Look in the Blog Archive in the box to the right for past ride reports going back to 2006. New material posted as rides or other motorcycle news occurs. Thanks for reading. Comments always welcome, be sure to log in below. Comments will be reviewed. Please note the disclaimer below.

About Me

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Motorcycling has been a life changing experience. I hope sharing the info and pictures on the Blog gives you some idea how impressed I am with the experience, travel and the people I have met. Made new friends especially among Riders here in Orange County. Special recognition to Johney (Wrench)-helps with all the maintenance stuff+rides, plus other great riding friends: Ken Y., Luis V. & Minita, Chuck & Patty, John R., Joe, Carolyn, Gregg, Charlie & Carol, Rick, Stan P., Ed & Susan P., Barry, plus Terry, Bob B., Brian H., Glenn, William & Daveta Jo, Bob (Concho) and others. ************* DISCLAIMER: This is my personal write-up (Blog) of motorcycling news, rides and events that I am involved with in some way and not affiliated with any group, organization or club that might be mentioned herein. There should be no confusion regarding the fact these are my personal comments and not those of any other entity.

Amazing scenery, great ride, wonderful time.

Amazing scenery, great ride, wonderful time.
Monument Valley, Utah-9/2011 photo by Johney Harper!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A visit to Calico Ghost Town near Yermo

It has been years and years since my one visit to Calico-the Ghost Town near Yermo just 3 miles from the I-15 freeway outside Barstow.  Checking Wikipedia:
Calico is a ghost town and former mining town in San Bernardino County, California, United States. Located in the Calico Mountains of the Mojave Desert region of Southern California, it was founded in 1881 as a silver mining town, and today has been converted into a county park. Located off Interstate 15, it lies 3 miles (4.8 km) from Barstow. Giant letters spelling CALICO can be seen on the Calico Peaks behind the ghost town from the freeway. Walter Knott purchased Calico in 1950s architecturally restoring all but the five original buildings to look as they did in 1880s. Calico received State Historical Landmark 782 and in 2005 was proclaimed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be California's Silver Rush Ghost Town. 

In 1881 four prospectors were leaving Grapevine Station (present day Barstow, California) for a mountain peak to the northeast. Describing the peak as "calico-colored", the peak, the mountain range to which it belonged, and the town that followed were all called Calico. The four prospectors discovered silver in the mountain, and opened the Silver King Mine, which was California's largest silver producer in the mid-1880s.  A Post Office was established in early 1882, and the Calico Print, a weekly newspaper, started publishing. The town soon supported three hotels, five general stores, a meat market, bars, brothels, and three restaurants and boarding houses. The county established a school district and a voting precinct.  The town also had a deputy sheriff and two constables, two lawyers and a justice of the peace, five commissioners, and two doctors. There was also a Wells Fargo office and a telephone and telegraph service.   At its height of silver production during 1883 and 1885, Calico had over 500 mines and a population of 1,200 people.
Sunday morning Rac and some friends were leaving Pasadena on a ride to Molly Brown’s, a breakfast favorite in Victorville and then to Calico to visit and see some of the Civil War re-enactment festivities going on Sunday.  At the last minute I decide to ride up and meet them at the Von’s parking lot and go on the ride. I arrive and find Rac-President Chapter 500, Terry-past president Chapter 230, Will and Luis & Minita are on the ride with several other riders I don’t know. 

All goes smoothly and we arrive to find Molly Brown’s busy but they accommodate all 12 of us including one visitor that lives up there, arriving by truck.  From Molly’s it’s on to Route 66 and Barstow to the turn off for Calico.  There is a big crowd and parking is busy as are the town streets. 
 A shuttle picks us up from the lower parking lot and saves us a walk up a steep road.  It did not pick them up back at the Von's.
The photos really tell the story as I am surprised to find how much has developed since recollections of my only visit years ago.

 Are these folks dressed as local color or visiting from some commune somewhere?

 After seeing this photo I realized why I got these strange looks, good grief.

 Slanted "House of Mystery" or just bad construction

 $3 for a train ride.

 Climbed to the top of the hill and you get quite a view looking out all the way to the freeway.
The ride back home was cold but nowhere near as cold as in the morning.  Luis and I split off at the I-15 & 10 interchange.  From there we headed back to Orange County but stopped for a quick sandwich at Joey’s BBQ in Chino, a long time favorite and their first time.  The Stratoliner still rattles my teeth and head, so I'm hoping the lowers will reduce that a bit.

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