A different kind of rock show

A different kind of rock show

Rocks, gems, and fossils take over the VC Fairgrounds during Seaside Gems at Ventura

Show May 24 to 26

By Misty Hall
Photos courtesy VGMS

It’s 1944. The U.S. is still very much in the midst of World War II, and a group of Ventura teenagers are looking for something to do. Gas rations restrict them to pedestrian activities, so they walk to the beaches and nearby hills to look for rocks.

They find some pretty cool stuff — turns out, Ventura’s a fascinating place, geologically speaking (check out the photo of brecciated jasper). So they keep it up, growing in numbers and eventually going on field trips, after the war ends.

Thus began the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society. Eight decades after their first meeting in the rumpus room of a friend’s house, the group now has its own clubhouse, as well as monthly meetings and field trips, frequent educational events, annual shows, and members ranging in age from 4 to 90-plus.

Read More

Edible and Medicinal Herbs of the Southern California Coast

Edible and Medicinal Herbs of the Southern California Coast

by Lanny Kaufer

The Southern California Coast stretches from the Santa Maria River in the north to the U.S.-Mexico border. This fertile region is home to countless edible and medicinal herbs prized by foragers and herbalists. Both native and non-native species can be found in Southern California’s springtime mountains, canyons, valleys, yards, and gardens.

 

Read More

Cruising the Central Coast be the Pacific Surfliner and Coast Starlight

Cruising the Central Coast be the Pacific Surfliner and Coast Starlight

Amtrak’s historic railway offers an alternative to Highway 101

Story and photos By Katherine McMahon

 

Concerned about rising gas prices and wasting time sitting in traffic? There is an alternative way to explore the Central Coast: Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner and Coast Starlight!

Long before U.S. Route 101 was commissioned as a highway in 1926, the region was connected to the rest of California by the Southern Pacific railway. When the road through the Gaviota Pass was still just a narrow dirt track, Southern Pacific had established a train route from Los Angeles through Ventura and Santa Barbara, to San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, and beyond.

Read More

Seclusion Near the City

Seclusion Near the City

Western Santa Monica Mountains

Story and photos by Adam Nuñez

The entire Santa Monica Mountain range stretches east to west about 40 miles starting in West Los Angeles all the way to Camarillo in Ventura County. The elevation begins at sea level and reaches upwards to 3,100 feet. The Ventura County portion of the range sees less foot traffic than the busier regions closer to Los Angeles. This allows for more tranquility, and I daresay even solitude, especially on weekdays. Springtime is the ideal season to explore since the winter’s rains have led to bursting hues of green grasses and a rainbow of wildflower colors. And, waterfalls like Sycamore Canyon Falls near Newbury Park are more likely to be gushing with water.

Read More

Day Tripping through Simi Valley

Day Tripping through Simi Valley

By Don Sonderling

Since its incorporation in 1969, Simi Valley has acquired a well-earned reputation as a suburban community offering a relaxed lifestyle and inviting place to raise a family. Located in the southeastern portion of Ventura County, it is probably best known as home to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. However, Simi Valley has many charms, making this a fun, interesting day trip destination. If you are looking for culture, history, something quirky, and wide-open spaces away from the hustle and bustle of city crowds, you’ll want to visit Simi Valley. It’s full of best-kept secrets for a wide range of interests and ages.

Read More

Tri-tip tribe: Searching for the best barbecue on the Central Coast

Tri-tip tribe: Searching for the best barbecue on the Central Coast

Story and photos by Katherine McMahon

Barbecue: Technically, it’s just food cooked over a flame. The term comes from a Native American word for slow cooking meat over a fire. But today there is so much cultural complexity that goes along with the word, particularly when meat is involved. Depending on where you’re at and who you ask, you’ll get very different definitions. While many famous barbecue styles come from the southern U.S., there are countless other varieties like Hawaiian, Korean, and even a style native to the Central Coast dubbed Santa Maria style. In my travels on the Central Coast, I have eaten at barbecue restaurants that encompass a range of tradition and innovation, drawing from regional preferences and those across the globe.

Read More

X