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Saturday
Mar282015

Springtime Beauty at Cheeseboro and Palo Comado Canyons in Agoura Hills

Cheeseboro Canyon Trail (CCT) is a 4.6 mile main artery into Cheeseboro Canyon with long flat sections surrounded by ancient oaks and flowing grasslands. Springtime is a great time to visit for a long walk the family, run with your training partners or cycling adventure with your buddies.

Take CCT past Sulphur Springs (which unfortunately due to the drought there is currently no springs as well as not sulphur smell) to the Shepherds' Flat area.

Once you reach Shepherds' Flat, you can take the Sheep Corral Trail north where it joins up with the Palo Comado Trail up to China Flat. Springtime colors abound after the winter rains.  Learn more about the trails of Cheeseboro and Palo Comado Canyons at THIS LINK.

Cheeseboro Canyon Trail north of Sulphur Springs

Vintage items in the China Flat area

DOZENS OF TRAILS IN AND AROUND VENTURA COUNTY

Saturday
Mar282015

Hike to the Rock Pool at Malibu Creek State Park in Agoura Hills

One of the most popular destinations in Malibu Creek State Park is the Rock Pool, a picturesque place that is easily accessible for all ages.

As seen in the photo above, it can be stunning to see after solid rains but can also dry up. One fun way to get to the Rock Pool is via the Grassland Trail, accessible on Mulholland Highway just west of Las Virgenes Road, where street parking is available.

Take the Grasslands trail, with moderate hills, .7 miles to the Crags Road main fire road/trail in Malibu Creek State Park, and turn right. Alternatively, you can park in the Park's lower parking lot, pay $12 for a bit more secure parking, and take the main trail into the park.

The scenery along the Grasslands Trail can be quite beautiful, particularly after the rainy season.

Along the main road and you'll hike along the creek and take in iconic views.

Soon you'll see the sign where you can see the Visitor Center is on the left. That's the direction you'll be taking to get to the Rock Pool. Veering to the right gets you to another extremely popular site at the Park, the old M*A*S*H television series set.

You'll see a bridge over the creek (seen below after the winter rains) that takes you to the Visitor Center (open weekends noon to 4pm). The Rock Pool is the trail on the right (

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Friday
Mar272015

Car and Motorcycle Clubs in Ventura County

Ventura County covers over 2,200 square miles, including 1,854 miles of land. Highways in Ventura include State Routes 1, 23, 33, 118, 126 and 125 and U.S. Highway 101. That's a lot of miles to cover and we love our cars...as evidenced by these local car and motorcycle clubs in and around Ventura County!

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Thursday
Mar262015

Aviation Museum of Santa Paula is Open to the Public the First Sunday of Each Month

The Santa Paula Airport was dedicated in August 1930. Today it is a non-towered facility with nearly 300 aircraft, handling approximately 97,000 arrivals/departures a year. Much of the original 1930’s-era facilities still exist and are used today, giving the airport a very authentic representation of the Golden Age of Aviation.

Located at the Santa Paula Airport, the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula is open the first Sunday of each month, with a array of hangars open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Photo taken inside the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula

Each of the privately owned hangars houses a variety of vintage aircraft and collections of various types, as well as other memorabilia, such as antique radios, model aircraft and race cars. Some hangars celebrate highlights of fascinating aviation careers, while others contain antique aircraft undergoing the process of restoration. Hangar owners or docents are available to answer questions. 

You've got to take the time to stop by. It is fun, low key and quite interesting. The hangars are directly adjacent to the airfield, so you are guaranteed to see aircraft taking and landing up close. The range of items on display at the various hangars is quite diverse. In fact, one of the most extensive, well organized collections of vintage radios I've ever seen is located in one of the hangars.

A look at just a few of the vintage radios currently on display in one hangar.Obviously an aviation aficionado in this hangar!

The participating hangars are fairly well spread out at the 51 acre airport but if you're not up for walking, there's a complimentary tram that will take you around. These are some very nice people who have obvious passion for what they do and enjoy sharing it with the general public. I struck up several conversations with hangar owners and they were full of great stories and information.

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Wednesday
Mar252015

Historical and Cultural Landmark Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village in Simi Valley

Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village in Simi Valley is a California Historical Landmark, Ventura County Cultural Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bottle Village is a .3 acre lot located at 4595 Cochran Street that contains shrines, walkways, sculptures and buildings from recycled items and discards from local landfills. All of these structures were built by hand over a 25 year old period by Tressa "Grandma" Prisbrey, beginning at age 60 in 1956 until 1981. Thirteen buildings and 22 sculptures in total.

