Sunday, May 13, 2012

Julien and the Gold MIne

Friday was our day off and we wanted to get out of the city for a while so we took a drive up to Julien, about 50 miles East into the mountains. We went there once before but arrived late in the day and didn't really get to see much. It isn't far from Warner's Ranch where the Battalion finally arrived when they made it to California. The town was settled first in 1869 when gold was discovered.  It is a quaint little tourist town with lots of fun shops and restaurants.  We bought a book on the birds of Southern California because we love looking and listening to them.  Julien is famous for it's pies, specifically Apple pie, so we bought a Berry Apple Crumb pie to bring home. It is yummy.  I guess in the early days they discovered that apples grew well in the area.  Then we took a very interesting tour of an old gold mine. I don't recall that I had ever been in one so that was very fun.  We found a great fruit/vegetable roadside stand on the way up in little town called Alpine and bought a ton of fruit and veggies for $20, tomatoes, 25 avocados for $2, oranges, honey, mango ect.  We love the fresh food here.
We had a great lunch in this little cafe with a beautiful mural. I had some of the best corn chowder with Lima beans I have ever had and also a curried tuna salad. Yummy.
The hillsides are filled with wild lilacs that are so sweet and fragrant. I love lilacs.
 The hillsides going to Julien are filled with
beautiful mustard flowers. A devastating fire burned many of the oaks years ago.
I love the California poppies.

Cute store fronts

And now for the Gold Mine
 This wagon had to carry 1 ton of quartz. The gold is found in the rock and for every ton of rock they could maybe get 1 oz of gold which sold for $17 back in the day. How times have changed.

Going down into the mine shaft.

 The veins ran across the shaft and that is where the miners would look for the rocks that contained the gold.

This is a 5 stamp mill.  After the rock was brought out this machine was used to crush it so that they then could sift it out and find the gold. It was quite a long laborious process.

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