Exploring California’s Southern Coast

Whenever we visit Southern California we really enjoy exploring the hundreds of miles of backroads that wind through its coastal mountains.

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California’s southern coastline is a very unique environment indeed.

It is an area of starkly contrasting landscapes ranging from rugged coastal mountains, world-famous beaches, rustic canyons, golden rolling hills, rich topsoil filled agricultural plains and of course densely populated cities.

Moonlight Near Point Mugu
Moonlight Near Point Mugu

Officially the southern coast of California extends from Ventura County to the Mexican Border and includes two of California’s largest metropolitan areas, Los Angeles and San Diego.

It’s beaches are world famous recreational destinations that attract millions of visitors annually and are a major contributor to both the economy and the quality of life for millions of Californians.

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The mild climate, varied geographical features and access to year round outdoor activities all contribute to it’s great popularity.  California has been the birthplace to many of the worlds extreme sports and trends.

Americans have been migrating across America to the west coast for various reasons for over 200 years.  My grand parents came from back east in search of the economic opportunities and to escape the harsh winters.

My Grandfather Drove His Family From Back East In The 1930's To Find The California Dream
My Grandfather Was a Doctor And Drove His Family West From St Louis In The 1930’s To Find The California Dream

California was perceived as a place of new beginnings, where great wealth could reward hard work and good luck.  It was seen as a the land of opportunity and good fortune with streets paved in gold.  Many arrived with dreams of becoming a film star or making it rich.

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My Other Grandfather Directed Silent Movies in the 1920’s and talkies in the 1930’s.  He Is the One Smoking the Pipe, Actor Harold Lloyd is on the Far Right

As climate change increases the intensity of the hot dry summers, fire season and mud slides are becoming more common and sometimes seem to merge together… never a dull moment.

 

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Once it does rain the hills can briefly turn a vivid green (See California Green Herebut most of time they remain brown and crisp.

Air quality remains a serious problem particularly in the Los Angeles basin.  Stricter regulations have helped to control it or so they say…. more people means more smog.

The agricultural diversity of the Oxnard Plains, and the smaller valleys between Ventura and Santa Maria are incredible.  Most anything can be grown in the rich alluvial soils that in some places is over 30 ft. deep.

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Strawberry Fields Forever
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Strawberry Harvest on the Oxnard Plain
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Migrant Workers Are Very Important To The Harvest

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We have been camped in my mom’s wonderful backyard for a few weeks now.  We have been helping with the details of her recovery from a recent surgry.  She is doing great at almost 95 and is now home again!

During our free time we love to load the big dogs into the Cabose and wander the local back roads.

Drives through Santa Monica National Park and the Los Padres National Forest are great getaways and during the week you generally have the roads to yourself .

This is great fun for us Alaskans as we have very few backroads, we barely have major roads.  In California it seems there are backroads everywhere and every backroad is paved.

A Typical California Backroad
A Typical California Backroad

Occasionally we will drive the 15 miles to the coast and camp along the Rincon near Faria Beach.  The campsites are situated along the original Hwy 1 and are literally 30 ft. from the surf.

The camping can be a little noisy with traffic on one side and the pounding surf on the other but the sunsets can be outstanding.

Sunset Along The Rincon
Sunset Along The Rincon
The Rincon
A Rincon Campsite
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Surfs Up
Backroad Near Lompoc
Backroad Near Lompoc
The Rincon
Low Tide At The Rincon Near Faria Beach

The Southern California Coast is truly a beautiful portion of our country.

I was born in LA and lived in SoCal before heading north to Alaska.  I will never forget the 1960’s and 70’s as the great years before major growth happened in Ventura county.

Whats changes everything is the number of inhabitants.  It has now reached a saturation point where living here again would be very unlikely for us.

But with all that said California is still a great place to visit, just don’t plan to go anywhere during the rush hours or on the weekends.

Be sure to watch our latest video ” Exploring California’s Southern Coast”

 

After Thanksgiving we plan to hit the road again to an unknown and hopefully remote destination… Keep you posted!

17 thoughts on “Exploring California’s Southern Coast

  1. Wonderful video and post. We love camping at Rincon so those pictures brought back lovely memories. Shunpiking the back roads is our passion. It is the best way to see the country. Glad you mother is on the mend.

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  2. Hi Tim and Denise – Great pictures as usual and a wonderful video! Looks like I have been to several of those places along the beach. Joyce and I will be in El Dorado Hills with the grandkids and the new house from 23 Nov and 28 Nov 2016. Are you guys going to be at Buses by Bridge at Lake Havasu this year? Yes, Jim and I will be there for sure and we hope to see you there. Tomorrow Joyce and I are going out with some friends to celebrate our 49th Anniversary. Gert

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  3. Tim and Denise, I love reading about your adventures. I’m happy to hear Tim’s mother is doing so much better. Between your descriptions and photos, the back roads and beaches look pretty inviting! Take good care you two. Have a great Thanksgiving!

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  4. Being southern california born and raised, and now a permanent fixture on the central coast, I sometimes take for granted all those picturesque country roads we have in our state. Your wonderful photos remind me that those backroads always magnify the natural beauty that surrounds us, and can be a peaceful and tranquil getaway. Almost back to the Central Coast and also planning a short getaway after the holiday crowds disperse. Look forward to connecting with you guys soon!

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    1. Thanks for the very kind words. We love your backroads and the ability to easily escape humanity. Glad you had a good shake down cruise with your new rig. We remain very busy here at mom’s but will let you know when we depart and the direction we decide to head, no ideas at this point.

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