Ventura/Ojai: July 9-17, 2022


Uh-oh, no bueno. And no, that’s not me under the truck.

The best laid plans of mice and men…we were so fired up to leave for vacation, especially after our first summer trip was scrapped because I got The Covid. The night before, we were hitched up and completely loaded except for the bikes. We went to move the truck, but it wouldn’t start. My brother was the mechanic, not me.  But I knew enough to know we had a dead starter and a real predicament on our hands. The Airstream was hitched up on a downhill slope and the truck was unable to move.

So that night I contacted Eric Mobile Mechanic. He showed up Saturday morning with a new starter. He had a hell of a wrestling match with the Tundra, and I was having doubts. Three plus hours later, he won the battle, and we were good to go for a 1:00 pm departure, which is not the ideal time to drive through Hell A (translation: Los Angeles).


Eric Mobile Mechanic: a God fearing, Marlboro smoking, Monster Energy drinking, determined guy.


Foster Residence Campground Site 10 was a little tricky to back into, but a nice site.

We were living the high life; eight days of full hook ups at the cheap, cheap rate of $38 a night. Foster Residence is a Ventura County Campground. It’s located in the sweet spot between Ventura and Ojai.  In Ventura, most days the fog never lifted and it was chilly. In Ojai, it was hot. Foster Residence had absolutely delightful weather. It’s a small campground with only 16 sites, 10 of them full hook ups. There’s a bridge about a quarter of a mile away that clanks every time a vehicle crosses it. That’s about the only downside.

You can pretty much find dirt trails to mountain bike everywhere. However, not everywhere is a mountain biking destination. Ventura/Ojai area is not a mountain biking destination. We did four rides; Romero Canyon in the Santa Barbara front country, Ventura River Preserve in Ojai, Sulphur Mountain, not too far from our campground, and Harmon Canyon in Ventura. Harmon was fantastic! We highly recommend it.

So, you’re probably wondering, if it’s not a mountain biking destination what were we doing there? It was the opportunity to spend some time with Denise and Rob and visit Channel Islands National Park…that’ll be the next post!


Talking about milking something. The dude lived there from 1961-67.  The height of his drug abuse era. It wasn’t a great time in Johnny’s life.


Amelia approaching the main intersection of Romero Canyon.


Near the top of Camino Cielo: the land mass above Amelia’s head sticking out of the fog bank is Santa Cruz Island.


This made me happy 😃. Originally it read E.J. Harrison & Sons. Some black duct tape fixed it.


We weren’t taking any chances! Anytime we were gone, we locked the bikes inside the Airstream.


A clear and breezy late afternoon at Emma Wood State Beach.


Mother Nature’s artwork


Denise and Rob’s beautiful non-hook up site


Amelia and Denise, her other mother, on the Ventura Pier. They share quite a history and are very close.


They radiate joy and love when they are together.


We visited three breweries. Ojai Valley Brewery was my favorite. The Sugar Bush Pale Ale was excellent.

All in all it was a pretty good trip, especially when you add in the Channel Islands visit. We were feeling particularly blessed just breezing through Hell A with no traffic. What a rarity! We were just south of Corona, about an hour from home and Amelia needed to pee. Me, I can always urinate, so we exited off the freeway, then back up the on ramp, and stopped on the wide shoulder.  We both did our business, jumped in the truck…nothing. It would not start! F@#k!!! Unbelievable. An hour from home, stuck on the side of the road in 105 degree heat. A couple of good samaritans stopped as we were waving jumper cables, but the battery wasn’t the problem. So we called our insurance, two and a half hours later the tow truck showed up. The heat was really beating down on us during the wait. Towing a truck and an Airstream 66 miles isn’t cheap!


Not good and not fun.

The next day, Eric Mobile Mechanic came out. This time he solved the problem in five minutes. It was a blown starter relay fuse. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. But like I said, my brother was the mechanic, not me.

14 thoughts on “Ventura/Ojai: July 9-17, 2022

  1. We need to get together again soon. I bought my friend’s 2006 sprinter van and have been camping/mountain biking almost every weekend. I’d love to join you on a trip south or if you ever travel up North again to Oregon, Washington, Canada?

    • Sounds good to us! Amy has one more year of teaching then she retires!! That’ll be when our traveling really starts to increase.

  2. Wow! What a bummer! Truck problems suck especially when on vacation! Can’t wait to hear about the Channel Islands though – on my bucket list.

  3. 1. The Covid is a rude little bitch.
    2. Car problems suck suck suck.
    3. Love the EJ appearances 🙂
    4. I especially love reading about your adventures.
    5. I am not happy that Amelia gets to retire before I do. (I guess those years when I taught 60% after Hans died were worth it…you know…my kids and all of that nonsense!)
    6. I miss you both!!

    Love you,
    Mama Jean

  4. Nothing’s ever easy, but oh what fun the adventures you have! Another wonderful blog, and awesome always thanks for sharing! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s