Category Archives: Website News

Website Polls

Over the next month, I will be running a series of polls to determine what sections of the website need updating and expansion. As there are many sections that I can work on and limited time to do so, I am asking you, the readers, to help me decide what to update first. Irregular updates will still continue as usual, but special attention will be given to those sections that are most popular. Please, use the polls in the left sidebar to give us some feedback. You can also use the comments page in addition should you wish to give any additional feedback. We’d love to hear from you.

Southern California – Defined?

This website started off covering a small area, the Santa Clarita Valley. I later started a second website for the San Diego area. Both sites were somewhat limited in scope. Now, with those sites combined, I’ve also increased the area that the website covers. The new name for the site, Southern California Regional Rocks and Roads seems to state a much larger area. What really is Southern California and what does part of it does this website really cover?

The region, Southern California, or So Cal by some, varies by definition. My definition isn’t exactly a standard one either but I think it is the best fitting one. Southern California is usually defined as the whole of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, western Riverside, and San Diego Counties. This constitutes much of the populated section as well as the area west (or south) of major mountain ranges. This definition leaves out quite a large area, however. It really should be “Coastal Southern California”. How do I then define Southern California and what area I plan to cover with this website? I personally define Southern California as the area south of the 119 degree line, which tends to define the northern boundaries of San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernardino Counties. This site, however, will cover a smaller portion of that region. This website will cover, eventually, the region encompassing all of Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, southern Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, Imperial, and San Diego Counties.

I’ve sometimes termed this website to be a “monster”. Why do I? Every time I think it is “done”, I come up with more projects to expand the site. There is a lot to cover here in Southern California and I intend to do the best job that I can for the scope of the site. Defining those boundaries will help to at least partially limit the site’s growth.

Wineries of Cucamonga Valley – Now Online!

As planned, our new addition to the wineries page, a site on the wineries in the Cucamonga Valley of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties is now online. This new website was written by our wine correspondent, Russ Connelly of San Diego. Mind you, there are only three wineries, but these three have some really good stuff. I recommend checking it out and experience some of the last remaining local wine making in the Inland Empire.

Looking for Graphic Design Help

I’m looking for help with graphic design. Specifically, I want to create a logo for this website, something to put on cards, e-mails, favicon, and anywhere else a logo should go (even this website). If you’ve got graphic design skills and are looking to do some free work, please contact us. We can use your help!

New Feature Coming Soon – Cucamonga Valley Wineries

As this website is dedicated to providing the best coverage possible for a wide variety of subjects, it is time for another expansion. This time, the wineries of the Cucamonga Valley will be covered. These remaining wineries are a part of the history of the area and of California winemaking. We expect to have this new page up and running in the next month or so. Stay tuned for updates.

Twenty Years Online – A Review

When I first posted this website, in December 1995, I never imagined it would grow to what is has become in 2015. I certainly didn’t imagine it would last this long. While some pages have come and gone, the focus of the site has remained – to provide the best information I can about the subjects that I have studied about Southern California. The initial scope of the site was only the Santa Clarita Valley, a smaller area north of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County. My initial idea was to write about the local geology and history, as at that time, there was no information online about those subjects. The site itself predates most of the Internet sites we all use today. Google, Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, Instapress, and more all came after this site which is something I didn’t quite realize until recently. Yes, I’ve had a web presence since before these sites existed yet didn’t know about it until recently. It just never came up. Mind you, all of those sites are far more popular and making money, but I never posted this site for that. I simply wanted to share my knowledge, something that the Internet does quite well.

In the intervening years, I’ve added many pages and expanded the focus. My highway pages are some of the most popular on the site, with my US 99 and US 6 tours being the only page of its kind and at such length. The US 6 tour covers over 350 miles of highway by itself. I sometimes look back at these pages, updating them as I go, and realize that I have written quite a bit of information. My geology pages are recognized by the USGS and the California Geological Survey, something that only makes me want to work harder on them.

The name and even the domain have also changed since 1995. When this site began, it was basically a “Home Page” with local Santa Clarita information. As a result, it had a rather clunky address “”. This address proved to be a problem at times when it came to newspapers wanting to post the address. Few seemed to be able to manage to interpret the tilde properly. This problem pushed me to buy my own domain in 2001, changing the site name and address to “”, which was named the “Santa Clarita Valley Resources Page”, as the site was still focused there. This would be the domain of the site until its most recent change and combination of the San Diego page in early 2014.

Today, in 2015, the site stands out as a resource for the whole of Southern California. It covers geology, highways, history, kayaking, wineries, railroads, and bicycling. It also has pages of photographs of the City of San Diego, my home since 2005. I am quite proud of the site and look forward to the next 20 years online. It has been quite a journey so far with so much more to add, so much more to teach, so much more to learn.

Thank you, readers, for the encouragement and help that you have all given me these past 20 years.

Fundraising Time!

Due to the popularity of this website, I’ve had to upgrade the web hosting. These things do cost money. While I never created this site to make money nor collect money, any donation to help keep it running smoothly helps. If you would like to donate ($1 is fine), please use the donation button in the left sidebar. Anything helps and is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Michael Ballard
Site Administrator for

Original “” page

I found an original copy of my website from 1996.  It has been slightly modified (links removed, notes added) and is posted at: .

Enjoy a look back to 1996 and how this site began.