TRAVEL / Vasquez Rocks, California: Earthquake Country

Vaquez Rocks

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“I feel the Earth move under my feet…”

I’m Aus-merican – I  was born and bred in California to Aussie parents, however spent most of my high school/adult life in West Australia. Spending my youngin days in California, meant the occasional earth shake was second nature. The first day of school you always came prepared with not only your new books, pens and uniform but a fresh earthquake kit full of non-perishables, flashlight, batteries and first aid supplies. Whilst all this was just a fact of Cali life, for me the summer of ’92 turned what was typically a 3 second 3 mag startle, into scared fascination.

The Landers Earthquake measuring in at 7.3 magnitude was amongst a string of early 90’s seismic shifts experienced by SoCal residents at the time. Somewhere between wake and sleep, my first memory was that feeling of falling. As the bed jumped across the room, I closed my eyes tightly in sheer annoyance thinking it was my younger sister trying to jolt me awake (we were at the age of slamming doors and hair pulling so early morning bed jumping wasn’t a far reach). But as the dark low grumble started, car alarms screamed, sound of breaking glass and the sudden woosh as Dad quickly yanked my sister and I from our rooms…  it occurred to me that I couldn’t blame my sister for waking me up.

My interest in earthquakes grew quickly after that. At the time I was really into rocks… … …  yes rocks… (and yes I had a collection… so I guess it’s not a stretch to think I’d be intrigued with Earthquakes…), as well as Dinosaurs and Mermaids – clearly some things never change:

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Mermaid Off Duty

I hadn’t really thought about those childhood interests until I started writing this. It occurred to me that since moving back here, I have actually picked up where I left off without really realizing it. It’s no wonder a day trip to Vasquez Rocks jumped out at me, I mean come on rocks AND earthquake remnants?!? My inner child must have been dancing!

Vaquez Rocks – a 45 min drive from LA metro, this now park area was formed some 25 million years ago during an angled uplift, later exposed by San Andreas Fault activity. Named after bandit Tiburcio Vasquez who evaded capture amongst the formations during the late 1800’s, these rocks have historically been the early home to Tataviam Indians and in more recent times featured in film and TV shows such as The Big Bang Theory, CSI, Star Trek, New Girl and Michael Jackson’s Black and White music video.

The park itself is popular for picnicking, hiking, horseback riding and explorers – just be aware of the rattlers… I, for the longest time thought it was my keys jingling as I walked through the rocks and brush, BUT NO… and when I realized, I was like lightning outta there, back to the path… so yeah lesson learnt – expect wildlife in wildlife areas!

Dress: Spell Designs Gypsiana Shirt Dress


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