Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Calico Ghost Town - Yermo, CA





What do you think of when you hear, "Ghost Town."  Calico Ghost Town in Yermo, CA is not haunted at all, but has the memories of the past.  It is called a ghost town because the people that once lived there packed up and moved out.  Calico was a mining town and known to have had the largest silver strive in California's history.  A visit to Calico will remind you of all things "Old West" and "Rich California History".  It is a trip not too far from Los Angeles and well worth the trip. When you arrive you will pay an entrance fee at the gate:  Adults $6.00 and kids over the age of (5) $3.00.
There are many things to see and do, for example, you can go to the Mystery Shack for a fee of $2.00 per person. It is a gravitational spot that defies the law of gravity.  You end up walking like you need a V8. It is very fun and the Sheriff of the town was very funny. This is a must do at Calico. After, you can hike up to the hill and look out to see the amazing view of what once was a town full of miners and cowboys.  From there you run into "Maggie's Mine" located at the bottom of the hill next to the train station.  Maggie's Mine is one of the original mines and the tour allows you to live and feel the life of a California miner.  Persons over 5 years old are $2.00 to join the tour.  Jump on the train for a narrated adventure that shows you the past for $3.00 per adult and $2.00 for kids 5 - 12.  Before you leave don't forget to pan for gold for a small fee of $1.00 per person.

Maggie's Mine is a small look at what conditions were back in 1800 for the miners. It is dimmly lit and the walk is only a short distance.   There are many things to explore and see in the mine.  Keep a watchful eye, there's silver in them hills.  The temperatures inside the mine are relatively cool in comparison to the outside temps.

The best deal is panning for gold were they only charge $1.00 per person.  Compare that to Zoomar's Zoo of $6.00 to $8.00 and it is a real bargain for the family.  Patient is the name of this game....swirl your pan slowly and gently to ensure you capture as many nuggets as you can.  The staff member will train you on the spot to ensure your success.  Overall learning about the wild west and having fun was not that expensive.  Bring water, fruit and trail mix to help keep your costs down and enjoy the entire day.

Wear comfortable closed toe shoes and light clothes for walking and hiking up the roads.   The summer weather can get hot so pack a hat and sunscreen.  My husband and boys wet their hair and shoulders from the water fountain and the breeze kept them cool for the remainder of the afternoon.

Plan on spending 4 - 6 hours on the site.  There is plenty to do and see.  Numberous places to eat on site as well as a couple of eatery's near the freeway. The staff is polite and gentle just like the wild old west.

This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about the history of the wild west, mining and how times were difficult for families without the modern conveniences of the I-Phone.  Jump back into the 1800's this weekend and enjoy the wild west.

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