Posted by paulrivas on:
I explored two parts of Santa Barbara County formerly unknown to me this weekend. Both excursions were funded by Ambient Event Design. In addition to building beautiful lighting setups for events, Ambient sponsors the exploration of hard-to-get-into local spaces.
Saturday, Rivas Cultural Services checked out the Bacara Ranch, on the other side of the freeway from the Bacara proper. If you turn onto Vereda Leyenda, north of Winchester Canyon, and go way back until the road ends, the gate to the ranch is there. Then, it's a trip of several minutes along a dirt road, heading probably due north, with a lemon orchard bordering the road on the west side, further back into the canyon, until you come to a glorified picnic area. Apparently, Bacara guests have the privilege of hanging out in this secluded version of Kiwanis Meadows at Tucker's Grove. It's probably the farthest you can be from civilization in Goleta without being up on a mountain. My friend since third grade, Ryan Hernandez, rented a room off Vereda Leyenda for a while, and I remember the night feeling very dark way back there. Well, this Bacara joint is miles deeper than that. The hillside at the edge of the meadow is completely burned. I expect that it was intentionally burned as a preventive measure, and not the result of the fire coming all the way down the hill, but I don't know for sure, haven't investigated, and didn't bother to get close enough to see for sure. You get what you pay for here, I'm afraid.
So we spent a few hours at the site taking down a whole bunch of lighting that had gone up the day before. It was a nice sunny day, and not too hot. The only drawback was that the whole area was absolutely thick with flies. Overall, however, I received great benefits from the moneymaking and weightlifting highs I experienced while schlepping heavy lights and cables in remote surroundings. I have here the key to history, in Marx's words: satisfying work; which may or may not compare favorably to the moneyspending and boozeguzzling highs the partyers felt the night before.
Sunday, Rivas Cultural Services partnered with Dyrenforth Acquisitions on another Ambient strike. This time we were at the Gainey vineyard, where Mr. Gainey himself's secretary asked me to do the vineyard a solid and cut down two bits of string that were hanging from a pipe and annoyingly visible from the conference room, which I did while pretending to not speak English. As far as wedding locations go, Gainey struck me as a very nice place to host maybe 50-60 people. It really is cool to sit around and drink a bunch of wine, or take down a bunch of lights, right there at the very edge of the vineyard.