When you ride our epic 1,300-foot Renegade zipline, you may not see water, but nevertheless an ancient ocean unfolds right below.
An ocean in the mountains? Let us explain…The historic Santa Margarita Ranch lies between two active faults, the Nacimiento and Rinconada faults (don’t worry, the safest place to be during an earthquake is the air, right?). The main road to the ranch needs frequent repairing because of slow buckling caused by faultline movement. On a more macro level, the Pacific plate is grinding against the continental plate. Over the past several million years, these tectonic forces have given rise to the Santa Lucia Mountains that surround the ranch.
Over time, the sea floor was also pushed up by these forces and the waters receded. This explains the massive ancient oyster fossils that you will see displayed at the departure point of our Renegade zipline. These oyster fossils (including the one pictured here with ranch co-owner Doug Filipponi) have been unearthed right here on the ranch, which is today 14 miles from the Pacific shoreline. In fact, from the Renegade departure, you can see a part of the ranch that we call Oyster Ridge, where oyster fossils are literally spilling out of the soil. In other words, this land used to be under water.
Ancient sea fossils are just one of the amazing sights that you can expect to see on our tour. We look forward to sharing them with you.