Places: Murphys in Calaveras County, Jamestown in Tuolomne County
Dates: July 29-30, 2010
Weather: Nice and sunny
Click through for large versions (1400 X 933 pixels) to use as desktop wallpaper.
I spent the morning at a spa in Sonora, getting pampered. In the afternoon, I drove first to Columbia and then to Muprhys. This bridge is between Columbia and Murphys on County Road E18, Parrots Ferry Road.
The body of water is actually a reservoir. It's called New Melones Lake. It forms part of the Stanislaus River. As expected the water level is low in summer, although it's even lower than it should be because we had 3 years of drought followed by one year of slightly more than normal rains.
This is in Murphys. A little creek flows through the town and this red water wheel caught my eye.
Nearby is this picturesque candle shop. The artist was working when I passed the shop, so I watched her for a while. The candles she sold were covered with colorful was intarsia work. It was fascinating to watch.
This is at the other end of Muprhys. It's the Odd Fellows loge, as you can tell from the sign on the facade. Love the blue paint on the wood and the white trim.
The shop on the ground floor of the Odd Fellows house sells antique plumbing and bathroom appliances. There's a permanent display of a rolltop bath and an old water closet on the sidewalk.
Murphys' historic hotel sports a sign that probably qualifies as a historic landmark in its own right. The martini glass with an olive on a red stick feels incredibly American.
Here's the whole facade with all the bunting left over from the 4th of July celebration earlier in the month. They serve food both indoors and in a nice shady garden.
There are a lot of wine tasting rooms in Murphys. Most of them aren't very interesting but this one, paired with a motor cycle accessories store, was worth taking a picture of.
I was a bit surprised that many shops and restaurants were still sporting holiday lights in July. But my guess is that they are in use all year round.
Murphys was very photogenic. Even the public utility building had a lot of charm. Next time I go back to Gold Country, I may stay in Murphys. It really was that cute.
On my drive back home, I randomly stopped at a lay-by to take a photo of the beautiful oak-savannah landscape. There are some cattle too, in the photo. They're a necessity to keep the landscape open.
The next day I drove home by way of Jamestown. There's a historic railway in Jamestown. It's been used in many movies. I poked around a bit at the station. Here is the station sign.
In central Jamestown there's a car park. That's where this jail is found. Perhaps not a very welcoming message to tourists, although it's rustic and picturesque in its own way. To the right of the jail, you can see a bandstand in a little park. That feels like a more welcoming thing to show tourists right as they climb out of their cars.