Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26, 2017 (Barstow/Calico KOA, Yermo, CA)

We had a pretty quiet Saturday...not a lot to do in Barstow, especially when you're about five miles out of town. Apparently there is a ghost town not far away and we noticed a sign in the office when we checked in saying they provided a free shuttle ride to it. We will likely check that out...but not today.

Steve took this picture from the side window...our neighbours are in a couple of huge semi-tractors...
We went out for a walk to check out the campground...
Cool tent-camping spots...
The view out the back of the campground...
Some cabins...
Outfitter tents too...
Lots of pull through sites...
This campground is okay but the pool is shutdown and the cost does not reflect the fact that not all amenities are available. This is the second time we've experienced this and it's why we stopped staying at KOA's our first year on the road...they are over priced.

On our way back to our site, we met the folks in the 2 tractors. They were quite intrigued with our truck and came over to see it. It's rather humbling when a couple of truckers and their wives are drooling over your rig. In the course of chatting with them, we found out that Joe has a couple of motorized coolers...huh? Cool. Steve later snapped a picture of Joe and Al working on them...
Just after 3:30 we decided to join them outside in the sunshine for a drink...
Of course, Steve had to take a cooler on a test ride. These things move and will even pop a wheely if you're not careful!
Both couples are long-haul drivers...and each couple share the driving. Very interesting talking with them. Al, Wanda, Sherry, Joe and Steve...
Joe having a shot of Tequila....
Wanda showed us the inside of their tractor, the black one...and their kitties...
Very compact...nice!
Then Joe and Al decided to have a race on the coolers...
They don't do well in thick gravel...
And they're off!
Steve and I even took them out for a little "race" of our own...too funny! We enjoyed great conversation and lots of laughs with new friends and before we knew it, it was time to go get dinner on.

Before going in, though, Steve had to deal with some doves taking up residence under our boat on the truck! We had notice the doves hanging around but neighbours stopped us to say that the doves had been carrying twigs under there...they seem to be making a nest on the boat loader control box under the boat...
So Steve "shooed" them away and pulled out the twigs. He had to do this several times before the Doves finally gave up...

Sunday morning we took advantage of the shuttle ride to Calico Ghost Town...arriving there shortly after 10:00.

Calico is an old West mining town that has been around since 1881 during the largest silver strike in California. With its 500 mines, Calico produced over $20 million in silver ore over a 12-year span. When silver lost its value in the mid-1890's, Calico lost its population. The miner's packed up, loaded their mules and moved away abandoning the town that once gave them a good living. It became a "ghost town." 
Walter Knott purchased Calico in the 1950's architecturally restoring all but the five original buildings to look as they did in the 1880's. Calico received State Historical Landmark 782 and in 2005 was proclaimed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be California's Silver Rush Ghost Town. 
Today Calico is part of the San Bernardino County Regional Parks system visited by people from around the country and all over the world. The park offers visitors an opportunity to share in its rich history and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding desert environment. Along with its history and attractions, Calico Ghost Town has shops,restaurants and offers camping and outdoor recreation not available at most of our other park facilities. Due to the historic nature of the town, not all areas are ADA accessible.

Help!!!!

Old fire wagon...

(Click on any photo to enlarge)













Steve...aren't you going to bail me out?!



Blacksmith shop...
Hearse parked beside it...
Blacksmith shop...






Schoolhouse...
Views of the town from the viewpoint...

Here comes the train...


One of many mine entrances below...
KOA campsite in the distance...
Train entering a small tunnel...
There are stone miner dwellings everywhere...




Cactus in bloom,,


We took a walking tour of the Maggie Mine....

Looking up into a shaft...








They also have a 3 1/2 hour mine tour that costs $50 each...that's a bit rich! There are 30 miles of tunnels and 14 levels.
Replica of the original schoolhouse was built in 1950...




This building is built with bottles...
Two tickets please...


Waiting for the train to arrive...

Our grand kids would love this!
And we're off!
Lots of colour in the desert...
Tunnel ahead...

Into the tunnel...



This used to be the residential area of around 80 homes away from downtown where there were many saloons and red light areas...
That small light coloured area below the mountain is the only foundation left...
These mine tailings still contain 6 million dollars in silver but would cost 10 million to process...
This device has a ball and chain that was driven by a horse or mule and was used for grinding material...


Almost back at the station...
This area was the Chinese section but not much is left...
An outhouse...
Steve walked up to these miner dwellings...
Inside the one on the left...
Inside the one on the right. Barely room for a bed...


Lil's Saloon...time for a beer and bite to eat...
We sat out in the beer garden and ate our Polish Dogs. Don't order these, the skins on them were so tough you couldn't bite through them!


Interesting folds in the earth...
After about 3 1/2 hours of wandering around, the park office called the KOA and Ron came and picked us up. What a very cool place...we highly recommend visiting the Calico Ghost Town if you are ever in the area! It's the largest ghost town we've ever been to.

Once home, it was time to get ready for tomorrow morning...we unhitched the truck and then off-loaded the boat. After that was done, we sat outside for a bit and then retreated inside...the wind had really come up again. Actually, there is a wind warning for tomorrow...it's going to be a blustery day with gusts forecast up to 60 mph!


6 comments:

  1. Calico has sure changed in the years since Guy and I camped there maybe 30 years ago..we used to 4 wheel all over...there was not a campground anywhere in sight!! Also the town was completely deserted!! Glad you had a good time!!

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    1. It was a very cool spot...a good few hours! We had no idea it was here.

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  2. We've been to Bodie to see the ghost town, but this one is awesome! Hope to be in the area someday to check it out. Glad there was something near by to keep you busy:)

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    1. Highly recommend it...very interesting spot!

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  3. There are certainly worse places to be stranded. Sucks that you have to stay at a KOA but there are some cool sights in the area.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I guess there are worse places...but once you've done the one, or two things in the area, it's time to move on! Which is what we wish we could do....

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