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By Laura Stec

E-mail Laura Stec

About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Trespass Picnic on Martins Beach

Uploaded: May 13, 2014

While Silicon Valley billionaire and co-founder of Sun Microsystems Vinod Khosla took the stand Monday in a lawsuit about barring public access to the iconic Martins Beach, 6 miles south of Half Moon Bay, I was paying witness to its beauty with a picnic on the public beach.

Hallowed by surfers for nearly a century, Martins Beach closed to cars after Khosla bought it in 2008, challenging a 1972 California Coastal Zone Conservation Initiative making coastal lands public property. In response, the Surfrider Foundation sued Khosla for violating the California Coastal Act, and long story short, Khosla was ordered by the judge to accompany his lawyers to court this past Monday.

I didn't know where Martins Beach was, but a quick google search found it. A few surfers said you can still walk the road to the beach, and I wanted to find out. Google map dropped me off, I parked on Highway 1 (next to another car I might add) and took off on foot. I walked past a few houses, a person, and onto a trail - then down along a creek to a magnificent coastal beach hideaway. Wow.

With a Planet of the Apes view at the fore, I popped open Spring Mix with Goat Cheese, Toasted Almonds and Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette, when a tanned, shirtless, shoeless, surfer-god emerged from the rocks demanding who I was, and where I was from. Knowing full well he was doing the same thing I was (that was his car I assume) I was slow to respond. But he kept nagging...

"You're no local," he repeated. "What are you doing here? You suburban people who sit in front of your computers all day long have no respect. And you don't know how to appreciate sacred spaces."

Ok, I knew this guy wasn't Khosla's son, but who was he? Tanned and Tatted with the letters HMB tattooed on his abdomen and a half moon on his neck. Passionate sure, but just a surfer lookin' for a good spot like me? (I'm a boogie boarder). Surfer on a power trip.

Me: "You don't own this land and the beach is open to all."

He: "You had to trespass to get here, I'm going to call the sheriff."

Me: "Please do, I'd feel a lot safer."

He: "If you were a guy I would have punched you in the face by now."

Hmm, ok well, so much for appreciating the sacred. I took my seasonal salad and left. When I got back to the road, a pickup drove by and asked me what I was looking for.

"Martins Beach," I said. This is it, right?

The guy looked quizzically and replied, "No, a...that's a mile and a half up the road. Look for the green billboard."

OOPS!

So please - count this as my official apology to whoever owned that piece of property. Like Tanned and Tatted said, guess I'm just another suburbanite led astray by their computer. One who is grateful to see that amazing secret public beach just passed your property line by the way.

I got back in the car and drove south. Sure enough, there was the road less traveled. Ready for me to walk on, but an adventure saved for another day. Instead of Martins, I ended up at a terrific boogie board beach near by. I won't tell you where it is because you'll start going too. But you can try and guess....

The salad was still cool.





Spring Mix with Goat Cheese, Toasted California Almonds, and Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

This delicious spring salad features fresh California goat cheese, almonds and strawberries. Spring means first-of-the-year goat cheese and strawberries are in season. And did you know ALL almonds grown in the U.S. come from California?

Serves 4

Vinaigrette
¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette (I like Paul Newman's)
¼ cup sliced strawberries
Salt and pepper to taste

Salad
4 cups mixed baby lettuce
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 /2 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese
1 /4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Purée the vinegar and strawberries in a blender with salt and pepper to taste. Toss lettuce with dressing. Divide salad among 4 plates and top with strawberries, goat cheese, and almonds.

Got kids? Substitute goat cheese with mild Queso Fresco.

Variation: add a red onion

Recipe from Cool Cuisine - Taking the Bite Out of Global Warming (Gibbs Smith 2008)





Comments

Posted by Sophia M., a resident of another community,
on May 14, 2014 at 8:17 am

I thought that all beaches on the San Mateo Coast were public under the California Coastal Act besides State beaches.


Posted by kirfly, a resident of another community,
on May 14, 2014 at 9:09 am

All beaches are public, but Khosla bought the land that has the only road in to Martins, which has been a small resort and surf spot for close to 100 years.


Posted by Localism, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on May 14, 2014 at 10:56 am

Its true that all the beaches are public, but Tattoo does have a point. You can get to that beach via the water and be fine, but if it is surrounded by private land and you didn't come up from the water, you had to trespass to get there. Technically, when she was leaving via the road she came in on, she could have been ticketed for trespassing.

We have it easy out here...in the mountain states, they take trespassing REALLY seriously, like its a HUGE deal. Guns can and do come out at times for seemingly the most simple of infractions.


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 14, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

I admit fault. TT probably doing same thing - just upset someone found out. But bottom line - I thought it was Martins Beach and the road was ok to cross. OOPS (and sorry) again!


