cossairts. I'm not sure which pictures are mine or theirs, so I'm just going to say enjoy our pictures...

Moments before we 'spidermaned' through a ice crevice and zig-zagged up a hill crowded with unsure footed foreigners getting a late start into the canyon.

If you are interested in visiting the park, check out for more information.

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It's a little over ten miles from my apartment, which makes it about a 45 minute drive (in mild traffic). Good thing I got up at the butt crack of dawn... to hike in the rain. Let me be more specific, it was merely a mild pain-in-the-ass down pour. Enough to be irritating, but not enough to keep me indoors. And since I'd fought traffic, by God I was going to do some hiking.

The only people crazy enough to be out in this weather were a few die hard speed walkers, a grandmother jogger and a film crew at the park entrance. Not sure what they were prepping to film since most of the crew was hunkered under a big tent warming their hands with a giant stage light.

So this is the trail...

I did do some brighting and contrasting...

To add a little more light to the scenes...

So you don't feel as creeped out as I did hunched under a canopy of snarled creeper trees. I will continue to refer to them as creeper trees since they grabbed, pinched and swiped at me all the way up the hill.

Oh look, the sun's out over in Malibu.

This is a picture of a log. A half a second earlier it would have been a picture of a log and a bunny. Quick little devils. But not quick enough judging from all the coyote scat.

I feel this trail needs a sign. To the right is Temescal Canyon Trail. To the left is where they hide the dead bodies.

And this was my destination. SKULL ROCK.
See it? No. Wait for it...
Wait for it...
There it is!

I had to crawl up around the rocks and through a gaggle of creeper trees to find this angle that looked kinda like a skull.

And as I was almost back to the blazer, the sun came out. Typical.

This is the view of LA... through the smog...

Which refused to be suppressed by a little rain. Typical.

This was hike one of what I hope will be an on-going series where I explore the 'hidden gem of wilderness' around LA. My inspiration, Robert Stones 135 Great Day hikes around Los Angeles. It was my splurge for the month.

Until next time...