#139l Muholland Highway CA

Fleeter Log #139l
Mulholland Hwy

Day 19 - Sunday
May 3, 2009
174 miles

Palmdale, CA to Ojai, CA
Interactive Spotwalla map

The sun kissed them and I ate them. I try to honor the lands I ride through by experiencing what is unique to the area. Today, I enjoy oranges grown in the homelands of Sunkist.

I leave Palmdale and skim past the northside of Los Angeles through Santa Clarita and catch California Highway 126 to Fillmore. During the “orange rush” of 1897, the Fillmore Citrus Fruit Association was formed and joined the Southern California Fruit Exchange. This association of local growers changed its name to California Fruit Growers Exchange in 1905. In 1908 the Exchange adopted the word "Sunkist" as its trademark and eventually became Sunkist Growers Exchange in 1952.

Today I stop at Joe's Fruit Stand to support the local growers.
(click on any photo to enlarge)

Oranges are the obvious fruit pick of the day. I have plenty to choose from. When I pull back onto the highway, the GS is loaded with enough oranges to keep my vitamin C levels up for the next several days.

These trees don't seem to have been grown for their shade producing capabilities. They seem like they are trying to stretch high enough to tickle a passing cloud.

Fruit groves in Ventura County California are common sights.

Time to get another ink stamp for my National Park Service (NPS) stamp collection. I find the visitor center for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in Thousand Oaks off US101.

Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger than moonshine
You're gonna go I know . . .

The day absolutely DID surround the daylight as I rode down the Ventura Highway with the song by America repeating in my helmet. I didn't stay on US101 long before I came to my exit for Kanan Road (N9). I refuel at $2.50 a gallon for regular at the corner then head off, keeping my eyes peeled for a famous rock store that should be between here and the Pacific Ocean somewhere. Normally when I say that, the search is left wide open since I live near the Atlantic Ocean. But today, less than 10 miles south from where I pumped gas the Pacific Ocean is caressing the beaches of Malibu with its white capped waves. Of course, there is no straight route through Decker Canyon and over the Santa Monica Mountains. It will take me closer to 20 miles before I lay eyes on the blue water of the Pacific.

Less than 5 miles away from US101, Kanan Road takes a right, but I stay left onto Mulholland Highway. I chose to go left because I had never heard of Kanan Road; however, I've heard many references to Mulholland over the years. My instinct didn't fail me. About half a mile and on the left I see a large swarm of motorcycles and somewhere hidden behind them I see a structure made of rock. And, written right above the doorway is ROCK STORE. Sometimes it's just too easy. I ride about 4,000 miles across the country and right up to the ROCK STORE as if I knew exactly where I was going. No, I didn't ask GPS Jill for help. Didn't even occur to me to ask if she had ever heard of the ROCK STORE or knew where it was located. I've heard Jay Leno talk about hanging out here enough and knew that it was located in the canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains just up the coast from LA. How hard could it be to find?

There it is . . . THE ROCK STORE. Being Sunday, it's very crowded and since crowds aren't my thing, I snap a couple pictures and move on, never leaving the saddle.
(click on any photo to enlarge)

A few more twists of Mulholland later, I see a primitive facility and decide to make use of it. I even use the shady spot to call a friend (hi Shonah) in Texas while I have a snack with a swig of Gatorade and then down a bottle of water. The temperature has made it up to 76 degrees here in the early afternoon -- not really hot, but feels a bit warm to me after enjoying my ride yesterday in the 50s-60s.

I finish my ride through the canyons to the Pacific on the Mulholland Highway.

The Mulholland Highway takes me right to the Pacific Coast Highway (CA1).

North of Malibu on CA1 is another biker hangout. I don't even stop for a picture this time. I just shoot this over my shoulder as I ride past.

Pacific Coast Highway - PCH (CA1) is designated as an All-American Road. Here's the view heading north toward Oxnard, California.

There's no question how this byway made it to the All American Road list. It will stay on my list -- there is much more of it yet to ride.

North of Oxnard is Ventura, California. Between the two, is another ink stamp location. Off the coast near this marina are the Channel Islands -- no, not the ones off the French Coast of Normandy.

These Channel Islands are often compared to the Galapagos Islands of South America because they are also home to some life forms that are known no where else on Earth. The chain of isolated islands is the site of the discovery of the earliest paleontological evidence of humans in North America and are now known to have been settled by maritime Paleoindian people at least 13,000 years ago. Five of the eight islands are under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.

Channel Islands National Park visitor center is located just south of US101 in Ventura, California.
It's after 5pm by the time I finish plodding about the sandy beach near the visitor center. I realize that I still haven't had much too eat today, but only have about 25 miles left to get to my stop.

In Oak View, I find the nice little pasta place, Boccalli's, that was recommended to me by one of the Center's Park Rangers. I stop for a filling meal as I pass through on my way to Ojai.

Ojai means "Valley of the Moon" and called such by the early Chumash Indians that were early inhabitants of the valley. But then came western development. The town was layed out and developed in 1874. The developer named the place Nordhoff in honor of the writer Charles Nordhoff. But then came The War and the anti-German sentiments leading up to The War. The name was just too German sounding. So the name was changed back to Ojai in 1917.

The bell tower stands proud along the main thoroughfare and is an example of the Spanish style architecture that is common in the small town of Ojai.

I ride up and down the main street of Ojai scoping out my lodging options for the night. This isn't a cheap place to stay, but I have my reasons for being here. Moving on down the road tonight in search of less expensive quarters isn't an option. I settle on the Ojai Rancho Inn. It's reasonable ($79+ taxes) considering the going rates locally. I settle-in to what I discover to be a wonderful little place with old knotty pine, real wood paneling and even a flat panel HDTV hanging on the wall. I was in heaven! Splendid end to a splendid day!
Tomorrow: Time to do something about that stock GS seat!
I might decide to do some riding on this motorcycle, so I need a comfy place for my bumbum.

Copyright 2009 Fleeter Logs

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