This part of northern California is literally la “creme de la creme”, or at least the land of milk, cream, cheese, butter, and lots of cows. As we left Ferndale (nicknamed Cowtown), we cycled past mile after mile of dairy farms, with cows lazily munching grass and hay – by lazy, I mean actually lying on the ground and munching.
The Victorian mansions in the town of Ferndale were referred to as “Butterfat Mansions” as they were built with the profits from the dairy farms.
This misty gray skies, the green fields, the narrow roads and the happy cows all reminded us of our cycling trips in Ireland – even the smell of the fermented hay.
Once we climbed a few of the hills and were able to see the Eel River down below
and the alpine hills above us with the grazing cows – those scenes reminded us of Switzerland.
Who says you have to go to Europe – we’re finding European landscapes here in Northern California.
Three hills today as we made our way to Rio Dell (not to be confused with Del Rio, Texas from our trip last fall). Our short ride was determined by the fact that we can’t secure lodging for another 45 miles – so decided on a short day today rather than cycling 60 today!
We have dropped off our bags and we’re heading down to Scotia to check out the “Last True Company Town in California”. Pacific Lumber Company built the town between 1883 and the 1920’s, constructing over 275 houses, 2 churches, a school, and other amenities for the town.
Everything was company owned. Pacific Lumber went bankrupt and now the mill is partially working and the new owners are working to sell off all the houses to the employees and retirees who live in them.
We ate dinner at the Scotia Inn Pub (Gallagher’s) and had our taste of Ireland tonight. Wished we could have stayed at the Inn – beautiful lobby. (The Inn was also built by the “company”. )
Small World PS – the owners of the Francis Creek Inn, where we stayed last night, spoke with us this morning and it turns out they are from Woodstock, VA. They are selling the Inn to go back home.
Breakfast PS – Bill is just like his mom. After a breakfast sandwich at the Ferndale Pie Company, he put away a piece of cherry pie and ice cream. Breakfast dessert.