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Ramona's California

Why, you may ask, are we rushing north on Interstate 5 and veering east on California 126 into the Santa Clara Valley? Why are we pulling off the road by a fruit stand and slipping into the backyard? Are we going to tip a cow? Steal oranges?

We are not. We are here for a date with a black-haired, blue-eyed beauty named Ramona.

She is, by at least one historian's reckoning, "the most important woman in the history of Southern California."

-- Christopher Reynolds

Read more: On the trail of 'Ramona' in California

Planning your trip:

Rancho Camulos Museum 5164 E. Telegraph Road (California 126), Piru; (805) 521-1501,

Guajome County Park 2210 N. Santa Fe Ave., Vista; (760) 724-4082,

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park; 4002 Wallace St., San Diego; (619) 220-5422,

Ramona Bowl Amphitheatre 27400 Ramona Bowl Road, Hemet; (800) 645-4465.

Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times