Monday, February 25, 2008

Camarillo Regional Park

Saturday The Professor and I took a hike. We decided to explore an area quite near our house, between us and the university. Camarillo Regional Park. The entrance to the park is unassuming. In fact, unless you know it is there, you might miss it when you drive by, thinking that the gate across the road is blocking an entrance to one of the many agricultural fields in the area.

The posted regulations say that hikers must stay on the unpaved roads and not walk along trails through the hills.

As you can see, the recent rains have fed the vegetation and Southern California is greening up! We noticed some bushes with yellow flowers. They are certainly unusual looking, with large trunks and branches, feathery leaves and daisy-like blooms. 'Very odd, root and branch'.

We decided to go up this muddy road. Halfway up, I stopped to rest. It was definitely a steep climb!

Looking down to where we had left the graveled road, we noticed abandoned farm buildings off to the right. There were some students from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara (famous photography and film school) filming a short movie and we asked them about the farm. The property had once belonged to the state mental hospital over the hill which was closed and is now the location of California State University, Channel Islands where The Professor teaches. The dairy farm provided work and food for the residents in the hospital.

Obviously, the farm is no longer functioning as a dairy. The local rowdies and taggers clubs have been using the buildings for their painting classes.

There seem to have been some club parties and bonfires, too.

As we walked past the old dairy buildings, The Professor looked up and pointed out a familiar feature. Familiar to us, at least, as former residents of South Central Los Angeles. Do you know the meaning of the shoes thrown over the phone and electric wires? The shoes show gang territory boundaries.

We walked on, around to the other side of the park. Humans are not the only wild things that wander the area.

Lest you think that Camarillo Regional Park is nothing but a gang bangers haven, I took a photo of the landing field of the Camarillo model airplane enthusiasts. Beautiful, green flood plain.

Saturday's hike was a one and a half mile walk on the wild side.


Violet N. said...

Some real contrasts on this walk!

Love the earlier picture of you with your new grandbaby (and the post above it with the talking cats *grin*).

Mama Mia said...

Guess who just finished her paper... haha

The walk looks lovely! Maybe we can do one of those over spring break. :o) I love looking at grafiti so much, especially in that beautiful, green environment. It poses such a dichotemy of beauty-- beautifully catured in your photos.

Tracy said...

A very different walk! The grafitti is arty...the trash is not. Trash lying round like that breaks my heart....But I like all the contrasts here! Happy Day ((HUGS))

Heather said...

Hey that guy gets around. I think he tagged a wall on my commute. Enjoyed walking with you through the pics you shared.

Knitting Linguist said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for taking us along with you :) It looks like you got to do some observing of human nature, as well!

ellen b. said...

What an interesting stroll you had! Oh and I'm so happy to find out the tidbit about the shoes over the wire, who knew...
I remember passing the mental hospital whenever we went to Santa Rosa and San Francisco. It was quite a landmark for me.

Mary said...


I enjoyed seeing the green. It seems it's been a long while since there was any green here, but really not that long.

Thanks for letting me know what the sneakers over the wires means. I have seen them here but had no clue as to the meaning.

I enjoyed your comments on my post today. Glad you are enjoying my black history posts. Take care and have a great evening.


Flower said...

The world opens up so many possibilities if we are interested in finding them. You find things that no one else would even notice!! Keep walking!! Puff, puff!

Anonymous said...

Willow, I never did know what the shoes on the line meant - learning something new every day! I'm enjoying the greening hills too :-)

roxie said...

What a wonderful eye for beauty you have!

Barbara said...

Very interesting and it gives me more of an idea of your terrain.

G said...

hmm,...i ve been trying to get there but can't find the entrance.

Anyone care to drop me a line, and some advice.?