A non-profit organization, Preserve Bottle Village (PBV), was formed in 1979. The 1994 Northridge Earthquake caused extensive damage to the Bottle Village site. PBV has embarked on a campaign to develop a master plan for the restoration of significant site components. Learn how you can help at www.bottlevillage.com and the Bottle Village Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BottleVillage.

Grandma Prisbrey sold the property in 1972 to care for an ailing son,

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Wednesday
Mar252015

Hike to the Teepee, Paradise Falls and Indian Cave at Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks

One hiking experience that everyone in the Conejo Valley and neighboring areas has to experience is Wildwood Park. With 14 trails covering 17 miles in the nearly 1,800 acre park managed by the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency, there is plenty to see and do in Wildwood Park.

One particularly fun and fairly easy family hike at Wildwood takes you from the main parking lot at the west end of Avenida de los Arboles to the Teepee, Paradise Falls and Indian Cave. Take the Mesa Trail about a 3rd of a mile until you see the sign below, then take a left.

Another third of a mile and you're at the teepee, where you'll find another clearly marked sign pointing you in the direction of Paradise Falls.

 

Hike down some switchbacks and stairs and you'll see be at the beautiful Paradise Falls. Always a fun place to take the kids, though we're warned not to go into the water.

But it is sure popular and enjoyable to sit back and enjoy this year-round waterfall that is so nicely hidden yet so close to hustle and bustle of suburban Thousand Oaks.

The Indian Cave is roughly half a mile east of Paradise Falls and can be access from the trail directly above the Falls or by hiking back up to the teepee and going the other direction.

Trail adjacent to Paradise Falls that takes you towards the Indian Cave

A quarter of a mile or so and you'll see the sign below.

Here's the sign indicating you are near the Indian Cave in Wildwood Park

Another 100 yards or so and you've reached the staircase that will take you up to the Indian Cave.

Large enough to actually hang out in, though the last time we walked in there were signs of rodents.

You can literally climb through the cave to an exit at the top and hike your way up to a connector trail that will lead you back towards the parking lot. My kids love this and so do I!

Monday
Mar232015

Easter Egg Hunts and Other Fun Easter Activities Around Ventura County

Here at Conejo Valley Guide we have a special place in our heart for Easter fun! The bunnies of the Conejo Valley and surrounding Ventura County areas are planning ahead to make this Easter memorable.

We have the Germans to thank for the Easter Bunny concept, which came about in the 1500s. Hares and bunnies are signs of fertility and eggs signify rebirth. The Germans brought Easter traditions to America and it wasn't until after the Civil War that Easter became widely celebrated. Now we celebrate by gorging ourselves on candy!

Easter Sunday 2015 is April 5th! Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern hemisphere's vernal equinox. As a result, Easter Sunday ranges from March 22nd to April 25th


Upcoming Easter season events and activities in and around Ventura County (list will be updated regularly; dates/time subject to change, so check with event organizers to be sure):

Fri, March 27th: City of Malibu Annual Easter Hoppening Event

Fri, March 27th: Calabasas Spring EGGstreme Event

Fri, March 27th: Teen Glow-in-the-Dark Egg Hunt at Malibu Bluffs Park

Sat, March 28th: Conejo Springfest Event in Thousand Oaks

Sat, March 28th: Springtime at the Adobe at Leonis Adobe in Calabasas

Sat, March 28th: Easter Fun at The Collection at RiverPark

Sat, March 28th: Breakfast with the Bunny at Reyes Adobe in Agoura Hills

Sat, March 28th: Cottontail Day at Ventura Harbor Village

March 28-29: Annual Spring Spectacular at America's Teaching Zoo in Moorpark

Wed April 1st: Easter Egg-stravaganza at The Lakes at Thousand Oaks (5-7pm)

April 3rd, 4th, 5th: Big Bunny's Spring Fling at the LA Zoo

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Sunday
Mar222015

The Ventura County Sheriff's Office Provides Useful Crime Maps Online

The Ventura County Sheriff's Office services the County of Ventura and the five contract cities of Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, and Thousand Oaks, as well as unincorporated areas of Ventura County. There is a wealth of information on the VC Sheriff's website at www.vcsd.org, including the phone numbers for patrol stations.

One tool on the VC Sheriff website that I find to be quite useful is the Crime Maps. Crime maps provide approximate locations of arrests, calls for service and crimes/incidents by jurisdiction, in five-day increments going back up to 35 days.