Posted by Greg David, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on May 14, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

The "beach" proper is NOT public. It is public below the mean high tide level. unless you were there at low tide and below this level, you were TRESPASSING during your ingress, egress, AND your little picnic. (most likely above the mean high tide line)

When will the tards start to respect private property rights?


Posted by Greg David, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on May 14, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

And why does this hack rag allow you to publish your illegal exploits?


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 14, 2014 at 9:59 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Greg, don't you see I am agreeing with you? Why would I write this if I didn't?


Posted by Ha!, a resident of Jackson Park,
on May 15, 2014 at 6:12 am

I think we all know why Greg wrote that. Where did you get your tattoos Greg?


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 15, 2014 at 6:58 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Funny Ha! I love good debate. There is no debate that my wrong google map destination resulted in trespassing. The real debate is can someone block public access, to a public beach, that has been open to the public for 100+ years? If an easy answer it would not be in court. For years the public could enter, then there was a guarded gate, now (because of public pressure?) the guards are gone and I hear it is "ok" to enter on foot, but not promoted. Soon the court will decide if that ok should be a strong public "yes" or a firm "no." What say-ith you?


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 15, 2014 at 6:59 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

The other debate is, is the salad better with goat cheese or maybe substitute feta?


Posted by Keep it up, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 15, 2014 at 9:30 am

Laura-- enjoyed your story and thanks for the recipe. Also nice to see a blogger that is not so,uptight and defensive when someone posts some criticism ( unlike some of the other bloggers here). Keep up the good,work.


Posted by Great Blog post!, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on May 15, 2014 at 11:15 am

I think the courts have been pretty clear on their stance that the access to the coast should remain. Every once in a while someone tests some new loophole in an attempt to privatize our coastline and shut out the public.
Without groups like Surfrider and the Calif Coastal Commission, we would have lost our access to much of our coast.

Laura, I'm curious, do you know if the beach you were on connects to Martin's beach? If you look at Google Earth, it looks as if you can access it from Martin's beach. Its a beautiful spot


Posted by GunOwner, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on May 15, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Don't mind Greg. Talking about this writer's illegal exploits, while his business profits off of selling ammunition to criminals or their "straw men" purchasers. Can't wait until his landlords terminate his lease!


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 15, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Great Blog Post - I wonder that same thing. I have never been to the end of "my secret beach," so don't know for sure. But Monday there were many helicopters buzzing around the coast just next to where we were. Must have been about Martin's Beach. That made us think it was the next rock to the north. Another adventure in our midst?


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 15, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

And to GunOwner - you are funny too. Bring on the criticism! I am a liberal raised in a conservative family. I can take the heat and love the discourse. Most important thing I have learned with my family? Love still trumps politics... every time.


Posted by Koch Brothers, a resident of another community,
on May 16, 2014 at 8:50 am

With all that global warming we are causing there will be no Martin's Beach in 10 years so that issue will go away.


Posted by Recovering Trespasser, a resident of Palo Verde,
on May 16, 2014 at 10:03 am

From experience, Tatt was pissed because you might have stumbled on his grow on the way in.


Posted by Yocal, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on May 16, 2014 at 11:24 am

No way anybody is growing out there on someone else's land. Its far far too open along with daily foot traffic from locals as well as the ranch workers.
My guess is that if the author did not have a boogie board, she may have gotten a pass. The behavior of Tattoo is text book "Surfer local-ism"
If she was there with just the salad, he may(key word MAY) have not cared as much, but surfers and boogie boarders do not share waves well on public breaks, so I could just imagine that when he saw the boogie board on what he considered his sacred surf spot, it got his dander up.
That said, he's still a complete jerk...bullies suck!


Posted by signage?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Laura,

To be guilty of trespassing, the land has to have signage, fencing, or cultivation. While he would be within his rights to kick you off, if he was the property owner or his agent, he would not have the not have the right to punch you even if you were on his land unless of course you were threatening him with your salad and he was a meat and potatoes guy.


Posted by NW Resident, a resident of North Whisman,
on May 16, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Based on my knowledge of the SM coast and some mapping skills, I would guess that you parked on Hwy 1 at Meyn Road and walked along Lobitos Creek, ending up at the cove just north of Martins Beach.

Then when you returned to your car and drove on, you probably stopped briefly at Martins Beach to take your first photo and then ended up at Tunitas Creek, judging by the bluffs in the second photo.

There are many other beaches and backroads to explore on the SM coast if you know where to look.


Posted by Poochie, a resident of Charleston Gardens,
on May 16, 2014 at 1:22 pm

"Tanned and Tatted with the letters HMB tattooed on his abdomen and a half moon on his neck."

If I ever saw that guy, I'd be like "So where are you from?"


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

You guys keep making me laugh. NW Resident - you are good! I need to check the map - not sure what wrong road I was on. After I left, I took the pix at Martins Beach Road but decided I had enough adventure for one day and just went to Tunitas. SM coast backroads - I need to email you!


