Over the past several weeks we have been visiting family in Northern California. An interesting, or perhaps challenging, perspective of considering what to 'See and Do' in this area is that not only have we been visiting in this same area over the past twelve years, we lived here for two years and... it has strong parallels to the area where I grew up, some 70 or so miles Southeast.
Oroville, translated: "City of Gold" is in the Northern Sacramento Valley and was established during the California Gold Rush of 1849. The parallels to my hometown of Folsom (also in the Sacramento Valley) are 'Amazing!' Not only were both founded during the Gold Rush, but both are river towns, both had significant Chinese settlements and seemingly grew from virtually nothing in a short period of time due to the influx of "prospectors" seeking their fortunes!!
|Oroville Chinese Temple & Garden (Built: 1863)|
Both cities not only embrace their heritage in California Gold Rush history, but both have significant railroad history as well and are sites of earthen filled dams that provide hydroelectric power to the Golden State. Lake Oroville and Folsom Lake are both known far and wide for their multitude of recreational activities just to add another dimension to this brief comparison.
Thus the aforementioned 'familiarities' to not only Oroville, but Butte County, has made me -- and us -- rather complacent about considering what there is to 'See and Do'. It kind of feels like "Been there, Done that!" If you know what I mean... Perhaps you can relate? Do you have places that you have visited on more than one occasion and thus feel like you've pretty much seen it all?
I decided to get back to my roots, so to speak. I learned at an early age about this wonderful place in our town (almost as awesome as the library... which of course is also a good resource for seeking info...) it was called the "Chamber of Commerce"! Our Chamber of Commerce was a plethora of information about what to see and do, along with little known facts and trivia, about our town! So a few days ago... off to the Oroville Chamber of Commerce I went!!
I came home with a handful of brochures about the area that were very helpful to get us started on planning our adventures. One really cool book is filled with "101 Things to do..." A few brochures provided resources on 'self guided tours' -- one of Murals -- one called the Greenline Tour, that meanders through town and up to the Oroville Dam -- and another that we found especially enjoyable (thus was our first adventure...) was labeled as a "Walking Tour" but beings as the high for the day was in the 40's we opted to drive and stop at each point on the map.
|Planning our Adventure|
The tour probably covered a couple of square miles and had us stopping at historic points of interest. Ian and I (Rich stayed at the trailer as he was sick) simply used our cell phone, dialed a number and punched in three digits as they appeared on the brochure. Voila!! A short story about the site available at our fingertips! Great idea!! Kudos to whomever came up with THAT idea!! Loved it!! Basically you're dialing into a phone system and punching in an extension, so it's possible to dial in from anywhere and hear the information again -- which I intend to do about one site, in particular, that I'd like to do more research on -- but we'll save that for another day!
After our 'driving version' of the Walking Tour, Ian and I went on a hunt to locate some of the many murals around town! They were great fun and gave us a glimpse into the multifaceted history of this little "City of Gold"! The following day we followed it up with another resource trip: The local branch of the Butte County Library, and a visit with our favorite Librarian -- Heidi!
So... There ya go!! That's where we started... and over the next few weeks we'll share with you a bit of what there is to 'See and Do' in Oroville, CA (and perhaps the surrounding area of Butte County -- we haven't decided just how far we'll go yet...) Along the way we will also share with you where we found more resources to determine our 'See and Do' list. Perhaps you'll discover new appeal to visiting places that you've been before! And as always... We hope that you too, will...
Enjoy the journey....