California

Traveling the American West

Traveling the American West

We’re about to head out for our summer trip, and this year we’re headed out to the American West, our old, familiar, and in many ways favorite travel location.

We’ll head west from Florida, all the way to California and turn right, making a big loop around the western part of the US and southern Canada. And we’ll be posting images and videos all along the trip.

Take a look at what we have in mind:

We’ll be headed out for a summer trip around the American West this year. We’ll make our way to California, north to Alaska, British Columbia, then down through the Rockies. Have a look:

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Posted by Donald Fink and Bonnie Fink in blog, Travel, 1 comment
Columbia State Park – A Photo Gallery

Columbia State Park – A Photo Gallery

One of the California Gold Country must see places is Columbia State Park. Located in the foothills along Highway 49, just north of Sonora, this state park is rich in Gold Country Lore.

Posted by Donald Fink in Gallery, Travel, 0 comments
Bodie State Park – A Gallery

Bodie State Park – A Gallery

Bodie State Park is located along California Highway 395, south of Reno near the town of Bridgeport. It’s an easy day trip from Yosemite over Tioga Pass. Bodie is almost unique in that it is one ghost town that, even though only a small percentage of the original buildings are still standing, it looks like it was a vibrant town only yesterday. Well worth the time to visit.

Posted by Donald Fink in Gallery, Travel, 0 comments
Mono Lake: A Soup of History

Mono Lake: A Soup of History

One of the disadvantages of traveling the eastern Sierras is that it’s a long way from most people’s homes. Most northern Californians have to come all the way over the mountain passes to get there, and southern Californians have to drive several hundred miles along Highway 395, through some of California’s most inhospitable terrain before arriving at their destination. Of course, it could be argued that one of the best reasons for going to the eastern Sierras is because it’s hard to get there, and therefore doesn’t receive the tourist pressure of other parts of the state. Continue reading →

Posted by Donald Fink and Bonnie Fink in Featured, The West, Travel, 0 comments
Knights Ferry

Knights Ferry

In our present day country, we drive about on our road system that’s probably among the best in the world, and give little thought to the hardships that must have existed when this fabulous land was a wilderness; when a wheeled vehicle had never crossed the landscape, and nothing was moved that could not be carried on your back. We drive through little towns like Moss Landing, or Sweeneys Crossing, and give little thought to how they got their interesting names. To us, they’re just names. It might be a surprise then, that the little frontier town of Knights Ferry in the California foothills between Oakdale and Sonora got its name because it was once home to a modified whaling ship used for carrying passengers, goods, and livestock across the Stanislaus River. Continue reading →

Posted by Donald Fink and Bonnie Fink in Featured, The West, Travel, 0 comments
Mono Lake as a Winter Destination

Mono Lake as a Winter Destination

 

If you’re a photographer and you live in California, you’ve probably been to Mono Lake at least once. Mono Lake seems to be a required stop for all amateur photographers at least once. The reasons are obvious if you’ve been, with the quiet beauty of the eastern Sierras in the background, the unusual formations called Tufa Towers, and the opportunity for large vistas. All of the possibilities that are apparent at Mono Lake are coupled with its proximity to Yosemite National Park just over Tioga Pass, and Bodie State Park (the famous 19th century ghost town) just north and slightly east on Highway 395, make this stop a must see, especially if you’re visiting other attractions in the area. Continue reading →

Posted by Donald Fink in Featured, The West, Travel, 0 comments
Columbia State Park

Columbia State Park

A good deal of the recreation in California in the summer months centers around water, or the highest parts of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Pacific Ocean brings mild weather with ocean breezes, and the Sierras offer high altitude relief from the constant heat of the San Joaquin Valley. The truth is, for all the great recreation available in California, it’s a hot, dry landscape in the summer months. It’s not called the “Golden State” because of the gold rush in the 19th century, but for the golden fields of dried up grass. For the most part, the summer in California is a dry, uncomfortably hot place. Continue reading →

Posted by Donald Fink and Bonnie Fink in Featured, State Parks, The West, Travel, 0 comments
Gold Mining Techniques

Gold Mining Techniques

 

There are three principal methods of gold mining in California. Placer mining was one of the most popular, and involved removing gold from deposits in the ground, where it washed down from larger deposits. A faster, and much more destructive method was hydraulic mining, where gold was forcibly removed from deposits by spraying deposits with high volume, high pressure nozzles, washing entire hillsides down to a sluicing operation where heaver elements, like gold, could be separated out. The third mining method is hard rock ore mining where ore is extracted from mine shafts or open pit operations. The ore undergoes treatment that extracts gold salts from the ore, then goes through a smelting process to re-constitute the gold.

Posted by Donald Fink and Bonnie Fink in blog, The West, 0 comments