450 E Ojai Ave
Ojai, CA 93023
On Sunday evening, October 13, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., I’ll lead another Herb Walk up to a vista point above the Ojai Valley where we can watch the simultaneous sunset and moonrise. The sun will set at 6:27 p.m. and the full moon will rise at 6:47 p.m., giving us a nice window of time to take it all in. Following the walk is an optional “after-party” at Azu Restaurant and Ojai Valley Brewery for delicious food and native plant infused beers and non-alcoholic beverages
In honor of this event occurring on the eve of Indigenous Peoples’ Day (Monday, October 14), I have invited a special guest, Chumash elder Patrick Tumamait, to join us and begin the walk with the Ojai Chumash Welcoming Song passed on to him by his father Vincent Tumamait. I always start my walks and hikes in Chumash territory with that song which I learned from his sister Julie Tumamait-Stenslie so it will be an honor to have Pat lead the song for us. Also, I will be donating a portion of the proceeds from the walk to the Barbareño/Ventureño Band of Mission Indians.
We’ll meet at the Park-and-Ride lot downtown between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. and carpool to the trailhead to minimize the crowded parking situation there. From there we’ll gradually walk about 1 mile to the vista point, stopping along the way to meet some valuable native plants including:
- Coastal Sagebrush
- Hollyleaf Cherry
- Purple Sage and
After witnessing the setting of the sun and rising of the moon, we’ll walk back to the trailhead by remaining daylight, moonlight, and flashlight, returning to the Park-and-Ride by 8:00 p.m. On our August walk we saw a tarantula, a bat, an owl, and heard the distinctive songs of at least two species of crickets on our moonlit return to the trailhead.
At 8 p.m. you’re invited to join me and Rondia across the street from the Park-and-Ride lot for beverages, appetizers or dinner at the combined Azu Restaurant & Ojai Valley Brewery where brewmaster Jeremy Haffner has created some truly delicious lager-style craft beers and ales using some of the same local plants found earlier on the trail. His brews change with the seasons and reflect the plants of Ojai. Three staples you’re likely to find on his list any time of year are Sugar Bush IPA, brewed with wild local Ojai “Sugar Bush” Sumac; White Pixie Ale, brewed with Pixie tangerine zests and orchard blossoms; and an amazing Chaparral Ale flavored with White and Black Sage and local Sagebrush instead of the usual Hops. Jeremy describes it as “built to mimic the scent on Shelf Road.” That’s where we’ll be walking! Non-alcoholic offerings also change with the seasons and may include an Elderflower-Blackberry Spritzer.
Register now by clicking below or by calling 805-646-6281. You also can return to this website any time and click on the event listing itself in the right sidebar on the homepage or click on the “Register for an Event” link under ABOUT in the top menu.
The cost is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors 62-and older, and $10 for students 13-17. Kids 5-112 can come along free, one per adult, by prior arrangement. There is no pre-payment required for this walk, just your promise to let me know if your plans change. If it fills up, priority will be given to those who registered in advance. Registrants will receive a confirmation email with all necessary info a few days prior and a follow-up email afterwards with a list of all plants and wildlife seen. No dogs or smoking, please.