Monday, July 14, 2014


On another visit to Lompoc, Carolyn gave us a tour of the town and valley.  She is amply qualified since her great grandparents were among the first settlers in the new community and her family has lived here since.

Brother Tim coming out of the apartment to greet us.  We piled in the car and began our tour at the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors' Center.
At the center we learned that Lompoc has a lot to offer visitors.  RVers can stay at the city park at the edge of town or camp at Jalama Beach.  Motorcycle, bicycle, and car tourists can roam the rolling, curvy back roads following the wine trail, visiting areas of interest like the La Purisima Mission, and the wild horse sanctuary, looking for geocaches,  or just enjoying the ride.  The town offers several walking tours--the Wine Ghetto, the old town heritage walk, the local history tour, or the murals.  This is one of 35 murals depicting local history. 

At the center we discovered the foundations of Lompoc are rooted in temperance

and Diatomaceous earth .

Typical of the smaller houses in the town.  Carolyn's great grandparents built these two houses directly across the street from each other, and added on as their families grew.

View of the diotomaceous quarry.

One of the many historic buildings which include the former Carnegie Library building,

which is to the left of the theater above.  It  is now the home of the Lompoc Museum.  This museum houses a large collection of Native American artifacts, consisting mainly of local Chumash items.  The lower floor includes exhibits on the Mission, Rancho, and modern periods of Lompoc history.  Simulated storefronts display artifacts that were instrurmental in the daily lives of early Lompoc settlers.

An original mission bell.  The bells along Highway 1 were modeled after these mission bells.

At the edges of town are large fields of flowers.  These are "stocks" which are grown to decorate parade floats. 

The Lompoc Valley is one of the many food producers in Southern CA.  We passed huge fields of broccoli,

asparagus, lettuce.  The yellow bushy stuff growing along the road is mustard.  At one time Lompoc produced 3/4 of the world's mustard.  Carolyn's father farmed this field.  She remembers many summers of hoeing this field.

Four of Carolyn's five children are raising their families in Lompoc.  Son Teddy and wife Theresa run two businesses. Sweet Beginnings rents tables, chairs, decorations for weddings, parties etc.  Sweet Repeats is a huge consignment shop/antique mall.  Here Theresa is hard at work.

As a relaxing end to our busy day, Tim and Carolyn treated us to dinner at this eclectic steakhouse located in Buellton, which is about halfway between Rancho Oso and Lompoc.  

Duane knows I'm afraid of bears and never passes up a chance to get me close to them.

Nice stone fireplace across from our table.

From our table we could see this full sized carving 

Do you detect a western theme?

Always a nod for the blacksmith

Makes me glad I never met this guy when he was alive.

After a couple of hours of eating and chatting, we had to admit that our wonder day was over.  We planned our next visit, then said goodnight.

Enough for now,
Louise and Duane

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