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

And point of clarification for Yocal (and everyone). I was prepared for the consequences of my actions (while walking down what I thought was Martins Beach Road). If someone asked me to leave, I would have with no issue. If I was ticketed, I would have paid. I did not carry my board because I wanted to walk with a low profile and not flaunt my action. Some may understand this, some may say the act alone was unexceptable. Therein lies the debate. Can we stand up against something "with respect?"


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on May 17, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Surfers are territorial. They get angry and even violent with other surfers who wonder into "their beach" even though the beaches are public.

Concealed carry can solve problems with those jerks. Seriously, if someone is going to violently hurt you where you have the legal right to be, you have the right to remove them from the gene pool.

Anyway, the salad sounds nice on these warm days. Some bulgur or quinoa would be a nice complement to the salad.



Posted by Jay Park, a resident of Jackson Park,
on May 17, 2014 at 5:38 pm

@USA:

*MALE* surfers can be territorial, but aren't necessarily so in all locations. If you've ever surfed Linda Mar, you'd acknowledge that a certain part of the surfing community doesn't exhibit localism or go aggro when a newb shows up.

Using sweeping generalizations to promulgate your particular opinion isn't effective when you can be readily called out by SOMEONE WHO HAS ACTUALLY HAS A CLUE.

I will agree that bulgur or quinoa might actually complement the salad. Please do continue commenting about picnic lunch ingredient topics.


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on May 17, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Agreed on all points.


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 17, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

USA in the house!


Posted by Nacho, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on May 17, 2014 at 10:35 pm

There is a Martins Beach road a little over a mile north of Martin's Beach "proper" - right next to Purisima creek drainage. POST's Cowell-Purisima Coastal trail is right there but the official access points are a bit away to the north and south of the Purisima drainage (Cowell Ranch Beach trailhead).

But you can ride a bike with your salad and sponge to get to those beaches :)
Shaka for peace !


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 18, 2014 at 5:58 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Nacho - ah ha! Thanks for this info. Google maps did come up with this destination - so it's helpful to hear there are actually 2 Martins Beach roads. I'd love to find that POST trail (google it?) That beach I met Tanned and Tatted was really gorgeous and I would love the chance to visit it again. Shaka!


Posted by Am I gettin' old...?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 18, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Reading about Mr. Khosla and his billionaire stunts makes me sick just like that OTHER billionaire who defiled public property in Big Sur area for his ultra special private wedding - Sean Parker, if I'm not mistaken. And surfers with their "territorial rights," come on, yes I've heard of it, but grow up.
Sad how rude entitled creeps rule the day out here in California.


Posted by Geek, a resident of Sylvan Park,
on May 20, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Having public beaches doesn't make much sense without public easement for a roads that go to that beaches.


Posted by NW Resident, a resident of North Whisman,
on May 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Here's a web link with info on the Cowell-Purisima Trail, including a map.

Web Link

That must have been the creek, trail and beach you were at on your first stop. The Google map also shows the trail route if you zoom in close enough.


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

NW Resident - thank you for this!


Posted by Altass, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood,
on May 20, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Useful information shared..I am very happy to read this article..thanks for giving us nice info.Fantastic walk-through. I appreciate this post.


Posted by Surfer, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on May 28, 2014 at 1:53 am

Glad to see interest. Family has surfed for 50 years. Always polite. Don't need tatoos to ride big waves. Important to have some access. The billionaires have many attorneys. The public needs to defend nature for furture generations while respecting property rights.


Posted by Surfer, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on May 28, 2014 at 1:53 am

Glad to see interest. Family has surfed for 50 years. Always polite. Don't need tatoos to ride big waves. Important to have some access. The billionaires have many attorneys. The public needs to defend nature for furture generations while respecting property rights.


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 14, 2014 at 3:58 pm

In my opinion the public should have some kind of right of way access to every beach ... this royal rights to the fat cats is the war of the ages and it needs to be settled clearly and decisively in order for the world to move on. The way capital works today those with big money just get more and more over time until like a monopoly game it's all owned ... so what is the point of our world to have one winner and billions of losers?


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Jun 15, 2014 at 8:33 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Amen CrescentParkAnon! I was thinking the same thing sitting at the beach above. How can "ownership" of a pathway keep everyone else from seeing what is rightfully ours to see?


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 16, 2014 at 1:25 am

It's just another example of the bull shoot "entitlement mentality" of the ultra-rich, who cleverly, they think, disguise their own massive corruption by pointing to poor weak people who just want to survive and calling that and entitlement mentality ... the heck with them. Whatever needs to happen to bring light to this issue and turn it around should happen. Prior generations worked pretty hard to get the beaches and areas of limited resources labelled public resources ... they should not be forgotten or ignored.


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