The Desert Dwellers – Visiting the Vasquez Rocks Interpretive Center

Neek sez:

I love interpretive centers!  They are thoughtful, informative and give you answers to questions about the places you visit.  So, starting off, this is what I learned:

The history of Vasquez Rocks starts with the native people, The Tataviam who were here from 200 B.C., years before the first Spanish explorers met them in 1769 when they numbered in the hundreds.  Continue reading

Do You Recognize this Place? – Vasquez Rocks in Agua Dulce, California

Lex sez:

In the town of Agua Dulce in the Sierra Pelona Mountains is a 932 acre area called the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park.  These are huge rock formations from an uplift about 25 million years ago.  The Tataviam people were living here in grass huts within villages for centuries before the Spanish arrived.

But it was bandit Tiburcio Vasquez, who used these rocks to hide out from authorities in 1873 and 1874, whose name is associated with this amazing formation. Continue reading

A Small Community with a Rich History – Montrose, California

Neek sez:

Los Angeles, California is not just a city but also a county with a collection of smaller communities.  That is especially true for Montrose which is part of the Crescenta Valley sandwiched between the San Fernando Valley and Glendale, California.  It is about 15 minutes (unless you’re stuck in traffic) from downtown Los Angeles.

The history of the area dates back to 1784 when California was a Spanish territory.  Don Jose Maria Verdugo was granted 36,000 acres by the Spanish Crown.   Continue reading

An Abandoned Utopia – Llano Del Rio

Neek sez:

Big stone pillars can be seen on the highway leading to Pearblossom in the Mojave Desert.  The ruins are part of an old utopian colony called Llano Del Rio (Plain of River in Spanish ) and this was going to be one interesting place to explore.

Llano Del Rio was a failed socialist utopian colony that was active from 1914 to 1918 in the California desert and it really intrigued me as to why anyone would attempt to create a living in such a desolate environment.  Continue reading

Punk, Street Art, and Buddha’s Hand – Traction Ave in Downtown Los Angeles

Lex sez:

Neek and I went to downtown LA in search of an area near Little Tokyo filled with murals and other street art.  There was some parking on Traction Avenue so we stopped there to take a look around.  Lots of murals painted on the sides of buildings were already visible as we walked down the avenue.

We were happily surprised as we approached Third Street to see that part of the street was closed off.  There were booths where people were selling arts and crafts and one that was selling different blends of organic juices.  We tried one filled with different kinds of citrus fruits that was really tasty.  Continue reading

Lost and Abandoned Seaside Resort – Casa Sirena and The Lobster Trap

Neek sez:

The once elegant and beautiful Lobster Trap Restaurant in Oxnard, California is closed and left abandoned on the Channel Islands Harbor Marina.  Next door, its sister building, the Casa Sirena Hotel is also slowly deteriorating.

The Lobster Trap Restaurant and Casa Sirena Hotel were built in 1972.  Due to the popularity of the resort, Casa Sirena Annex was built next to the hotel to accommodate the seasonal crowd. Continue reading