Channel Islands Visitor, Center

The Center
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The visitor center was at the very end of Spinnaker Drive. There was no parking at the center itself, instead one had to drive to it, loop around, and park back at the beach parking lot.

The visitor center had a viewing tower, here seen at the right.


Channel Islands Visitor Center   •  1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California   •  (Photo taken 12:19:45 Saturday 9 October 2010)   •  (Photo posted Tuesday 4 January 2011)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_8814
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Natural Flora
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The natural flora for the area were desert plants. Here was an exhibit planted behind a concrete barrier. Etched into the barrier were the words, "Channel Islands National Park, National Park Service."


Channel Islands Visitor Center   •  1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California   •  (Photo taken 12:19:57 Saturday 9 October 2010)   •  (Photo posted Tuesday 4 January 2011)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_8815
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Loop At The End
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Here was the loop at the end of Spinnaker Drive.


Channel Islands Visitor Center   •  1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California   •  (Photo taken 12:20:07 Saturday 9 October 2010)   •  (Photo posted Tuesday 4 January 2011)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_8816
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Scale Model
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Just inside was an exhibit of the channel islands with both their sizes and spacing reduced to scale. Information hung from the ceiling described each island. On the wall above was a sign that read:

"We haven't lost our connection to the Sea and our Islands,
our birthplace ... the cord is still tied."
- Julie Tumamait-Stenslie, Island Chumash Descendent


Channel Islands Visitor Center   •  1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California   •  (Photo taken 12:21:10 Saturday 9 October 2010)   •  (Photo posted Tuesday 4 January 2011)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_8819
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Information Hung Above
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Here above a scale model of Santa Barbara Island external link hung a series of descriptive signs. They told what lived and grew there, why the island was important, and told of its history.


Channel Islands Visitor Center   •  1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California   •  (Photo taken 12:21:45 Saturday 9 October 2010)   •  (Photo posted Tuesday 4 January 2011)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_8822
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Anacapa Island
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The scale model of Anacapa Island internal link showed how it was composed of three smaller islands chained together. Anacapa Island was the closest to Ventura of all the Channel Islands.


Channel Islands Visitor Center   •  1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California   •  (Photo taken 12:22:26 Saturday 9 October 2010)   •  (Photo posted Tuesday 4 January 2011)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_8824
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Book Store
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The bookstore had additional exhibits and was open that day. To the left of the bookstore was an elevator for easy access to the Visitor Center's viewing tower. Unseen to the left of the elevator were stairs up.

"Something in our salty blood draws us to the sea;
something in our imagination beckons us to the islands."
- Susan Lamb, Author


Channel Islands Visitor Center   •  1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California   •  (Photo taken 12:23:19 Saturday 9 October 2010)   •  (Photo posted Tuesday 4 January 2011)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_8829
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Inside The Book Store
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Inside the bookstore were souvenir and books about the area. A free guide to Island touring resources was also available at the register.


Channel Islands Visitor Center   •  1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California   •  (Photo taken 12:23:35 Saturday 9 October 2010)   •  (Photo posted Tuesday 4 January 2011)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_8830
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Elephant Seal Exhibit
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An exhibit described the elephant seals that populated the Channel Islands.


Channel Islands Visitor Center   •  1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California   •  (Photo taken 12:23:48 Saturday 9 October 2010)   •  (Photo posted Tuesday 4 January 2011)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_8831
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Please Touch
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Another exhibit displayed the rocks and minerals found on the islands. These were small and up close to be touched. The actual islands internal link were further away and not easy to touch.


Channel Islands Visitor Center   •  1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California   •  (Photo taken 12:25:44 Saturday 9 October 2010)   •  (Photo posted Tuesday 4 January 2011)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_8835
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Pygmy Mammoth Skeleton Fossil
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A sign near this exhibit read:

Buried for 13,000 years; exposed by erosion; encountered by chance; the fossil was a remarkable discovery.

The bones of the pygmy mammoth were found on Santa Rosa Island in 1994. They comprise the most complete fossil of this species in the world. This discovery tells us much about this extinct endemic species, unique to the ancient Channel Islands.


Channel Islands Visitor Center   •  1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California   •  (Photo taken 12:25:44 Saturday 9 October 2010)   •  (Photo posted Tuesday 4 January 2011)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_8837
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Plying The Waters
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A large framed poster described the voyage of the Cabrillo and how that voyage interacted with the Chumash Indians.


Channel Islands Visitor Center   •  1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California   •  (Photo taken 12:26:27 Saturday 9 October 2010)   •  (Photo posted Tuesday 4 January 2011)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_8839
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View East
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Atop the Visitor Center was a high viewing area. Looking to the east from up there was the harbor and its marinas. And beyond that, the town of Ventura and beyond that the Coast Range.


Channel Islands Visitor Center   •  1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California   •  (Photo taken 12:31:13 Saturday 9 October 2010)   •  (Photo posted Tuesday 4 January 2011)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_8845
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View West
(14 of 14) (2757 views)

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The view from atop the Visitor Center when looking west was supposed to reveal the distant Channel Islands. However that day the haze on the ocean masked those islands.


Channel Islands Visitor Center   •  1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California   •  (Photo taken 12:31:59 Saturday 9 October 2010)   •  (Photo posted Tuesday 4 January 2011)   •  © 2011 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #BCX_8848
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