Saturday, December 19, 2015

Road tripping to Angels Camp

Soooo, we left our Oregon home 30+ days ago to road-trip our way to Arizona, where we will spend ‘winter 2015’ kayaking the Colorado and other to-be-determined outdoor adventures.

As expected, we took a side road-trip on our road-trip south. Heading out from a stop in Tracy to see family, we drove east and parked our rig on the shores of Modesto Reservoir. Not only is it beautiful but visiting Canadian geese welcomed us. This county park is massive, with lots of RV hook-ups, boat launch, separate tent camping area, swimming, archery and fishing. The surrounding area is awash in groves of trees…almonds or some other variety of nuts. Regardless, it is quiet, beautiful and only 8 rigs were staying here, it is off the beaten path, but we like to be out of the noise and bustle - even small towns can be noisy if a train rumbles through.
We headed out to Angels Camp, approximately 90 miles on the back roads of Stanislaus and Calaveras counties.

Not 20 minutes later we were in the small town of La Grange, which is French for "the barn" or "the farm" and was primarily a farming community until someone found gold.


The historic La Grange Saloon replaced in 1897 after a fire burned the adjacent hotel was re-built for $13,000. Miners and river dam workers purchased the 86,670 shots of whiskey, at $.15/shot; helping the owner pay off the debt in just one year.

Another small town on the back road is Coulterville, another historic landmark, and one of those small towns that comes alive in the summer as travelers make their way to Yosemite Park.

Wood burning railcar outside the museum.

Coulterville was a mining community in the late 1890's

Magnolia Saloon Californias Oldest Operating Saloon

Jamestown National Hotel 

[In case you can't read this door sign "Hotel Registration in the SALOON"]

Wild game jerky is all the rage in Jamestown...

One of our destinations to Angel's Camp was to follow Mark Twain's footsteps. He got his inspiration for  "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" (1865) during a period when he was camping with friends in the Angel Camp area, where off Jackass Hill a replica, with the original chimney and fireplace, of his cabin has been installed there. Jackass Hill is so named for the animals, were used to carry supplies to gold miners.


See you soon on the back roads of America.


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