Example Crime Map from www.vcsd.org website

As you can see from the example above, each incident is highlighted with a marker that shows, when you click it, the date and a brief description of the incident. Using the "zoom in" feature allows you to see actual street names on the map...however, as the VCSD disclaims, these represent approximate locations; actual street addresses are not included in the descriptions.

That said, I was curious one night when I passed a patrol car and sheriff's investigation van parked at a house nearby. The Crime Map sho

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Tuesday
Mar172015

Areas in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area Allowing Dogs on Leash

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is the largest urban national park in the United States at over 150,000 acres, extending from the Hollywood Bowl on the east to Point Mugu at its western end; including the beaches of Santa Monica and Malibu as well as the canyons and peaks extending north to Simi Valley.

Dogs are allowed in a number of areas within the Santa Monica Mountains, as long as they are on leashes that are no more than 6 feet in length. Here is a listing of areas where dogs are allowed:

National Park Service: Arroyo Sequit, Castro Crest, Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons, Circle X Ranch, Deer Creek Canyon, Paramount Ranch, Peter Strauss Ranch, Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa, Rocky Oaks, Solstice Canyon and Zuma/Trancas Canyons

Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy: Calabasas Peak, Dixie Canyon, Escondido Canyon, Franklin Canyon, Fryman Canyon, Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park, Red Rock Canyon Park, San Vicente Mountain Park, Temescal Gateway Park, Wilacre Park

City of Malibu: Charmless Natural Area, Malibu Bluffs

California State Parks: Pets are not allowed on backcountry trails of Topanga, Malibu Creek, Leo Carrillo and Point Mugu State Parks.

Dogs on leash are allowed at County Line Beach, Leo Carrillo State Park (on beach and campground only, except between towers 1 and 3), Point Mugu State Park (on beach and campground only in Sycamore Cove and Thornhill Broome Beach), Will Rogers State Historic Park (day-use areas and loop road only)

L.A. City Recreation and Park District: Coldwater Canyon Park, Laurel Canyon Park, Runyon Canyon Park, Temescal Canyon Park

While you're out on the trails with your pooch, remember to pick up after your dog and bring plenty of water and food for you and Fido.

For more information, visit the Anthony C. Beilenson Interagency Visitor Center in Calabasas or www.nps.gov/samo.

Tuesday
Mar172015

The Adamson House in Malibu is Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

The Adamson House at 23200 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu is a National Historic Site and a registered California landmark. The house and grounds share one of the most beautiful beach locations in Southern California, with a view of the Malibu Lagoon, Malibu Beach and the Malibu Pier. In addition to its world-famous Malibu Tile, the house contains hand-carved teakwood doors, hand-painted murals, molded ceilings, hand-wrought filagree ironwork and lead-framed bottle glass windows.

The house was built in 1930 for Rhoda Rindge Adamson and Merritt Huntley Adamson, originally as a summer cottage and in 1936 as the family's primary residence. It is located on the 13,315 acre Malibu Rancho that was purchased by Rhoda's parents, Frederick and May K. Rindge, in 1892.  Mr. Rindge passed away in 1905 and left the ranch to his wife, who later gave the parcel to the Adamsons.

USC graduate Merritt Adamson met Rhoda Rindge while he was employed as foreman of the Rindge Ranch. The couple married in 1915 and in 1916 Merritt founded Adohr Farms in the San Fernando Valley, named after his wife's first name spelled backwards.

Rhoda inherited the property after Merritt's death in 1949 and she lived there until her passing in 1962. The land was later purchased by the State of California under eminent domain laws to create beach parking, but local groups and preservationists fought to preserve the property and succeeded. The house was restored and the garage was converted into the Malibu Lagoon Museum and they opened to the public in 1983.

Flooring in the backside of the house

The Adamson House Tour is a guided tour through the house which contains its original furnishings and is decorated with the renowned Malibu Potteries tile. Trained volunteer docents relate the history of the house, details of its architecture and furnishings, and the history of the family that lived in and created this distinctive home. Admission (as of February 2015) is $7 for ages 17 and up, $2 ages 6 to 16 and under 6 is free. Cash only. More information at www.adamsonhouse.org or call 310.456.8432.

Monday
Mar162015

First 5 Ventura County Invests in the Future of Young Children

Because the first 5 years impact a lifetime, First 5 Ventura County is making sound investments in the future of children. Early brain research tells us that ages 0-5 are critical years for developing lifelong social, emotional and learning skills. By working with parents, school districts, community leaders, social service and healthcare agencies, First 5 Ventura County helps to design and fund a network of essential services for young children and their families.

