Sunday, May 20, 2012

After meeting my family at the beach yesterday, Cathleen and I drove a rental car back to our home to pack it up for the weeks ahead. When everything was packed up and some last minute errands were run, we drove from Seaward Avenue and out to Telegraph Road. Soon we were surrounded by citrus trees and pulling into Kenney Grove Park near Fillmore. My Dad's parents had joined our original "walk" to provide support by scouting out campgrounds and RV parks where we could camp for a few days as we walked the route laid out by AAA Triptik. Grandpa would drive us out to where we left off and then pick the four of us up at a designated time later in the day. Sometimes he would drive by to check on us and give us a scoop on what to look for down the road if he saw something of interest.

The first camp my grandparents found was Kenney Grove Park. I had not been back there until yesterday.  What awaited us, as we drove through the entrance, was a place seemingly frozen in time. The use of the campground had changed from individual camping to primarily group events. Yesterday it was hosting a dog show. About 100 feet past a kiosk, a woman emerged from the nearby grass to inform us that the park was reserved for special groups. I briefly explained why we were there and requested to drive through the campground. The lady instantly smiled and welcomed us to see the place she had been leasing from the county for 30 years! Rona Le Doux didn't recall our short stay so many years ago, but she was delighted to hear about the "walk" and about our trip of rediscovery. She proudly showed me a vintage 1950's playground that she had preserved complete with tall swing sets and an old merry-go-round, the likes of which I hadn't seen since the 1980s. She proudly stated that she kept the merry-go-round meticulously maintained for safety. I am certain my brother and I must have played on them, so many years ago! Rona also shared that the campground now had full hookups and she was justifiably proud of the work she had accomplished. Kenney Grove Park is a gem, and I would happily camp there again.

Past Piru and into Los Angeles County on the 126 East, we stopped to take some photos of the old road we had walked just north of Six Flags Magic Mountain. As we drove through the sprawling communities of Santa Clarita that in 1986 comprised Newhall, Saugus, Canyon Country, and Valencia, we soon found ourselves back on the old Soledad Canyon Road heading towards Acton.

Just before an old bridge that crossed the Santa Clara River (the same river that divides Ventura and Oxnard cities), I saw high fences and warning signs about wild animals. Cathleen and I decided to investigate and do some walking...

Twenty-five years ago as my family walked this road, we heard the roaring and screaming of wild animals. We did not have the slightest clue as to why we were hearing these sounds and whether or not we were about to be mauled by some monster emerging from the nearby trees. It turns out that this is a preserve that rehabilitates neglected, abandoned, and abused exotic wild beasts! Cathleen and I were able to see a lion in the ravine below, and you can see it in the last picture post.

We then drove on to Victorville and called it a day...

On a special note...I want to extend my appreciation to VC Star reporter Jim Mclain, who wrote the original Star Free Press articles 25 years ago. Even though he officially retired 5 years ago, he wrote a special article about my journey of rediscovery. I'd also like to thank Juan Carlo Mendoza for exceptional photos. To view the May 19, 2012 Ventura County Star Article please see:


  1. I Just updated the settings to include comments from anyone. Feel free to join the discussion. Cheers!

  2. Hey Allen,
    Looks like the trip is off to a good start! Read the article in the Star too! Good luck and enjoy this once in a life time opportunity!!!

  3. Hi, Allen and Cathleen. We're following your re-tracing of the original "Walk" with interest. Your comments about what you are seeing and experiencing linked to the original trip are especially appreciated. Enjoy this experience! Your comments on this trip will be valuable to you as you re-trace it 25 years from now in your hydrogen-o-car! -Sincerely, Your Dad