Posts Tagged ‘Brea’

Do you run the same route over and over or do you like to explore new places? I don’t mind running the same route now and again but if I had a choice, I would be happiest to explore a new route nearly every day. The only thing that stops me is wanting a route that’s safe and relatively free of cars and road crossings. That and I don’t want to drive far to run. Just typing “drive far to run” makes it sound ridiculous.

Last week I happened to be in a new area and decided to get my six miles in there rather than go to the gym or head near home. I thought I’d simply run out and back along a recreational path through a new housing development. When that path came to an end, though, I crossed the street to explore an older neighborhood. That’s when I stumbled upon the Olinda Oil Museum and Trail in Brea.

The sign explained that Olinda was a boom town in the early 1900s. The town of 3,000 residents grew up around the oil industry there. Over 250 oil wells covered the hills and pumped out an incredible 2,775,000 barrels of oil per year from an area just over two square miles. In 1949, the Brea-Olinda oilfield still held so much oil that it ranked number 18 in the nation for oil capacity. A handful of wells continue to operate there today, including Olinda Oil Well #1, which has been pumping since 1897 — 115 years!

I followed the trail up into the hills to check out some of the old oil wells still in operation, including this beast:

Oil well

I found it fascinating to learn more about the oil industry, check out the functioning oil wells, enjoy the view from the hills, and explore a new running route!

Have you happened upon anything interesting on a rambling run?

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