West of the West
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Monday, May 16, 2016
By Bekah Wright
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Photo courtesy of KCET

Ever driven along the Southern California portion of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so, it's likely you have memories of catching sight of the Channel Islands.

There's something intriguing about these eight islands off the coast of Santa Barbara. There's a way to get your feet wet exploring the islands without ever setting foot off dry land -- KCET's three-part mini-series WEST OF THE WEST: TALES FROM CALIFORNIA'S CHANNEL ISLANDS.

The series kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. PST. What's in store?

 

Eagles' Rock Star Joe Walsh Leads Recent Efforts to Preserve the Islands Photo courtesy of KCET

Per KCET:

"The documentary follows the remarkable saga that begins 13,000 years ago telling the history of the eight Channel Islands just off the coast of Santa Barbara.

With stories told from the point-of-view of the people who have truly experienced the rich diversity of the Channel Islands, highlights include the revelation of the presence of the oldest human remains in all of North America, evidence of the first contact with Europeans in 1542, what was once a thriving Native American culture, and more recent efforts to preserve the islands, including leadership by musician and Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh."

Russell Galipeau, Superintendent of Channel Islands National Park, being interviewed on Anacapa Island. Photo courtesy of KCET/Sam Tyler

Tonight's episode, entitled Rotation & Arlington Man, focuses on the virtual "birth" of the Channel Islands, when, 20 million years ago, geologic forces pushed Santa Barbara and four of the islands away from the San Diego area to their current home.

The Arlington Man component of the episode features the discovery of the oldest human remains discovered in North America and how coastal migration contributed to the "peopling of North and South America."

 

Photo courtesy of KCET

On May 23, the episode First Contact delves into the story of voyage of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the Portuguese conquistador who was dispatched by Spain to look for China. Instead, Cabrillo discovered -- a full 89 years prior to the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock -- Alta California and the Channel Islands.

The episode also takes a look at San Diego Maritime Museum's efforts to build a replica of San Salvador, Cabrillo's flagship.

 

Photo 1 from West of the West's Facebook Page Photo 2 from Amazon

The mini-series concludes on May 30 with Once Upon a Time & The Lone Woman of San Nicholas Island. Fans of Scott O'Dell's best-selling novel Island of the Blue Dolphins will recognize the book's Channel Islands setting.

Rivetingly told is the true story behind the book about the culture of the Native American Island Chumash population that served as the book's inspiration.

Want to dive in deeper? Be sure to visit https://www.kcet.org/shows/west-of-the-west-tales-from-californias-channel-island/episodes/first-people, as well as the film's website, http://www.thecifilm.com, and Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/westofthewestfilms/.

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