Going to Vasquez Rocks is a pilgrimage for Trekkies, and I finally made it there with my daughter and sister-in-law. Most famous (to Star Trek fans) as the site of the battle between Kirk and the man-lizard Gorn captain in the episode “Arena”, Vasquez Rocks was also the site of location shots for three other Original Series episodes as well as a variety of episodes from later series. But it was the iconic scenes from the Original Series that made it such a geeky blast to go there.
I thought about going to the top of the rocks where Kirk dislodges a boulder to try to kill the Gorn, but about halfway up I realized that (a) the rocks were quite steep after all, (b) my shoes were made for walking, not climbing, and (c) it would be rather easy to get some nasty cuts and bruises with a simple misstep. I felt a bit better about my caution when a later viewing of “Arena” shows that it must be a stuntman we see run up there. I had a great time running around with my tricorder and communicator and my daughter in her homemade Nurse Chapel uniform while Sue dutifully snapped pictures. I need a return trip with a bit more time to find some of the less-obvious scenes from “Shore Leave”, “Friday’s Child” and “The Alternative Factor”.