Ghost Towns along Highway 49

I am sorry to report I don’t have any images from our time spent in Portland. I was incredibly busy constantly visiting with friends and family, and shopping of course! What I do have to show for our trip though are some shots I took of some ghost towns. we visited during our journey back home.

Honestly, I can’t recall when I first fell in love with the old mining towns along California Highway 49. What I do remember though is being very young and marveling at the old buildings the small town of Mariposa, where my great aunt and uncle used to lived (they have since moved to Seal Beach). We visited them every so often during our trips to California, and I always loved returning to that town. California’s gold rush is a unique moment in time, and a driving force in California’s rich (no pun intended) history, much like the Spanish missions and Hollywood. The towns that sprung up from it continue to draw me in whenever I get the chance to drive through them.

After crossing the border between Oregon and California, we peeled off I-5 just before Sacramento and made our way down Highway 49 visiting Amador City, Sutter Creek, Mokelume Hill, Murphys, Angels Camp, and Columbia. Sadly, we didn’t make it into Mariposa (it’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since I was there) but there are still many more gold rush towns I wish to visit, and I know we will make it there one day. But today I just want to share with you some of the images I took during our visit to these quiet and peaceful towns.

A couple of years ago we visited Coloma, where gold was first discovered in California, and you can take a peek at here.

Patrick and I didn’t have much down time after getting home. In fact we are off to Joshua Tree for the weekend! So I better go repack my suitcase! I hope you all have a lovely weekend!


This weekend’s trip to Vegas was my first visit since the late 90s, and my first time driving there. Not to mention it was Patrick’s first ever visit to America’s playground. On our way we made some stops, including the ghost town of Calico.

Founded in 1881, Calico’s mines produced millions in silver, before silver dropped in price, and it became a ghost town for decades until Walter Knott, of Knott’s Berry Farm fame, purchased the property in 1951, restoring it and offering it as an attraction of sorts.

Today Calico is operated by San Bernardino County Regional Parks system, and the site offers buildings that have stood the test of time, some with artifacts, others turned into gift shops and restaurants, there is a “Mystery Shack” and even a train ride. Patrick and I had fun exploring, and we dined on buffalo burgers while sipping sarsaparilla at the Calico House Restaurant.

For those wishing to visit Calico, it is located off of Interstate 15, about 120 miles out of Los Angeles. It’s a swell place to stop on your way to Vegas or LA if you’re coming from the east, or if you are cruising Route 66 and find yourself in Barstow, it’s only a few minutes away! It costs $8.00 per person to enter Calico, and other amusements, such as the train, panning for gold, and the Mystery Shack are an additional cost.

Have you ever been to Calico or another ghost town?

Stay tuned for more on our trip!

White Fringe Leather Jacket: Simply Vintage Boutique, Portland, Oregon
Brian Setzer Tee: Brian Setzer concert a few years back
Jeans: Freddies of Pinewood
Mocs: Minnetonka
Purse: Buffalo Exchange, Portland, Oregon