Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Calico Ghost Town

To blow off steam after presenting at an academic conference for the first time, I decided to take a quick trip to the Wild West exhibit at Calico, California, an old mining ghost town that is now a tourist attraction for folks on their way to and from Las Vegas, or a magnet for the odd California history buff (cough, cough).

Calico was founded in 1881 and quickly became a hot destination for ambitious miners. During its heyday, the rocky hills of Calico yielded $20 million in silver, and while silver-rich rocks still litter the ground, none are stolen. The cost of extracting silver exceeds any profits one could make- in point of fact extracting silver equals going into debt!

Today it Calico is a picturesque point on the California map with AMAZING potato salad and desert weather that is mild enough to enjoy in early April before becoming blistering hot in the summer. According to one of the sales clerks, the town only closes its doors on Christmas Day (that tidbit was imparted with a groan) and temperatures in the summer can exceed 130 degrees! Guess who is not making a return trip to Calico in July?

Anyhow, it was was great fun that I highly recommend if you have the inclination for pretty pictures and good potato salad, or if like me, you enjoy the ruins of California's bygone past and how we chose to soften history in the promotion of tourism. 


School House



Western Kitch


Buffalo Burger, Potato Salad, and Cream Soda!

The General Store- One of the town's original buildings

The city firehouse...just in case!

I didn't get a picture of the pie we had with lunch, but it was Cherry and pretty dang good. 

From Calico, with Cream Soda in hand, cheers! :-)