Santa Rosa Island – California’s Gold (711)

The Chumash called it Wimal. To Conquistador Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo it was San Lucas. Today it is known as Santa Rosa, and its 54,000 acres of open land 24 miles off the coast of Santa Barbara is the newest addition to Channel Islands National Park. Huell visits this remote place on an adventure that reveals not only the Island’s natural wonders, but it’s continuing rich human history as well. A large part of that history has been written by Al and Russ Vail — brothers who continue to operate a working cattle ranch on the Island, which was started by their family at the turn of the century. From the bunkhouse to the cookhouse to the cowboys themselves, visiting this old-west ranch is like stepping back in time. During his stay, Huell spends time talking with the cowboys about their lives on the island and is invited to go along on an actual cattle drive, which ends up with the cattle being loaded aboard the only operating cattle boat on the west coast.