Thursday, June 3, 2010

Twain Harte Road Trip - Day 07

Breakfast of shredded wheat and raw bits twang Twain for the 2 old buzzards.
Out of caffinated coffee at the hideway so John drove into DownTown Twain Harte at the Little Cottage Cafe to get his fix. Linda made do with green tea and honey.

The buzzards love puns so when John told Linda she would experience intensity like she never had before, she thought long and hard. With no results. So what else is new?

At around 9am the buzzards departed for Columbia to go to a special four-day event that just happened to start today - a recreation of the Columbia Diggins, a tent city (as it was called) that supported the miners at many places in California during the Gold Rush. This one was dated at 1846. We have been to the quaint little town of Columbia (A California State Historic Park) many times but never during tent city days. It was quite an experience as we hope you will see from the photos and videos we took. There were many volunteers in period costumes and attitudes to make it quite a moving experience. Most everything that would have been required by the miners at that time was in place. There was a mining supply, general mercantile, assayer's office, entertainment, gambling establishments, laundry, Chinese herbs, guns, a blacksmith, a water slough for separating gold out of the dirt, an itinerant preacher, eggs, bowling, bakers and English lace makers.

There must have been at least 3 charter busloads of 4th graders there and they were all so very engaged by what they were experiencing. A large bell was rung at intervals and they seemed to know that it was time to move on to their next learning station. Another fascinating aspect was the age range of the volunteers who were dressed in the oh so authentic looking costumes. we saw volunteers as old as in their 80s to as young as 7 and 8-year-olds. Another way they added anthenticity to the event was that anything purchased or bet had to be done with gold eagles that were available at the entrance and at the assayer's establishment. There's a picture of a gold eagle in the photo gallery.

We left the 1800s and stopped in Sonora to get another Mufaletta for John and another turkey and artichoke sandwich for Linda. We ate under the redwood trees at the Hideaway at The Gables Cedar Creek Inn. We will be leaving tomorrow and it has been a wonderful stay in this peaceful corner of the Gold Country. If you ever come up this way, we would really recommend a stay at Gables Cedar Creek Inn. Tim and Jan Ewing are wonderful hosts.

Oh, yes, back to John's pun. Soon after their arrival at the tent city, Linda was marveling at the wonderful quality of the tents. John then said, "I told you it was feel intensity like you've never felt before". Ouch! How right he was. Funny guy!

Laundry is done. John even folded and packaged his. He has a funny way of packing clothes for road trips.... one T-shirt, one pair of drawers and one pair of sox in a large ziploc freezer bag. Casual shorts are packed loose, but with a handkerchief already in the pocket. Each night he just grabs one package of clothes. Every other night, he also grabs a pair of casual shorts, complete with hanky. Goofy, but organized! We are pretty much set to take off for Bishop tomorrow. We'll be going over Sonora Pass and hope to be able to stop by the ghost town of Bodie. We spend tomorrow night in Bishop, CA (where John hopes the wifi is better!)

Today's history lesson: Columbia, California - The first year was almost the last for the new town, Water, indispensable for mining placer gold, was in short supply. The area had no natural streams, only gulches carrying runoff from rain and snow. In the summer the stream would dry up and the miners would leave the area. So, the Toulumne County Water Company was formed to bring water into the area. Columbia was only one of hundreds of settlements that sprang up during the exciting years when the cry of "Gold" brought Argonauts from all of er the world to seek their fortunes in California. However, unlike many settlements, which have long since succumbed to fire, vandalism and the elements, Columbia has never been completely deserted. Through the years it has retained much the same appearance as when miners thronged its streets,. So, recognizing an opportunity to preserve a typical Gold Rush town as an example of one of the most colorful eras in American history, the State Legislature in 1945 created Columbia State Historic Park. Bet you didn't know that two of the gold seekers up here in Gold Country were John and Daniel Murphy, two of Martin Murphy's sons. They struck it rich and had a town named after them, Murphys, CA. Thus endeth the lesson. Be ready for a pop quiz tomorrow...

Linda is thankful for wind chimes, old friends and new friends. John is thankful for history, for Gentleman Jack (that's a repeat!) and for the excitement that comes from our road trips.

Today's photo gallery can be found by clicking here.

The exciting 21 minute video of Columbia Diggins Tent Town can be viewed by clicking here.

1 comment:

  1. I was finally able to sit down and read... all 7 days worth and all of the photos and a few snippets of video too! I want to go to Ironstone, it looks wonderful and the cabin is so homey, I bet it was truly an enjoyable experience. I'm so jealous and my three things I'm thankful are; Linda, John & technology that lets me share their love.