Thursday, June 2, 2011

DAY 200: Oakbrook Regional Park & Chumash Museum

Chumash Village

DAY 200: Oakbrook Regional Park & Chumash Museum
Date: Thursday June 2, 2011
Miles: 2.0
Elevation Gain: 75 Feet
Time: 45 minutes
Difficulty: Too Easy
Reward: Thank you to the Chumash Indians for the protection of this beautiful landscape
Description: I found protected land, trails and a museum
Where: Thousand Oaks, CA
Directions:From the 101 Freeway in Thousand Oaks, exit onto the 23 North.  Two exits up, exit on Avenida de los Arboles and turn right (East).  Drive about 2 miles to the end and turn right on Westlake Blvd.  Make an immediate left on Lang Ranch Parkway and then look for this sign:

I wasn't sure where I was going to celebrate day #200 but then I remembered that last weekend I saw the brown park sign to exit Avenida de los Arboles.  Not sure what to expect, I took a chance.  I parked my car on the street and walked across the large beautiful green field to the gully.  I thought about finding my way down it but then thought smarter of it.  I wrapped the vast field and was impressed that there was deep green grass comparable to my memories of Charlotte, North Carolina...

 From the playground, I wonder if I can climb back there?

Well, maybe I already climbed that hill.  I've done so much that from a distance it all begins to merge.  That said, I remember exactly what I see when I am up close and personal with it.  I figured that my short stride was over for the day but then I walked across the street and noticed the sign that you see in the first picture.  A museum, here, in the neighborhood???

There was an open driveway with a metal gate.  There were only two cars parked inside the lot.  I encountered a sign: Museum/Trail.  I went the direction along the trail.  The small building (the museum) looked closed but I couldn't be sure...

 Another fireplace, looks like I have a house to build...

The trail was shaded by old oak trees.  I had to swiftly run through here because I had plans to meet my wife and kids at CPK at 5:30.  The trail was very simple with slight incline and the attractions along the way became more fascinating.  As seen on the blog title picture, I reached the Chumash Village.  The trail continued further but I had no time.  It looked like it went on a ways and you bet I will return.  Instead, I took a loop trail back to the driveway and called it a day.

This was truly a reward experience.  I nearly wish that I would have grown up in California to study the Chumash Indians.  No matter where you go along the coast from Ventura up to Santa Barbara and beyond, you will encounter their trails & heritage.  I remember once stopping at the 101 rest area in Gaviotta just before the tunnel reading some history of this group that thrived in this area for thousands of years.  They built canoes and traveled back and forth from the Channel Islands.

Living in Ventura County is a real treat.  Where Catalina Island has been developed for tourism, the Channel Islands remain 99.9% natural.  Wild buffalo, hiking trails, no electricity and camping.  This is my kind of place, yet I haven't been.  Oh, but I will...  200 Days Complete!  

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