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  1. #1

    Default California cruising-early November 07

    Gents and Ladies-
    As previously noted, I'm planning a XC roadtrip, mostly of the "speed" variety, at the end of October/early November. That'll be from North Carolina to Port Hueneme, CA, near Oxnard. Great suggestions and opinions were expressed as to a side trip to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Now I'm ready to look at a little time to spend in CA, as other aspects of this trip have now been booked and scheduled.

    On Monday, Nov 5, I'll travel from Port Hueneme up to the Santa Cruz area. I'll likely have some business to tend to before departing so would estimate a 10am departure. Arrival time up at Santa Cruz not terribly important but would like to get in by, say, 7-8pm. As of now, I'm figuring on running up US 101 and from there the most direct way into Corralitos, CA, my destination for the night (visit my younger sister + her family). The geologist in me still remembers many photos of earthquake scars and offset sidewalks and buildings in the Hollister, CA area. Being able to see something like that in person would be terrific. Are there any "Earthquake/San Andreas Fault" museums/sights to see?

    On Thursday, Nov 8, the wife will have flown in and we'll be headed back to Port Hueneme to attend a battalion luncheon on the 9th and to return our son's truck to him. We will have overnighted that Wed night in Belmont, CA, between San Francisco and San Jose. We'd like a glimpse of the Pacific Coast Highway. It appears we'd be wise to run down to Monterey as quickly as we can and see if we can make it down to San Luis Obispo area on the PCH. We're fairly early risers and rollers, so I think we could cover the approx 90 miles from Belmont to Monterey and get on the PCH by, say, 8:30-9:00am. We'd probably like a nice lunch stop but would likely not be interested in longer stops or side trips such as the Hearst Castle. We prefer the coastal scenery to architecture, not that there's anything wrong with the latter. If we get down to the SLO area, it appears we'll need to run US 101 on down to Port Hueneme on Friday morning in order to get to the luncheon by noon, but if it's possible to do that segment on the PCH, more better for us. Again, early risers and rollers.

    So, thoughts as to the logic here, guidebook recommendations (I'm big on map books/brochures and have just purchased and received the DeLorme Central and Southern CA Atlas/Gazetteer), and recommendations for stops between Monterey and SLO, including overnight around SLO, are all of interest.

    Thanks much!

    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-01-2007 at 08:43 AM. Reason: Added link to cross-country planning thread

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Details

    Your timing and distances all look good, so let's get right to the heart of the matter. If you want a general guide to the roadside geology of California, including the San Andreas, there is no better series available than the Roadside Geology" series. Unfortunately (and amazingly!) there is no volume for southern California. The next best options are:"Geology Underfoot" or since you are a geologist and can read them, get the appropriate maps from the California Geological Survey.

    I tend not to recommend specific restaurants and accommodations, since they're such a matter of personal taste, and I find searching out something that suits me and my mood at the moment to be a most enjoyable part of the adventure of travel, but a great place to eat on the Big Sur, both for the food and views, is Nepenthe.


  3. Default Lack of good fault books

    There are a couple of guides to parts of the San Andreas fault -- but nothing specific that I've seen as a musuem or end-to-end guidebook. I've actually taken a couple of road trips which followed the fault for up to a couple of hundred miles. In my experience the most visible sections are in the southern/ central area.

    If you ever get the bug to do this, there's a couple of country roads which pretty much follow the fault from Hollister down through Parkfield and on down to about Taft in the lower valley. The Carrizzo Plain National Monument has some noted fault features in its landscape, and the National Monument has noted these in its guides. It's not a fast route -- you'll typically be on 2 lane (one each way) country roads which aren't well traveled, but twist and turn a bit, and you may end up behind farm equipment moving from one field to the next. But definitely a part of California you won't see often.

    But, there isn't really a guide or musuem for this that I know of.

  4. #4

    Default Thanks much

    AZBuck and Larrison-

    Yep, the Roadside Geology series was in my mind already. I've already found some cheap used copies of the AZ and NM books on Amazon and will be ordering this week, and I assumed there's one for CA, so am surprised and disappointed to find there is not one published.

    Carrizzo Plain! I believe that's one of the locations with many airphotos of fault offset/displacement in my old structural geology textbook! Way to jog a 33 years ago memory, Larrison! Come to think of it, I think I've got my old structure textbook packed away in the attic. I need to unearth that thing and take it along. Oh, and I'm ALL about "the places one doesn't see often". Prefer them greatly, actually.

    Thanks much.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default I prefer Benchmark maps in the west

    Quote Originally Posted by Foy View Post
    guidebook recommendations (I'm big on map books/brochures and have just purchased and received the DeLorme Central and Southern CA Atlas/Gazetteer), and recommendations for stops between Monterey and SLO, including overnight around SLO, are all of interest.
    For western states, I much prefer the Benchmark series over the DeLorme products. DeLorme is excellent in Maine and other east-coast states. Here are our map recommendations.

    One of the very best guidebooks to the Coastal route is this one.

    One of the must-stop places along the coast is the waterfall that falls into the Pacific Ocean.


  6. #6

    Default Great, Mark, and thanks

    I just finished ordering the Benchmark, Lonley Planet, Geology Underfoot, and the aforementioned AZ and NM Roadside Geology books.

    I'd have probably wanted the DeLorme, too, since the scale is rather more favorable and since I'm just very accustomed to using them. Nice to see the range of Benchmark books, though, as I'll get more before I go to Montana again.

    As is often the case with newbies to a particular forum, if I'd have done my homework/research properly, I'd have found the Benchmark recommendations, etc, w/ out having to bug anybody about it.

    Oh, and now there is a listing for Roadside Geology for Northern California. Still no Sou Cal.

    So, I'll realign my trip north from Port Hueneme to Corralitos to pass through Carizzo Plain. It looks tempting to go over the Coast Range there above Ventura/Oxnard via CA 33, but DeLorme shows that being VERY twisty. Probably favor running east to I-5, through Grapevine, and on up to a point just W of Bakersfield, then W over the Temblor Range on CA 58 and into Carizzo Plain, thence NW through that valley on up towards Hollister and on to my final destination that day, Corralitos.

    Thanks for the great advice and pointers, gents and ladies.


  7. Default Let me add one more interesting "geology" stop..

    Let me add one more stop that shouldn't be too far out of the way..

    It's not well known, but before the 30's the largest production of oil in the US was from California. The western side of the Kern County (just east of the Carrizzo Plain) was a big production area -- with huge gushers, lakes of oil, and lots of wildcatting activitiy. Today, the Kern County area still has something like 38,000 producing wells.

    There's a museum in Taft, California dedicated to the area, and set up as an old oil camp from the 20's or 30's complete with antique derricks, drills, boom pumps and etc. The musuem's web site is here

    If you're into geology, its kind of funky....

  8. #8

    Default More good stuff

    Yep, I was aware of two National Oil Reserves being over that way. I suppose those two and the infamous Teapot Dome in Wyoming were among the first US Gov't oil reserves.

    And I do like funky, out of the ordinary, and out of the way museums.

    Thanks again,


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default There is a classic in Culver City....

    Quote Originally Posted by Foy View Post
    And I do like funky, out of the ordinary, and out of the way museums.
    Well, here is a museum, unlike any you may have visited in the past....


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Woah

    Cool museum, Mark. That's the kind of thing I love to found out on the road.

    (making mental note for next time I'm in that general vicinity).


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