News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

‘Time Jockey ’ Historical Route

by Joe Castillo

From Pasadena Westward ….  You don’t have to go too far to see history all around you. Taking the 210 Freeway west until it turns into the 134 Freeway, you will see where history as it was back in the day. The 134 Freeway is known as the Ventura Freeway as it takes you to the City of Ventura and beyond.  The city was named after the Mission San Buenaventura, which was founded in 1782 and established one of the stepping-stones along the El Camino Real. The freeway also became immortalized in the 1972 hit song ‘Ventura Highway’ by America. Leaving Pasadena, the freeway crosses the Arroyo Seco, which means ‘dry gulch’ which was named by the Spanish. The Kizh-Gabrielenos lived in the arroyo during the Spanish era using its supply of water, game and oak bearing acorns. The landscape within the arroyo is pretty much as it was when the Spanish were here. The freeway passes by the Eagle Rock, once known as ‘La Piedra Gorda’ or the Fat Rock. This was a ceremonial location for the Gabrieleno-Kizh Tribe, and even today holds a special meaning in its present location. The freeway crosses Figueroa Street. The street is one of the longest in the Los Angeles area and was named after Jose Figueroa, the Mexican governor of California from 1833 to 1835. The San Rafael area of Pasadena is named after Rancho San Rafael, which extended west from the Arroyo Seco, and included Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Glendale and parts of Burbank. Mexican Governor, Pedro Fages in 1784, granted the rancho to Jose Maria Verdugo. San Fernando Road is also crossed by the freeway and is named after the Mission San Fernando Rey, which was founded in 1797. Thirty years earlier, Gaspar de Portola and his men camped near the present location of Encino where he noted in his journals that he came across ‘a large village of heathens, very friendly and docile’. Traveling over the route between Pasadena and Ventura there are many Native American named locations such as Cahuega, Topanga and Malibu. The trip west along the 210-134 freeways from Pasadena to Ventura and on to Santa Barbara is a very scenic drive with spectacular ocean views. The City of Camarillo offers a unique history since the time of its namesake founder and has a number of excellent restaurants to enjoy while driving up the coast. One of them is Bandits Grill and Bar located at 1980 Ventura Boulevard. Their menu offers wood fried barbeque selections, steaks & prime ribs and tasty and unique sandwiches. It also offers a variety of vintage pictures of early Camarillo, and of course some well-known bandits. The trip to Camarillo is an easy one-day journey with great views, food and history all available for those who want to spend a leisure day on the road…..

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