This is the La Brea Tar pits for the machines and derricks that made the twentieth century. As in the case of meat packing, pumping oil isn't pretty; but the crossing timbers of the derricks have a symmetry and rhythm that engages the mind. The displays in the indoor portion of the museum are touching in their sincerity. The fields that run below Taft and West Kern County were part of the naval oil reserves that were sold as part of the Teapot Dome Scandal in the 1920's. Bring a full water canteen.