Sunday, November 8, 2009


I took a Sunday drive with my twin daughters today to one of our favorite spots a little east of where we live. It is an old mining town called Dutch Flat and it has long been a favorite place of mine. I love the unique buildings and the quaint neighborhood there. Today it was even more spectacular because we got to see lots of Fall color. Here on the west coast we are still having mild weather so all the leaves have not coompletely turned yet and we have a long way to go until the trees are bare.
The railroad tracks that run east/west run right along Interstate 80 and you actually have to cross the tracks in order to get into Dutch Flat. If there is a long train making its way toward a destination, one might have to sit at the intersection for quite some time. I got a chuckle when I saw this glove that someone had positioned at the top of one of the signs. I don't know what the "D" stands for but I'm sure there is someone that works on the railroad that could surely tell me. I think it looks like a hand that is waving to someone. Remember the hand signals that we used to make as children when the conductor drove past? There still is something comforting to me in the sound of a train. I guess if the trains ever stop running we will all be in a huge mess.
Here's where we sat while we waited for the train to pass. I walked along the tracks for a bit and found a bunch of railroad spikes that had been tossed aside. My granddaughter was thrilled when I brought one back to her. She had never seen a spike before. I imagine that there is a machine that puts them in now instead of a human being. What hard work that must have been. The history that can be told regarding the railroad and what it has done for our country and the sacrifices that men (and women) have made are incredible. There have been many lives lost building the railroad.
This engine says it all: "BUILDING AMERICA".
I know that this looks like just a bunch of sticks or stumps sticking out of water but maybe if you click on the photo you will be able to really see what it is. Dutch Flat was a huge mining area and this pond is an area that had been mined and then filled up with water. The "sticks or stumps" are the tops of trees, if you can believe it. We were standing way up on the top of a hill and looked down at this vast area, completely filled in with water and could not believe our eyes but when we really looked, we could see complete trees "buried" in the water. What an eerie feeling.
This was the greatest totem pole! Click on the image and you will see just about in the center of it, a hand that has grasped the throat of one of the faces. The expression on the face is not so pleasant either.
This house is one of my most favorite "modern" houses in Dutch Flat. Whomever built it took great pains at making the metal siding at the bottom look as if it has been there forever and has rusted. Actually, it has only been painted to look like rust. The top section is all shingled and then painted this light green color. It almost looks as though it is a house on top of another house because of the roof lines. It is located in a wonderful little open space and there are the most beautiful trees surrounding the open fields.

I can only imagine the wonderful towns, buildings, and people that I could see if I had enough time in my life to travel on the back roads of America. I think that much of the flavor of our country is tucked away in some remote area, just waiting to be viewed. Our country is so rich in history. It would be incredible to be able to hear the stories that go along with these wonderful places from the past. They still live on, just waiting for someone like me to take a Sunday drive and discover the hidden beauty.


  1. Love the totem pole! I would love to take a slow trip along the Old Linoln Highway across America, stay in out of the way places and eat in local diners.

  2. Willow--Do you ever watch Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the Food Channel? Guy has a restaurant in Roseville which is about 45 min. away. Wouldn't it be great to see AND eat your way across the U.S.? I totally agree.

  3. The trees in the pond are fascinating - and eerie. It reminds me of the nearby Quabbin Reservoir in which 4 towns in Hampshire county were completely flooded. Old roads that used to go through the towns lead right to the water's edge now. There are old cellars down there, and who knows what else. I've never been out on the reservoir but I always imagine the towns in tact under the water, old steeples and stores.

    Suddenly I want to write a poem about it!


Blog Archive