CARPINTERIA, Calif. - If you need a boost to get you through the coronavirus crisis however it has hit you, a walk on the lower end of Linden Ave. in Carpinteria might give you a rock solid reprieve.
Since July, painted rocks have been lined up in what is the "Carpinteria Caterpillar."
Each one is custom made. Some by a core group of artists. Others by those who were inspired and made their own, picked a spot and put it down for all to see.
"We definitely want to keep it about kindness. Sharing joy and love with people," said Danielle Bordenave a Carpinteria physical therapist.
The first batch was 89. Now at last count , Bordenave said,
"it was 938 rocks to the best of my counting abilities so it may be close to a thousand now."
She recalls seeing one outside of a breakfast cafe in February.
That's when just a few were made and "hidden" like an Easter egg hunt in town.
Becki Norton may be the point of origin when she saw a decorative rock in Homer, Alaska, got inspired and wanted to do something similar in Carpinteria.
"It kind of brought out the inner child in me and I said 'Oh I have to bring that to Carp.' Carp Rocks!" she said.
The hidden rocks were on fence posts, in the center of plants, near beach walks and sometimes in plain sight just tanning on fountains.
Bordenave said, "we hid 110 rocks about a month ago."
The caterpillar has been the main attraction with it's ever-changing appearance. New rocks are showing up every day.
"My goal is go down Linden cross Carpinteria Avenue and come down back Linden. So both sides of Linden from Carpinteria Avenue to Sandyland," said Bordenave.
There is a "take one-leave one or more" policy if you are struck by a specific design.
The messages and drawings are watched carefully and so far, nothing too political is hitting the ground.
Down the street across from the community garden, is a "Kindness Garden", again, with inspirational rocks.
"That's a place where if someone is having a rough day, they can freely come and take one and or if they know their friend is having a rough day they can take that rock and go deliver it to their friend," said Bordenave.
You almost can't walk past either location without having the rocks catch your eye.
"It's so heartwarming to me to just see the joy and the curiosity and the inspiration that's shared," said Norton. "It's a very healing thing for people. There's something grounding about painting a rock. It's connecting with the earth.
For more information on Facebook go to: Carp Rocks
There are guidelines posted for sanitation and safety purposes, distancing and other virus protections listed on the page.