Thursday, October 29, 2009

Forest City to Goodyears Bar

Mountain House Road

Sierra County is dotted with tiny settlements and the gold sources that supported ‘em. Following Mountain House Road out of Forest City the route descends past the cemetery into a creek drainage that flows west; then climbs the ridge to look down on Goodyear’s Creek, or a tributary thereof that appears to flow east and north. As I drive these rustic roads, at some point I pass through a portal that carries me to a yesterday of 100 years back. Perhaps the portal is that canopy of brilliant fall colors flecked with darts of low October sun where the road feels like a kaleidoscope for a few hundred yards.

At the top of the ridge, I pause and look into the depths of the canyon. Five or more miles distant, and perhaps two thousand feet or more below, I can see the community of Goodyear’s Bar – a place with a bath, a good hot meal and a warm feather bed – and the wagon road that carries goods and people up to Downieville. Today, the old hostelry is a bed and breakfast and arriving on the BMW after thirty minutes, patrons look up from their games of checkers on the sunny porch to nod quizzically, wondering, perhaps, what this mechanical beast is. Didn’t the last person leaving town have his kit lashed to a burro with a fresh supply of grub from Major Downie’s encampment four miles up the Yuba?

© 2009
Church of the Open Road Press

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