In keeping with our newly established Thanksgiving tradition, we took the day yesterday to go exploring and visit a place with a name that echoes back to our past life. Last year, we visited Washington. This year, we went a little farther afield.
On the way up to our target, we stopped by Pike City. As you can see, it's a hoppin' town. It turns out, folks, that in America, you can have a city without having a cathedral. Weird.
Pike City was not our final destination. We drove on up the mountain. The sun was shining (unlike the dreary rain we're getting today) and the snow lay all about us. The views were pretty spectacular, as well. After Pike City, we also tried the turn for Forest City, but after a mile or so, the steep road became pretty icy. We came upon a trio of young men with a light pickup truck. They couldn't get the thing up the hill and were worried about going any farther. I added my weight to the bed to help the rear-wheel-drive get some grip, but it wasn't enough. A few broken pine tree branches got them a few feet up the hill -- sometimes just a little grip is all you need -- but then the tires just kept kicking them away.
So we plugged a giant eye-hook into the back of our little car and tied a cable to their hitch. We snapped one of their ropes, but we pulled the truck twenty feet up onto ice-free road. I didn't think the little car had it in her, but all wheel drive really makes a difference.
Even so, we decided to skip the trip to Forest City and ran on up to our final destination.
Of course, we were thinking of Allegany County, where Maryland's Cumberland sits in the western part of the state. This town, and the name of its founding mine, comes from the Allegheny River in south western Pennsylvania. (As you probably know, the Allegheny River is the true headwaters of the Mississippi River.) All of which is closer to some of our old stomping grounds.
This Alleghany is a small town up in the mountains of Sierra County, about a 30 minute drive north of Route 49. The road there was well-maintained and fairly passable until we got to the town itself.
The town has a nice basketball court:
and a playground.
But the playground is only for local people, I guess.
You never know what you're going to find in these remote places, which is part of the adventure. However, I'm pretty sure that this sign was not meant to indicate the presence of fast food. If it was, we never saw it.
We stopped by Casey's Place, which looked interesting. We stomped up onto the porch to find that the place doesn't open until 1. The proprietor opened the door to greet us and reinforce this opening at 1 thing. She said that they had only gotten power back on that day, so they were going to have a family Thanksgiving dinner. She pointed to the part of the bar where the family would sit. We told her we'd take a walk around and be back for 1 o'-clock.
Apparently, though, we misunderstood her. When we got back around 1:15, the place was still closed and nobody came to the door. Maybe she meant they wouldn't be open because of Thanksgiving? Then why didn't she object when we said we'd be back at one? Oh, it's just too confusing. It's a shame because I've been craving a good burger. At any rate, we drove an hour down to Downieville and had some of the best Mexican food I've had in a while.
And that was Thanksgiving 2010.