The Perfect Day:  Road Trip to Ojai, June 2009
Steve Reich "Music for 18 Musicians", Santa Paula


I woke up leisurely and drove, camera in hand, to Ojai, taking the beautiful backroads through farmland, mountains, trees, ranches, winding through on the 23, 126, and the 150.

I stopped to walk around historic downtown Santa Paula on the way (left photo).

It took two and and a half hours to get to my destination.


Ojai. Lovely Ojai Valley. Sunny. The day was perfect. I love the view of the Valley as I'm descending into it. The exact same view of the Valley that was the view of the verdant Shangri-La in "The Lost Horizon". Paradise.

Panaderia La Michoacana on Main Street, historic downtown Santa Paula.

Santa Paula.

Fire truck in Santa Paula.

I continued through the winding country roads, passing gorgeous vistas and rolling hills and ranchland and trees. 

I hadn't planned on taking two and a half hours to get to to Ojai.  I ran over.  A concert was about to start.

Someone shouted, "One minute until the performance! Take your seats!" I was at Libbey Bowl for the Ojai Music Festival. Outside. Gorgeous. I greeted my friend Chris and sat down. The notes began.

Steve Reich "Music For 18 Musicians".

This is some of my favorite music. Ever. So magical. I sat transfixed for the entire performance, occasionally taking photos.

We went to Ojai Cafe Emporium, eating the Topa Topa Salad, which has delicious and has Fritos in it, washing it down with Ojai Golden Road Ale. Awesome.

I said goodbye to my friend and went back the same way in reverse, stopping to walk, gawk, and take photos.

Black Mountain Ranch, Ojai, slowly driving back through the 150 heading east.

Two trees in the fields of Black Mountain Ranch, Ojai.

I took photos of Thomas Aquinas College, perched against the dramatic backdrop of the Padres National Forest, the large mountain chain towering behind it. I stopped in charming Santa Paula to photograph its historic downtown.

I wove through the windy roads, windows down, sun shining, Indian music playing, singing at the top of my lungs, camera at my side, a smile on my face. The day was absolutely gorgeous.

I stopped by Santa Paula briefly, just to walk and look around.

I took the 150, then headed south on the windy Route 23 north of Moorpark.

I got back just in time to greet my girlfriend, who had made homemade falafel with a delicious lemon tahini dressing.

We switched on the TV. Beautiful large-screen TV that I purchased for a song from my friend. I had arrived just in time for Game 5 of the Lakers. We drank Stella Artois and watched.

The Lakers won, beating the Orlando Magic decisively. Kobe leapt around. I leapt around. I hooted and hollered. The Lakers had won the NBA Championship!

These are the days to be savored.

And this week was gonna get even better.

Jimmy Page.  That's right.  Later this week, I was going to meet Jimmy Page.

The Perfect Day:  Road Trip to Ojai, June 2009
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