We are blessed to live in the San Francisco Bay Area. While we usually head to the coast for an RV trip, we can also head to the mountains. A two hour drive to the foothills of the Sierra Mountains is the Gold Country, where gold fever struck at Sutter’s mill in 1849.
We decided to visit the area around Jackson, CA, as there is a first class RV park at the Jackson Rancharia Casino. Over the weekend, we saw gold mines, fields of daffodils, and enjoyed some great food. Everything we did is on this map of Jackson (which I snapped at the Jackson vista point overlook).
We arrived on Friday and first on our itenerary was a visit to Daffodil Hill, which the McLaughlin family open to the public only 2 or 3 weeks a year. The ranch has been in the family since the 1800s and they began planting daffodils on their property decades ago. As you can see, it’s worth the drive to Volcano so see!
That evening we enjoyed eating at Mel & Fayes Diner, an authentic 50’s diner that the locals love. In fact, we arrived just before two softball teams descended on the restaurant and we enjoyed the fun atmosphere and good good.
We started the next day at the Kennedy Gold Mine. It was in operation from the 1850’s till the beginning of the second World War, and was one of the most valuable mines in the country, as well as the deepest mine at over a mile below ground.
Our tour guide has been very involved in preserving data from the mine, including payroll records, and was a wealth of information. I won’t bore you with all the details, because you really need to see it to appreciate it. However, the men went down the same shaft that the gold ore went up, over a dozen at a time in and on top of the lift, because their pay didn’t start till they were at the job site underground. They had a team of mules that lived their lives underground, eventually going blind, hauling mine trains to the shaft. Many of the miners came from Serbia, Ireland, and Mexico. The Serbian miners built a church, that in 1894 became the first consecrated Serbian Orthodox Church in the western hemisphere. The church is still in use to this day.
For lunch, we visited a great little restaurant in downtown Jackson, Rosebud’s Cafe. It’s a Farm to Table restaurant and the food was fresh, creative, and delicious!
We spent the afternoon and evening enjoying The Jackson Rancharia RV Park, developed thoughtfully by people who must enjoy RVing. It’s on a bluff that overlooks the surrounding area and has large spaces with plenty of room. We enjoyed the walking path that circles the park a few feet below the level of the RVs.
We also loved the great club house with a beautiful pool, putting green, and dog park.
We had a great weekend, and we are looking to our next trip in April, visiting a favorite of ours, the Half Moon Bay State Beach!
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