Friday, May 3, 2013

Boston Ravine ...

We left central California yesterday morning and three hours later arrived at our destination, Boston Ravine, better known today as Grass Valley.   There's gold in "them thar" hills was certainly the case in this area.  Known for it's hardrock (deep) mining, it attracted tin miners from Cornwall UK with solutions for the problem of getting the quartz out of the ground.  Two of the richest gold mines in California were located here.  Boston Ravine soon became the supply town for the miners.

We got a taste of 1849 pioneering spirit when entering the RV park.  A hair-raising trip up the side of a mountain, threading the needle RV style, squeezing between the trees down a rutted dirt road and across a bridge I was sure wouldn't hold the weight, led us to the back of the Fairgrounds to park in the pine trees.  Whew!!  That got my blood running!!  Seems the main entrance was blocked by Highway Patrol and PG&E due to a gas leak.  We will be here for four days, exploring history up close and personal in the mines and old downtown areas.
A quick introduction by Dan and Betsy, our hosts, was followed by yummy appetizers and an overview of the next few days.
A guest speaker talked about Lola Montez, a famous European courtesan who lived in Grass Valley during the heyday of the gold rush.  Known more for being famous, being arrested and for her bad temper (sort of like Paris Hilton), she brought art, beauty and notoriety to this area.
After eating a huge plate of happy hour appetizers, Patty and I went for a walk around the area, scouting photo ops.  There were several I will return to tonight.
At the end of this creekside trail we found a huge stage with surrounding hill of grass that must have been used for concerts.  We climbed to the top and walked around the wooden structure, always up for an "adventure"!!
With no way down in front, we headed back to the stairs where Patty discovered a piece of paper.  "Bet that says stay off the stage" she said .... sure enough when we turned it over ...!!!  
Back at our rigs, a little ice cream finished off the night.  On the agenda today, Nevada County Narrow Gauge RR Museum, Lefty's Grill, Fire House #1 Museum and Cirinos for dinner.

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