Sunday, July 16, 2006

California's Gold Country

Someone I know remarked recently that I haven't had any travel-type posts lately. Since it's been more than a month since this post, I guess I'll take the implicit suggestion and describe today's day trip.

A friend of mine is rather into photography, so we drove an hour up into the Sierra foothills to go to Grass Valley and Nevada City, two towns in California's Gold Country. Both towns are former mining towns, and both have historical markers on several of the buildings on their main streets. Grass Valley seemed closed today--only the restaurants and bars were open--so we took a picture or two and then headed to Nevada City.

Nevada City was open for business. It sits in the foothills at over 2000 feet in elevation, but the heat that stifled the Sacramento Valley was still very much in evidence there. Just about every shop was open, though, which made wandering the streets nice. When we got too hot, we'd just pop into a store for a few minutes!

I don't know when it's heyday was, but I'd guess it reached a peak around a century ago and slowly slid into the small town that exists today. It's growing again, but the historic downtown hopefully won't change much. The residential neighborhoods nearby were quite the treat, and that's where I focused most of my picture-taking.


Can you see the squirrel running along the roof?

Even though it looks like a church, this is actually part of the front of someone's house. It looks much nicer in black and white than in color, which is why I posted it this way.

I liked this weather vane on top of someone's carport. It looked dignified, somehow, when printed in sepia tones, and I hope you enjoy this picture.

Here's the creek that runs just a couple blocks from the main street of the historic downtown.

I took my son out for a root beer float after I got back, and as we passed our City Hall the temperature read 107 degrees at just after 5 pm. It was definitely well into the upper 90s in Nevada City, but with scenery like that above, it's tolerable.


Anonymous said...

A friend of mine owns a candy store on the main street in old town Grass Valley called Confectionately Yours (great turtles!). There was something going on at the fairgrounds in Grass Valley that day, that's why it was so dead. It is such a cute old town. The people are very friendly as well.

Darren said...

Ah, that explains it. The place was so nanaiman. (You won't find that word in a dictionary--a friend and I invented it after driving 2 hrs from Victoria to Nanaimo, BC, only to find Nanaimo essentially deserted. It was eerie.