Spring Break in Gold Country

March 2018
Indian Grinding Rock State Park has the largest
collection of bedrock mortars in North America!

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We spent my son's spring break camping at New Melones Reservoir near
Sonora.  On the way there we visited a cool spot near Zamora north of
Sacramento where there is a big "Snort".  Unclear on what that is?  Then
you must read the classic children's book "Are you my Mother?" by P.D.
Eastmann!  Next up was Railtown 1872 State Historic Park and Columbia
State Historic Park (
our second visits).  We also went to Calaveras Big
Trees State Park, which I
have been to before but T had not. Mercer
Caverns, the Angel's Camp Museum and Indian Grinding Rock State Park
rounded off the week, and it was our first time visiting these spectacular
This is the last operating roundhouse left in North America
This is the caboose that was in Back to the Future 3
It rained a lot the day and night before our train ride
At Columbia we panned for gold, went bowling, had lunch at the
saloon and visited the old brick schoolhouse on top of the hill!
Rare aragonite crystals deep within Mercer Caverns
The Angel's Camp Museum is simply awesome for kids who like to do
activities - you can build a wagon wheel, play old time games like chess
and tic tac toe, play with letter stamps emulating a printing press, etc.
The sidewalks of Angel's Camp have bronze plaques for the winning
jumping frog each year. Unsure of the reference? Another must read!
"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by Mark Twain.
Many of the frogs have very clever names :)
Calaveras Big Trees State Park contains two beautiful giant
sequoia groves.  We took the easy walk through the North
Grove.  We saw where the infamous "drive through" giant
the Pioneer Cabin Tree, fell down :(  We also ran into an
old boss of mine!  
Mary Anne from Sequoia National Park has
retired from her NPS job and now volunteers at the visitor
center at Calaveras!