Mt Calavera adds a bit of natural history and intrigue to the surroundings communities of Carlsbad, Oceanside and Vista. Not many people realize what the 513 feet hill actually is. For years, scientists have only been estimating how old the volcano is, but the North County Times recently reported that local geologists from the San Diego Natural History Museum and San Diego State University have taken samples of the minerals and plan to age-test it sometime this year.
According to Tom Demere, curator of paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum, when Mt Calavera blew many many years ago, it threw out rocks and ash that can be found as far as Chula Vista and National City which are more than 40 miles away.
The three towns surrounding the preserve each have their own unique character. Carlsbad and Oceanside sit on the coast, and have many visitors and beach-goers. Both coastlines offer miles of beach where locals and tourists alike spend their days.
Vista sits inland with rolling hills and beautiful views (hence the name).
In addition to the typical businesses throughout these towns, each has agricultural areas where avocados, citrus, strawberries and tomatoes are grown, many horse ranches, and excellent neighborhoods to choose from.
Each town has easy access to major freeways, making it convenient to get to Los Angeles, Riverside or San Diego.
Carlsbad was named for a famous European spa. In the late 1800's, a fresh-water well was dug to provide water for the trains when they stopped in the village. Later, another well was dug and it was discovered that it produced mineral water--once analyzed, it was found to have equal mineral quality to the popular mineral bath in Karlsbad, Bohemia.
In part III of my volcano series we'll take a closer look at the City of Carlsbad-it's history, culture and commerce.
I've lived in this area for many many years--it's amazing how much you can miss when you're not paying attention. Sharing this with all of you helps me to take note of the many treasures that I see everyday, but don't always appreciate.
Having lot's of fun! Hope you visit again!