The forecast for Elk Grove was for 100 degree
(plus) days so Tuesday morning we loaded up and headed south for a few
days of cool ocean air. The destination was the
Ventura/Oxnard area, just north of Los Angeles. The area has
great sailing (to the Channel Islands) and is a hot bed of equestrian
activity - just our sort of place.
Driving South on I5 we noticed a change right
after the turn off for Monterey (Highway 156). From there
South I5 passes through some of the most inhospitable land California
has to offer. The fields seemingly grow nothing except
tumbleweeds and the hot air makes an ever retreating lake shimmer in
the distance. Over the grapevine the trucks seemed to be
lined up forever.
Relief came when we turned West on highway 126;
the land was green again and it looked a little like the Salinas Valley
(lots of strawberries). Our hotel provided us with a room
overlooking the Oxnard marina.
to see the slide show of ALL 55 pictures. When you get to the scrapbook
click on SLIDESHOW in the upper right corner.
Click on EACH
picture below to see a larger version.
This was the view from our Oxnard hotel room.
We unloaded and unfolded the bikes and took off to
explore. I don't think I've even seen so many boats in one
place. The marina segues into houses with channels along side
for their luxury yachts.
For supper we hopped into the car and visited an
Italian restaurant that had been recommended. Linda said her
spaghetti was the best she had ever eaten. Back at the room
we waited until the cigar smoking neighbors departed and then enjoyed
The next day was open since we
canceled the boat ride to the Channel Islands. It turned out
the boat ride to the main island was one hour, but the return trip was
after six hours. During that time we would be left with no
services - to explore the island's grass lands. It didn't
sound like a fun way to spend all day. After we canceled the
boat ride we also cancelled our third night in Oxnard; we will drive up
the coast instead and visit Monterey.
On Wednesday we decided to drive to Ventura and
explore. After unfolding our bikes we took off along the
beach bike path. We noticed that Ventura has a lot of public
facilities along the beaches. Oxnard beaches were lined with
houses instead of parks and bike/walking paths. We both
agreed we liked Ventura much better than Oxnard. Lunch was at
the Ventura pier. I had an excellent blackened shark meal and
Linda had a salmon sandwich.
Back in Oxnard we made a quick trip to Best Buy to
try to fix our GPS, but we were out of luck and had to make due with
paper maps from then on. Later, at the Whale's Tale
restaurant we watched the return of the sailboats from their evening
sail. The boats all rushed out of the harbor beginning at
five o'clock and returned at sunset. It made a great
show. Our supper was another excellent meal.
Early Thursday morning we took off up highway one
for Monterey. Our first stop was at the Santa Barbara Mission. The tour
was very enjoyable and presented the opportunity for some photography.
Later, along the way we stopped for lunch at Port
San Louis and the Harford pier at Avila beach. The lunch tables had
view ports through to the underside of the pier and it was a unique
view. Then we stopped at Moro Bay where Linda was able to shop for some
special sea shells (for her craft projects).
In Monterey we stayed at the Borg's motel and had
an excellent view of the ocean. We had a nice evening walk and supper
at the Seventeenth Street Grill (my favorite). The motel was quite
rustic and very basic so we decided we would make this our last time to
The next morning we had breakfast at our usual place
and after a short walk drive north to visit Santa Cruz harbor. Santa
Cruz is a difficult town to drive in but we enjoyed wandering among the
seaside houses. Then we headed for home and our own beds.
Except for being a little confused (no GPS) in Gilroy and
Watsonville, trying to find our way through town, the trip home was
uneventful. Lunch was at the Casa de Fruita. One
thing we noticed was the fog. Each stop along the way was foggy. The
fog in southern California seemed warm and friendly, even though it
seldom got above 68 or 70 degrees (at the coast). By eleven or twelve
the fog was usually just high clouds. When we got to Monterey the fog
stayed on the ground and was decidedly colder. Once
we turned inland the heat was like stepping into an oven. Fortunately,
we left the air conditioner on for the dog (set to 82) so the house was
relatively cool. The dog was glad to see us and we were glad to be
home. The road trip was declared successful by all.
Dave & Linda teach
horses to drive.
for the slide show. Click HERE for Dave's video.
Click HERE for Linda's video.
No August is
complete without a visit to the State Fair!
Click HERE to see the slide show. (Once
to the scrapbook click on "slideshow" in the upper right.)
and about at the ranch. We feel like we own a ranch, without
the maintenance issues. The vegetable garden is in full
swing, providing us with a daily load of tomatoes and
The hay barn is planned, but not built yet. The star
thistles are as sharp as we all remember. Just behind the
we have a nice trail to ride on, with turkeys. They have
feathers and Linda has quite a collection. Across the street
private airport and we see quite a few nice planes zoom past.
This is the Garrocha, the riding Dave aspires to.
Spanish/Portuguese branch of Doma Vaquera (the way of the
back to the crusades. At that time horsemen rode with a long
(called a lance) and eventually began to use it to herd cattle.
cattle are bred to be aggressive (for the bullfight) so it is better to
them at a distance.
The moves of the Garrocha come from bullfighting (from horseback).
that the rider is not holding onto the reins. All signals to
horse come from the seat and legs. There is no trot work,
walk and canter.