Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Explora-ma-phone

The other bit of Indiana Jonesing that I did recently — and that I alluded to it the last post — was taking a hike up to Knapp’s Castle, the remains of a mansion that overlook the Santa Ynez valley. Since Betsy is planning on leaving Santa Barbara in the near future, she’s doing all those little touristy things that she didn’t get around to doing when she was a full-time resident here. That means I get to do fun things too. It’s only a short drive up to Camino Cielo and then an easy hike — half-mile at the most.

Apparently the Knapp in question is George Knapp, a business man who retired in Santa Barbara and built a large mansion. The place would have been a palace in its day — five bedrooms, a guest house, a private waterfall and even a sound system to pipe in the noise of the roaring water into the house. However, the place burned in 1940. Currently on private property, the ruins are fair game for tourists and hikers. The trip was well worth it. Besty, Danny, Spencer and I sunk a good hour or so into just wandering around the skeleton of this once-great house and taking pictures.









But what really sticks out in my mind from this little trip is the discovery of a small tupperware box filled with various visitors' mementos of the place. The box, which was inscribed with an apparently non-functional URL — www.letterboxing.org — dated back to only spring of 2006, but was nonetheless filled with various strange notes.





I won't say what I left, but hopefully it will still be there when someone reading this now decided they should make the hike themselves.
[ link: the rest of my Knapp's Castle photos ]

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