July 21, 2015, Ojai- I was determined to arrive in Ojai, and to find a fairly inexpensive place in which to spend the night. That meant bypassing Mission San Buenaventura, in- you guessed it, Ventura. This seaside namesake of the LA area’s northern county, and its sister city, Oxnard, were full-up congested, as I passed through. At one point, with a Ventura police officer behind me in traffic, a boy of about nine started to walk nonchalantly into traffic, with his little sister in tow. He froze when he saw me, but I stopped, halfway through the intersection, and waved them on through. The cop followed me for about 1 1/2 blocks, then determined I was of sound mind, and went on his way. Crosswalks are there to be used.
Before that, though, I happened through an area not high on a lot of people’s to visit list: Point Mugu. It used to be a major naval station, though it, and nearby Port Hueneme, have been downsized. The rock, though, did attract about a dozen bathers and sun-worshippers.
This rock, south of the signature Point, was partly occupied by three off-duty sailors, who declined to be photographed. So, I made do with the western edge.
The drive to Ojai, once through the Ventura County beach towns, was serene and lovely. I chose Oakridge Inn, in Oak View, as my resting place for the night. It is close enough to Ojai, for a quick jaunt to that mountain town, and near to the junction which leads to Carpinteria and Santa Barbara.
Ojai has just the right mix of generations and balance of artistic and business-oriented people. It’s also one of the cleanest towns I’ve seen in southern California. The downtown mall is a mix of Spanish and Old West influences.
The Post Office has an Andalusian ambiance.
This is the courtyard behind Feast Bistro. Many people use this area to walk their dogs in the evening. It reminds me of some shopping minmalls in the town of Sedona, near Prescott.
Here is another class act: Feast Bistro. It’s a local favourite, and everyone there that night seemed to be a regular. Dogs are welcome on the patio, and are given water bowls, so long as they are leashed and well-behaved.
It’s no wonder my West LA friend, Kate, recommended Ojai so highly.