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!

Miner 49er

As highlighted in our visit to Sutter’s Mill, my passion for the west continues into the history of the gold rush, and our recent travels through gold rush country influenced my wardrobe choices today as we ran did some much needed grocery shopping and errand running

I found this mining themed skirt featuring shovels, picks, pans, sieves, gold dust and pouches when searching “vintage novelty print” on Etsy, one of the most dangerous things one can do.  Some of my favorite road trip memories, including this last road trip, are driving through some of California’s gold rush towns.  Sutter Creek and Senora are just downright adorable, and I adore the tiny town of Mariposa where some of my family lives.  And while it doesn’t take place in California, but rather in the Dakotas, I am a big fan of the show Deadwood, which revolves around the gold rush in the Black Hills.  So I just had to have this little beauty to add to my growing western themed skirt collection.  A few days after the skirt arrived in the post I found myself looking at cowboy brooches on Etsy (another incredibly dangerous thing!) and then happened upon this gold miner! I’d like to think it was all just meant to be. Believe me, I considered wearing this outfit to Sutter’s Mill, but the extremely early start we had that day left me wanting to just wear a t-shirt and jeans. Maybe this outfit will get its day in true gold rush town one day.

Even though the Pendleton’s 49’er has nothing to do with the gold rush (it was named that because it was released in 1949), I couldn’t help paring it with the skirt ensemble, besides, the colors worked perfectly! This 49’er though happens to be a knock-off, for which there were many.  It’s funny, for living in Oregon I actually don’t own a true Pendleton 49’er.

It’s good to be home after such a long trip, and I was glad when the sun decided to show its face and warm up Portland today, allowing for a lightweight jacket such as a 49’er.  It’s really rough coming home to grey clouds and rain after days in the California sunshine.  Meanwhile I’m trying to find homes for some of the purchases we made during our trip, as well try to get back into my normal routine of things, including listing on Etsy.  I hope you all are having a lovely weekend!

Fake ’49er by Western Star: Local rummage sale
Blouse: Living Threads, Portland, Oregon
Skirt: Trove Vintage Boutique
Boots: Buffalo Exchange, Portland, Oregon
Purse: Retro Rejuvenation, Coburg, Oregon
Earrings: Don’t remember…
Miner Brooch: Thrift Pop

Sutter’s Mill

Oops! Kind of forgot to mention I’m off gallivanting in California! Usually I do a little “I’m off! Might blog, might not!” type post, but things quickly spiraled as I attempted to wrap up a great number of things before heading south.  This trip is a little different. While the main catalyst for this trip to Palm Springs is Patrick’s annual business trip (which I tagged along on last year), my dad is tagging along as well for a much needed visit with our family near by.  The great thing about this is that we got to drive to California instead of flying. And it’s been quite fun so far. So with those semantics out of the way… I can now discuss the fun stuff!

So it should be obvious by now that I am a huge history geek. And I love going to where things happened, seeing (and touching when allowed!) objects that involve famous people or historical figures. I get some sort of history geek high off of it, I swear. So when my dad confirmed his desire to go to Palm Springs (which meant road trip!) we immediately began to discuss the things we wanted to do along the way.  It’s no secret that I love the old west, cowboys, and all that jazz, and with that also comes the gold rush.  The lure of “the color” brought thousands of people out west, and while I had visited my fair share of gold rush towns (as part of our family lives in one), I had yet to visit the exact place where gold was first discovered in California, so we put Sutter’s Mill on our list of things to do.

While this may just look like any ol’ creek, this is in fact the spot where gold was first discovered in California! And now you will see what true history geek joy looks like…

Yep, I’m a pretty happy camper.

Anyhow, we’re almost to our destination of Palm Springs and I’ve taken an obscene amount of photos of one of my favorite things to photograph, old signage, so be prepared for a post dedicated purely to that soon.  I’ve also bought a few things too!  There is also lots more history geeking out to happen! Stay tuned, dear readers!

T-Shirt: Jackalope Bar, Austin, Texas
Jeans: Classics by Freddies of Pinewood
Belt: Who knows! Probably thrifted by my dad.
Moccasins: Thunderbird by Minnetonka