This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Time traveling in Calabasas, California


If you've ever wondered what Southern California looked like before just about every square inch of it was covered with freeways and doughnut shops, all you have to do is to go to Calabasas. But there is a trick to it - if you wind up hanging out with the Kardashians, or going to the mall, I can understand. You may even need to go buy yourself a new Lamborghini. But once you're done doing that, please travel along with me to the end of Las Virgenes Canyon.

Las Virgenes Canyon, by the way, is Malibu Canyon south of the freeway. So, again, if you need to go to the beach, or to Pepperdine, I'll wait. Los Virgenes is the other way. It's a road less traveled, because, well, it goes nowhere.

Like so many places that I've visited over the years, doing what I call history adventuring, it puzzles a lot of people, because there's nothing there. There's no Starbucks, no gift shop. There is a hiking trail, but that's really not the point. And if you need to get in your cardio workout, I guess I'll understand. But I prefer to time travel.

Looking out at the Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, you can see what the Spanish explorers saw in the 16th Century. And you can hear the quiet. Don't bother with your cell phone, there's no reception.

It's an area of Live Oak trees and tall weeds (which is as much as I know about the native plants). There, on your left as you enter, is the tree that I call the Tree of Life. I will go there, and touch it. Sometimes I will just sit there, for a very long time. Yes, I know that there is nothing there, and that's the point.