Saturday, November 02, 2013

Finding Fall in Grass Valley/Empire Mine

We set out to explore. My secret desire was to find green hills/meadows and fall. The weather got cold a week ago but the last few days have been in the mid-high 70's again. Perfect weather to explore. 

We debated which direction to head and finally headed out to Brown's Valley. We drove by the home we had  thought we'd move in to before it sold....and realized it was nice....pretty area....where we are is much more conducive to being involved in relational ministry. We also have a MUCH quicker drive to base. 

Next we headed to Grass Valley. I had no real idea of what we'd find there. I thought I had heard there was a state park nearby. I hoped  hiking trails, with nice picnic areas, would materialize.  We ended up in a public parking lot....I took this shot to add to my "Outhouses Across CA" portfolio.....seriously, we miss squatty potties - you don't have to TOUCH anything - but we are thankful  the places we've visited in the last two weeks have all HAD outhouses! 
Note the fall colors! 

Thrilled to be out of our subdivision! 
We enjoyed our picnic out of the back of the van (::snort::).....and set out to  investigate Historic Downtown Grass Valley.  We will be back! I will go back again someday with those who want to "shop" vs "window shop." 

 We fell in love with these sand pictures...the lady wouldn't tell me the price on the big one - always a bad sign.  There is liquid and air and sand in these and the designs are always different. Zander loved watching this.....They had some with backgrounds that were sort of fun. There was a bright one that reminded me of the Northern Lights in AK. 

All heartily endorsed the Lazy Dog  Chocolateria! The kids enjoyed hand dipped ice cream bars; Michael and I indulged in hand dipped dark chocolate covered honey comb and dark chocolate dipped toffee (respectively). 

I found the acceptable answer to the age-old burning holiday question, "What does a vegan do at Thanksgiving?"

A nice shopkeeper had suggested we drive up to Empire Mine State Park and thought there would be a lot of things the kids would enjoy there. The electricity was out today at the park. We couldn't go down the shaft....but we did walk around, talk with docents and got a good feel for the spot. We'll be back. This place will be fantastic in the summer when they have docents doing various jobs and tours. It will also be great dressed up for Christmas.  We think this would be a fun outing when all are down for Thanksgiving....though we are wondering about renting a couple of wheel chairs. 

These stamps were impressive! They were used to crush ore...and the noise could be heard from miles away.

The Empire "Cottage" was fantastic. I hope we can go back during the Holidays and get a tour. It was built to look like an English Cottage - formal gardens and all. This was a great spot to get some photos - maybe we'll go back when all are here.

We didn't make it out of the compound early enough to hike the trails. There ARE lots of picnic tables here. Next time we'll have our lunch here instead of the public parking lot. 

We also drove by a few campgrounds on Rollins lake and one in Grass Valley. It was RENEWING to see TREES and GREEN meadows and fall colors. Several commented we need to do this every couple of weeks. LOL 

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

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