Friday, March 7, 2014

Ventura and Santa Barbara, California

If you looked at our short last posting, we posted a picture from the Californian RV Resort in Acton, California.  The terracing gives a nice view of Angeles and San Gabriel mountains.  Friendly people and well kept park.  Most of those living here are working versus retired and they work in the air industry related to Edwards Air Force Base or on the base itself.

We have been keeping our route away from heavy interstate highways when possible. From Acton/Palmdale we follow 14 to 126 and into Ventura, California.  Yes, that Ventura Highway from  America .  Click on the link for the YouTube.

Along the way are fields of ripe strawberries, blueberries, many orange groves, and artichokes.

Yes, the picture above is of an artichoke plant(not my picture).On the way, we head up to Piru Lake Recreation Area. A good sized reservoir that is part of a complicated water supply system.  The reservoir is at 25% capacity even though storm Titan raised the level by 4 feet!
Dry camping was available and we enjoyed the company of a number of deer  The ranger indicated many raccoons, a fox, and a mountain lion were recent visitors.

I am always interested in old vehicles. This is a well preserved pickup truck from , I think, the late 1940's?  Help me out here experts.  I thought I remembered my uncle having something like this on his farm.

Here is a good indication of the water level at Piru.

This is a boat ramp and if you look down to the end of the ramp, you can see it is quite dry.  No water in sight.

Interesting that a chart at Cachuma Lake indicates that the area reservoirs were overflowing last in 2008.  Not all that long ago.

Though Piru Lake is managed by a concessionaire, it is still part of the Los Padres National Forest.  We have an app on the IPad that indicates many, many campgrounds in Los Padres.  Many of them are for tenters and only have a few sites. But some will take small to medium RVs.  We will be looking .

Must be something in California.  Not too far east of Ventura was this old pickup.  Older than yours, Uncle Clifton?

Remember, you can click on pictures to enlarge.

Some of the street views in downtown Ventura.  We stopped in at the Visitor's Center. 

It is nice that Lady Blue can fit into many public parking areas.

This is the Mission San Buenaventura founded by the Franciscans in 1782 and restored in 1809.

There are many historic buildings and shops in what is listed as renovated Ventura.

Jan found some new favorite olive oil and salad vinegar in We Olive , a California olive oil store.
This link will take you to their website.

A mural on the side of a Ventura building reminded us of Ronald Reagan as host of Death Valley Days on TV from 1952 to 1970.  And yes, we remember that show!

Not the best picture, but the Calla Lilies are quite plentiful and beautiful in Ventura.

Very close to Ventura downtown is Ventura Harbor. 

It is also the home of the Channel Islands National Park Visitors Center.  Tourists can take boats from here and other stops over to the 8 islands.

There are also the Channel Islands in the English Channel off of Normandy, France.

In early March, and the harbor is quite filled with fishing and pleasure boats.

These are not your Provincetown fishing boats.  These are modern looking , large boats with the captains view high above the waterline and huge overhead lights for processing or storing fish.

But, since Jan and Bruce are not fishing, I guess there's only one other thing to do.

Yep!  A good seat at Brophy Bros restaurant , outside, with a good view of the harbor.

Two glasses of wine, Gulf oysters on the half shell, and some wonderful, tender, and full of flavor bay scallops.  The bags hold some goodies from a real French bakery at the harbor.  Life is good!

It's a short ride from Ventura Harbor up Route 101 to Route 1 and the Rincon Parkway .

The county campground is right on the side of the highway and this is the view from our side window.

The highway was fairly quiet because most of the traffic was up on Route 101. 

Jan and I could watch dolphins go by, nice waves to watch and listen to, and also these surfers in the afternoon and the next morning.
This area is known as a prime spot for surfers and according to online sources(Surfline), comes close to producing the ideal point wave.

Jan and I found this similar to parking along York Beach , Maine.  Except here you can camp overnight.

It's a short trip up to Santa Barbara.  What a beautiful city.  For such a view of mountains and ocean, it is surprising that the last census in 2010 had a loss of over 1,000 people , now averaging around 88,000 population.

This view is looking north from the beach.

I couldn't resist a panoramic shot from Stearns Wharf.

Can you believe it?  This is a pizza shop across from Stearns Wharf.

Where there are fishermen----------

must be pelicans!

All kinds of activity.  The shoreline includes a beach and also a great walking, bike path to a green , wonderful park.

These folk rented two outriggers for a quick paddle.

Another view back towards the center of Santa Barbara from the end of Stearns Wharf.  While out there, we had to stop in to the Longboard Grill for some more oysters---this time Blue Point--and a few other items.  Also on the wharf is the Moby Dick Restaurant which you might of seen on TV news when a wave from storm Titan crashed right through the glass with customers inside.  No one was injured, though  we can't imagine why not.

A picture from the end of the wharf looking up State Street. You can enlarge the picture to see the dolphins at the center of the fountain.

We decided to try a little tasting at Giessinger Winery.  The area has many tasting stores for local wines.  This is in addition to visiting the vineyards themselves.  We bought a bottle of Carignan to try something different.  Carignan is a grape linked to Italy, Spain, and France.  The vineyard is listed in Fillmore, Westlake, and Monterey.

Right off State Street is the train station with regular visits from the California Amtrak train.

From the end of the wharf are many flowering

Bird of Paradise flowers.

And here we are at Cachuma Lake off of Route 154 , a little north of and quite a bit higher in elevation than Santa Barbara.  One of our visitors at the back of Lady Blue is this colorful Bluebird.

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