A couple of months ago I mentioned in passing about our visit to Vasquez Rocks, up the road near Santa Clarita. We thought it would be nice to spend more time there, so we took a ride up the other day.
The rocks are a magnificent, ridge formation that was created about 25 million years ago presumably by a violent earthquake along the San Andreas Fault that squeezed the rocks upward at a 45-degree angle toward the sky. The area was first occupied by ancestors of the Chumash who arrived around 450 AD and were responsible for the petroglyphs of volcanoes, suns, people, lizards and other creatures found in these rocks. Vasquez Rocks is named after notorious bandit Tiburcio Vasquz who used the rocky region to elude capture from California law enforcement in the late 1800’s.
The pinnacle of the experience was seeing the huge, slanted, jagged rock that dominates the center of the park. Though quite steep, many people climb it, among them Jonathan. I stayed below due to inadequate footwear and a desire to keep concussions to a minimum in my life. There is plenty to see down there anyway on the winding paths through prickly cacti and boulders.
Since 1928, nearly two hundred other film and television productions have been shot at Vasquez Rocks, including the famous 1931 Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, Army of Darkness, Star Trek Generations and many others. My Dinner with Andre, however, was NOT filmed there.
Vasquez Rocks is a rather small park, good for a couple of hours, not a whole day. It’s very easy to get to from Los Angeles, and is thus a great Sunday afternoon destination. Though we saw no vampires, bandits, or aliens, it was still exciting and worth the trip.
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