Discovering history: Old Folsom

There are many old towns with history in California, but this one is close to home. Old Folsom or the Historic Folsom District as they it’s correctly called is a typical shopping and dining area like you’d find elsewhere. However the difference is their free parking garage and Historic Powerhouse. This hydroelectric plant, which is now a State Park, began delivering electric power to Sacramento in September, 1895 and continued to do so until it was shut down in 1952.

Unfortunately, we were not able to go inside because it was closed, but we did shoot the outside. But, fortunately, Tom was able to give us a complete history because of his association with the local newspaper and having lived in Folsom. One of these days, we’ll go back when we know it’s open. By the time we walked around Old Folsom, we were tired. Remember, this was the second half of a Tuesday outing. I’m sure Tom will have more interesting and historic stories to tell us.

 

Failure, fun, fantastic: Auburn

They say we learn from our mistakes and Marlene, Karen and I did. Following a suggestion, we went to Lake Clementine near Auburn, but didn’t get to the right place. By the time we found the area where we could practice with our ND filters, the sun was too high–A fact we learned later. That was the failure, but we did learn. When using ND filters, you need to be out early morning or in the evening!

Fun, we did have. We drove on to Auburn where we had lunch, walked and took pictures. We went into the old courthouse and were allowed to take pictures anywhere we liked. It was fun.

Fantastic, happened when we started looking for a place to shoot the sunset. The place a restaurant owner directed us to, wasn’t suitable, and the sun was setting lower in the sky. Off we drove until we came to a private home with acreage, trees and a small pond. This would be perfect. With a lot of coaxing from me, (Okay, I strongly suggested that Karen get out of the car and ask the owners if we could park in their driveway and shoot the sunset at the property. I was driving.) Karen and Marlene bravely pressed the button on the gate code intercom. It paid off. We were allowed to park in the driveway and shoot the sunset.

So, on this great outing, failure led to fun, and more fantastic shooting opportunities. Next time we go to the area near Lake Clementine, we’ll do it earlier in the morning. It’s a small hike to the waterfall, and we’d all rather do it in cooler temperatures and when the sun isn’t so high.

 

Riding the freeway: Port Costa California

Not knowing the country roads, we needed to take the freeway to get to Crockett, Port Costa and Mare Island. Marlene said, “Greg wouldn’t approve,” and I agreed. This was our first long distance outing since Greg became ill. We stayed around home base for a few weeks during our Tuesday’s With Seniors outings to accommodate his needs. He may not have been able to come, but he was certainly on our minds.

Driving the freeway route, we first stopped at Crockett, then found Port Costa and eventually made our way to Mare Island. Today, I want to show you some of Port Costa. This small, decaying town is a census-designated place in Conra Costa County. The population was 190 at the 2010 census. Founded in 1879 as a landing for the railroad ferry Solano, Port Costa’s ferries carried entire trains across the Carquinez Strait from Benicia to Port Costa. The town lost its importance when a railroad bridge was constructed at Martinez in 1930 to replace the ferry crossing. Today, it’s a sleepy, photogenic and cute town.

I enjoyed shooting in Port Costa more than the other two places which I will show you in another post. I just wish, some of the stores were open on Tuesdays. It’s a good thing we ate lunch before we arrived!

From Port Costa to Mare Island, we were able to stay off the freeway although we did use the GPS–another thing Greg would never use!

Who moved my chairs? Back to Volcano

My red chairs. The simple, inexpensive patio chairs I shot, during a prior visit, as they were positioned in front of a Volcano, California store were moved. And, I was moved. I don’t know why, but when I saw that they were not in the same photographic set up, I was taken aback! Did I want to shoot them again? Did I want to make a good shot even better? Probably not, but I did look at the composition–no, not as good.

I did take a shot from a totally different angle. Of course you’re thinking, “Why didn’t she just move the chairs back?” Good question, I’m going to have to start setting the scene when I can. I’m sorry that I don’t have the original on my laptop here in San Jose. If you want to see it. It’s archived in this blog. Anyway, here’s the shot I took.

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This was my second and Marlene’s first trip to this small town. Except for the red chairs it hadn’t changed! It is full of historic buildings that have been re-purposed and still used.

Volcano was a cultural center in this gold fever valley. It was the first to have a lending library and many other civic and private offerings. I love the look of stone on Main Street’s buildings.

We had just come from the Black Chasm Cavern tour and were hungry. We were directed to the General Store and had burgers. We then walked beyond Main Street and saw more of the town.

I may go back to Volcano in the future, and I’ll definitely move some chairs!

 

 

Great feedback: Back to Jackson, part 2

Wow, I am so grateful for all the feedback I received from my last post. Most of it was on Facebook. It really helped me shape the next part of my journey.

I began this blog as a way to talk about my new hobby and document my chosen paths. I chose not to take classes, but study tutorials, practice and join Meetup groups. And, it’s worked. It took about 3 years, but I am confident now and ready for the next step–learning more about processing and putting my work out there. I’m not looking to sell anything, but to get more feedback. Most of all, I’m having fun and have met new friends and wonderful, helpful people.

In the meantime, I promised you the images from Jackson and here they are. I will always be open to feedback, and I’m willing to listen and try new things.

 

 

Taking a different course: Plymouth and Fiddletown, California, part 2

Oh, sorry to leave you right in the middle of Fiddletown, (Where we left off in my last post.) but we will leave once I tell you how it got its name.

Founded in 1849, the town mainly served as a trading camp for the many mines in the area. A popular mining technique, placer mining, was heavily dependent on water. Dry Creek, the local water source, ran dry in the summer months, meaning the miners couldn’t work. It is said that the miners would fiddle around, and the town became known as Fiddletown. Not happy with his town’s name, a local resident lobbied to have the name changed to Oleta (his daughter’s name). This name stood until his death in 1932 when the name Fiddletown was restored.

Embracing the name, residents are not idle. They have fund raisers to support renovations for historic landmark buildings, a Living History Day and a Fiddlers Jam. I’m hoping that some day they will put in a proper public restroom!

Now we will leave Fiddletown and head down to D-Agoustini Reservoir enjoy your journey!

Taking a different course: Plymouth and Fiddletown, California

It was Tuesday with seniors. I was still hobbling. it was the three of us me, Marlene and Greg. But, we took a different course into Plymouth and Fiddletown.

I’ve been to Plymouth, but not to photograph the sights. We used to square dance and went to a yearly festival there. And, just the name Fiddletown was attraction enough for me. So off we went, with Greg taking us down every back road he knew! I was still in the back seat with my foot up.

Plymouth is a city in Amador County, and the 2010 census shows a population of 1,005. This is a very small town with the downtown area maybe three blocks long. It looks like they are trying to create an upscale yet old look with new construction on the main street.

This is in contrast to Fiddletown where the main drag shows buildings empty and almost falling down. A census designated community in Amador County, Fiddletown’s population was 235 as of the 2010 census. It  is registered as a California Historical Landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. But, it has a charm to it.

Our guide, Greg, also took us to D-Agonstini Reservoir which I thought was a large pond! And we had crossed the county line into El Dorado County. I’m sure I mentioned in a previous post that you never know where you’ll end up when Greg is driving!

So that’s where our course took us last week. See for yourself in this two-part post.