Proposition 10, the California Children and Families Act, was approved by voters in 1998, giving rise to First 5. Through a 50 cent tax on tobacco, First 5 develops locally designed systems of support for children 0-5 and their families in 58 counties across the state.

By building an integrated network of early childhood development services, and 11 model Neighborhoods for Learning (NfL), First 5 Ventura County enhances the emotional, physical and intellectual foundation for every child during the years when a majority of all learning and behavior development takes place. First 5 works to help children enter school healthy, supported, prepared to learn and ready to greet their full potential.

Local NfL locations in Ventura County are in Thousand Oaks, Moorpark/Simi Valley, Oak Park, Oxnard (3), Ojai, Camarillo, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula and Ventura.

Programs provided by local area NfLs include family education and training, preschool programs, infants and pre-K programs, health services, enrichment programs, community events and more.

To learn more about First 5 Ventura County, visit www.first5ventura.org.

Monday
Mar162015

Over 140 Summer Camps and Programs In and Around Ventura County

Looking for a summer camp within range of Ventura County? Here's a list of over 140 summer day camps and residential camps and programs in the area. Actually, there are hundreds and hundreds of individual camps available. We've attempted to categorize the camps into 3 main groups; Traditional/Learning, Sports and Music/Arts, though many camps cover numerous fun activities all in one.

Know of more? Submit them here!

No doubt there will be some typos/errors on this list, so let us know if you find one.

Traditional Day/Overnight/Learning/Misc Camps

  • Camp Helping Hands service/learning camp at CLU and CSUCI. Make a difference and have fun at it. July/Aug, ages 6-14,  www.camphelpinghands.com or 805.244.5071
  • Camp Keystone Summer Day Camps in Agoura Hills for ages 3 to 14 (4 different camps) www.campkeystone.com or 818.889.2224
  • Camp Kinneret Summer Day Camp in Agoura Hills campkinneret.com 818.706.8255
  • Camp Summertime at Calamigos Ranch in Agoura/Malibu for ages 4 to 14, June to August www.campsummertime.com 818.706.7335

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Sunday
Mar152015

Cloud "Hyperlapse" at the Reagan Library


Here's an interesting Cloud "hyperlapse" taken up on the hill at the Reagan Library recently. Speaking of the Reagan Library, there is a "Kids are Free" deal there though April 19, 2015. All kids aged 17 and under will be free during this time frame. Regularly priced $6 - $9 per person. This is a great opportunity to see the museum, which currently is hosting the Amazing Automobiles: The Ultimate Car Exhibit through May 1st.

Friday
Mar132015

The Old "Agoura" Sign on Agoura Road

I was running (literally running) around Agoura, in the vicinity of Agoura Road west of Chesebro Road, when I looked up and saw this distinctly vintage "Agoura" sign displayed at the corner of Agoura and Lewis Roads. While I've driven that stretch of Agoura Road hundreds of times over the years, for whatever reason I never really noticed this interesting sign.

I wondered how long this sign has been there. City of Agoura Historian Cim Castellon was able to help put some of the puzzle together by contacting Brian Rooney of R7 Media, who provided the image below.

This photo shows two women posing for the camera with the Agoura sign and Agoura Market and Gas Station, owned by Harold Neale, in the background.

Photo Credit: R7 Media (www.r7media.com)

On the east side of Lewis Road road is the old Agoura Post Office at 28249 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills. Brian thinks the Agoura sign was put up about the time the post office opened.

The sign is located adjacent to what is now Center Stage Music, in a building that originally was Fitzgerald's Market in the 1920s and later Agoura Market in the 1940s.

For more local history, be sure to stop by the Reyes Adobe Historical Site, the first home built in Agoura Hills back in 1850.

Thursday
Mar122015

Join a Local Ventura County Moms Club

If you're looking for local Ventura County groups to meet up with other moms for playgroups, activities and socializing, look no further than this list (includes only organizations with websites...Contact Us for additions).

(Last update January 2015...subject to change.)

Calvary Community Church MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)

Camarillo Moms Club

Conejo Families Meetup Group

Conejo Valley Homeschoolers


Conejo Valley Mothers of Multiples

MOMS Club of Calabasas

MOMS Club of Camarillo - East

MOMS Club of Camarillo - West


MOMS Club of Newbury Park

MOMS Club of Simi Valley - East

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