Exploring Alta Mesa’s Semi-Secret Trail

••• Opening April 6 at Helena Mason Gallery: a show of work by local artist Shelby Scudder, who “combs the beaches of Santa Barbara and discovers items that one may call trash or junk and repurposes and infuses them into art.”

••• The Riviera Theatre has added “late night” screenings—er, at 9 p.m.—on Friday and Saturdays starting April 5. While cult classics like Dawn of the Dead, Escape from New York, and David Lynch’s Dune make up most of the lineup, the kickoff film is new, and it looks like a blast.

••• “What have they been doing on the shoulder of the Southbound 101 exit to Mission Street that often led to the closure of that exit?” asked Donald. Caltrans said it’s to “restore 23 drainage culverts and install two Transportation Management System elements along U.S. Route 101 in Santa Barbara County. Culverts are at various locations along the 52-mile stretch from the Santa Barbara-Ventura County line to the Old Coast Highway, approximately four miles south of Buellton. Transportation Management System elements are located within the first two miles of the Santa Barbara-Ventura County line.” What’s a Transportation Management System, you ask? Caltrans defines it as this: “Largely unseen by travelers, Caltrans maintains a massive, interconnected grid of electrical devices and hardware that reduce highway user delays, provide real-time information about traffic conditions, and collect information on traffic behavior to help forecast trends and plan projects. […] ‘Signals, signs, and sensors’ is SB 1 shorthand for all nine TMS element types, which are closed circuit televisions, changeable message signs, traffic monitoring detection stations, highway advisory radios, freeway ramp meters, roadway weather information systems, traffic signals, traffic census stations, and extinguishable message signs.”

••• Two more Santa Barbara Bowl shows were announced: Gary Clark Jr. on August 22 and Iration and Pepper on September 8.

••• And Paula Cole returns to the Lobero Theatre on April 24.

••• The Illuminate Film Festival, heretofore in Sedona, starts April 5 at the Lobero Theatre: “Illuminate’s mission is to elevate humanity’s sense of self, purpose and possibility and to leverage the power of cinema to inspire lasting social transformation. One of the Festival’s core goals is to create a permanent, vibrant, interactive and diverse community of people in Santa Barbara who share an interest in fostering creative solutions to our collective challenges.” The opening-night film is Love Over Money: “From an early age, John Robbins was groomed as the heir apparent to the Baskin-Robbins ice-cream empire which was co-founded by his father, Irv Robbins in 1945. […] Concerned about the health risks and detrimental environmental impact of the company’s products, and in disagreement with his father over the Vietnam War, John makes a decision that no one could have predicted.”

••• After I wrote about walking the Harbor Hills part of (the?) Alta Mesa, Anthony confirmed that the upper half of La Vista del Oceano street is indeed public, and what’s more, he pointed out that there’s a trail that leads from the northern end of La Vista del Oceano down to Santa Fe Lane (just above Cliff Drive). Naturally, I went and explored it. The trail is just to the right of 1703 La Vista del Oceano, and it winds along the ravine, with the astounding views you expect in that neck of the woods. If you decide to try it, bear in mind that it’s a public easement over private property, so stay on the trail. That said, I don’t recommend it. As much as I love these kind of semi-secret trails, this one is not well maintained—at times it’s barely discernible—and if you slip, you may take quite a tumble.


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