Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Shasta and French Gulch

May and June have turned out to be the perfect time to be traveling the California coast.  The wildflowers are spectacular.

We continued on towards Redding on highway 299 and spent the night about midway in a small National Park.  We were the only ones there--another reason this has been a good time for traveling.

We made a stop in French Gulch, a tiny community that is almost a ghost town.

There is a Bed and Breakfast that boasts a great Sunday buffet (unfortunately we missed it)...

The French Gulch Hotel
(AKA--The Feeney Hotel)
Built in 1885 by Richard Feeney. The hotel catered to miners and stage coach travelers.  The saloon houses the 1850's Empire Bar.  The bar was brought around Cape Horn from England, then by horse and wagon to French Gulch. 

...And a saloon (of course)

E. Franck & Co.
Established 1854 by brothers Fredrick and Ignatz Franck offering mining supplies and general merchandise. 

Only the locals know when the saloon is open; the front door is always locked and the only entrance is through the back of the building...

...where we found this fine fellow, snoozing in the afternoon sun. When I asked the saloon keeper what the dog's name was, he said, "Mayor."
I must have looked quizzical because the owner then said, "No, Really. He was 'duly' elected. And he's the best mayor the town of French Gulch has ever had."


And finally, another ghost town just a few miles from Redding,  but this one has been taken over by the Forest Service and is being well cared for...

There is a museum in the old courthouse in Shasta and we did a quick run-through...

The Courtroom

the guns...

The furniture...(was black the 'in' color of the 1850's?)

Take a look at this stroller.  It is also a high chair with hinges to unfold and lift it.  And notice that ornate back on the seat.  And it is real wood, 160 years old, and looks brand new.  It is definitely not IKEA.

Jo found the gallows (and had to get dramatic).

Yes, a few people had that trapdoor fall open under their feet.  

Have you noticed how Jo is always climbing on stuff?

We made another stop at Whiskey Town Lake...

Which lies just a few minutes drive from Redding.

It was time for the trip to end.
I sure enjoyed our time together, Jo.  Thanks for coming along with me.


  1. You and Jo sure went to some interesting places. I would have loved to explore those ghost towns with you.

  2. Amazing that there is practically no one around in those places. They look so fascinating.

  3. It's true, the further north I travel the smaller the crowds. And there was no one but the two of us in the ghost towns.

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