A full week before Memorial Day was the perfect time to venture into the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California for an afternoon of exploring. The sky was cloudless with a slight breeze, and the temperature was in the seventies. No crowds. No summer dust.
Still fresh a week after a spring storm, the drive north on Highway 49 from Nevada City was delightful. We turned east onto the road that takes you through the tiny hamlet of North Columbia, and continued on to Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. This is the site of the largest hydraulic mine in the state. I have always wanted visit this area, and was not disappointed by the trip.
North Bloomfield lies within the park, a cluster of historic buildings left from the days of mining.
Evidence of the devastating process used to strip the mountains bare to expose precious ore was everywhere.
The topography has been forever altered, as has the economy of the area, but life goes on, and the vegetation is beautiful. There are numerous trails that honeycomb the park, and I know that we will return to spend more time here. Spring is ideal for a visit.