Friday, June 13, 2014
Tea at a Ghost Town
One of my favorite things to do is to go on an excursion with my family and visit ghost towns of the west. From Oregon to Arizona, there are so many interesting, out of the way places to visit. Each is unique and different. Each offers a picture into history. People who sought adventure in the wild west were brave and courageous. Some were greedy and others were just trying to create a new life that gave hope and opportunity to their families.
Recently we decided to head out to a place we'd never been. We drove over mountain passes and fertile valleys until we reached a narrow highway leading off the beat and track to the ghost town of Sumpter, Oregon. We didn't know what to expect, but we'd heard that this was an interesting place to go.
We were not disappointed. It was a very quiet day. We had the street to ourselves as we wandered past old buildings, Victorian houses, markets, and saloons. This was an upscale ghost town compared to many we've visited. Although this town was in its heyday during the early 1900's when gold mining was the center of attraction, it is still a popular place for retired folk who want a summer cabin and for snowmobilers and ATVer's who enjoy riding miles of trails that take them through 40 acres and more of tailings left behind from a huge gold dredge.
The "general store" was closed. Actually, it is a museum now. And as it usually goes, ghost town museums and shops have very limited hours. It seems like we never find them "open". But that's okay. There is a lot to see from the outside looking in.
I wonder what story this old house could tell?
As usual, I am drawn to the front door. I love old doors leading into old houses. They are not only servicable, but usually have ornate or unusual details that were designed to draw one right into the building.
It seems that someone couldn't wait to find the real thing! How's that for one huge gold nugget?
A pretty porch with plants and flowers invites one to come in and sit a spell.
And the old trading post is solidly crafted from bricks that were probably made somewhere nearby. Standing alone, it is still elegant after all these years. Can you see someone looking at you from a window in this building?
How's this? Any better? Mr. Kitty is curious about us as we wander by.
The edge of town reveals other interesting buildings. Some are barns and some are cabins, both old and new. The old hospital is now a "bed and breakfast", its huge front porch facing south for best exposure to sunshine.
We stopped for tea along the shoreline of the lake nearby. The fragrance of the pines on a hot summer day was tantelizing.
Truffles and pretzels were our snack and enjoyed along with Yorkshire Gold tea.
Of course this is what things really looked like behind the scenes! I enjoyed my tea from the teacup after the photo op. The guys? They enjoyed their snack out of hand and bag. And their tea from Teavana mugs. To each their own. Tea is tea, no matter how it's served.
Do you have a favorite kind of family excursion? Would a ghost town be on your list?