Autumn is upon us here in the foothills, and what a great time of year to be able to enjoy the lovely scenery and cooler weather in Calaveras County! If you were in town recently, you got a chance to enjoy one of our annual events here in Murphys; The Calaveras Grape Stomp and the Gold Rush Street Faire! The winners of this year’s contest called themselves The Grapeful Dead. The action took place in Murphys Park, and the street fair was on both sides of Main Street, which was closed from just past the bridge down to the antique plumbing supply company in the old IOOF building. Despite the wonderful weather we had for the event, it did seem not only to be smaller this year, but to not be as well attended as past events. Nevertheless, fun was had by all in attendance, it seemed, and there were some really cool items available for sale in support of the victims of the recent Butte Fire that ravaged over a 100 square miles of our beloved county.
Starting on Sunday, October 11, Moaning Caverns is having a Halloween themed event that runs through the rest of the month, and most, if not all, of the local wineries host a wine stroll through Murphys every weekend.
The Calaveras Community Band will be presenting their fall concert from 3 – 5 pm at the Performing Arts Center at Bret Harte High School on Sunday the 1st of November. The Calaveras Drum Circle will be meeting in Utica Park from 4:30 – 6 pm the same day. Bring a percussion instrument or borrow one of theirs!
On Thursday, November 5th, the 3rd Annual Wine Barrel Open golf tournament will be held at Greenhorn Creek Golf Course and Resort, where contestants will compete for a barrel full of award-winning local wines!
Then on Friday, the Hotel Leger at 8304 Main St. in Mokelumne Hill will be hosting Comedy Nite at the Hotel Leger from 8 – 10 pm. Make sure to bring your funny bone!
The 6th annual Day of the Dead Celebration will be held on Saturday, November 7th from 11 am- 6 pm at Murphys Community Park to celebrate the lives of those who have passed but are still with us in heart and spirit. On that same day, Columbia College will be holding the Sierra Nevada Film Festival starting at 5:15 pm.
On Sunday, November 15th, the Soroptimist International of Calaveras County will be hosting their annual Teddy Bear Tea with music, entertainment, and crafts at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds in the Frogtown hall from 1 – 4 pm. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite costumes and dress-up apparel. Fees are $15 for children 9 and under, and $27 for those over 10.
Well it’s about time Old Man Winter came to visit! We were seriously starting to take measures to ensure that our well didn’t run dry, as several have in Calaveras County lately. The creek that runs through the north end of our property, a tributary of the Jesus Maria Creek, had been bone dry for almost 2/3rds of a year and we were starting to think that all the work our neighbor had done to improve the runoff of water on his property had been an exercise in futility. Why create diversions and install giant French drains and culverts when there wasn’t any water to divert? But now all that hard work has paid off for him, and we can relax about our well for a while.
We have some great local events coming up this week that will entertain you and delight your senses. This Wednesday, February 12th, at 11am, Camps Restaurant in Angels Camp will host “88 Days… The Story of Mark Twain in the Mother Lode”. This free event will hopefully inform and entertain folks about the life and times of famous author Samuel Clemens, who wrote “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”.
And then the next day, Thursday, February 13th, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm, Murphys Historic Hotel will be hosting Wines of the World, with a chocolate and Port tasting being the focus of the evening. There is a fee of $15/person for CWA members and $25/person for the general public. Guests are welcome to dine in the hotel afterwards and will receive a $5 discount on their entrées if they do!
This Friday is Valentines Day, and there are lots of activities to participate in to celebrate the special day. The Angels Camp Museum is having Love Fridays all month long, this week’s presentation will discuss “Love History (President Polk and the Gold Rush)”, and if you call ahead, they will have a brown bag lunch waiting for you at 1:00 pm when you arrive. The cost is $12 for one presentation, or $45 if you decide to attend all four. Zucca Wine Bar, Alchemy Market and Café, and Victoria Inn, all in Murphys, are having live music in the evening to entertain their diners, and Angels Camp Mercantile and Café is hosting a karaoke open mic night from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. The Hotel Leger in Mokelumne Hill is offering a special 6 course dinner with wine pairings for $85/couple, with seatings at 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm and is having an open mic night in the Whitewater Saloon starting at 9:00 pm. And finally, Valley Springs will be celebrating the occasion with a family-oriented Valentine’s Day dance from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, hosted by the Cowgirl Up Ranch at the Veterans Hall at 189 Pine Street in Valley Springs. The cost is $10/person while students and youngsters 6 and under get in for free!
So if you happen to find yourself up in the Calaveras foothills this week, I hope you get the chance to attend one or more of these activities and that you have a wonderful, enjoyable, love-filled Valentine’s Day week!
Boy, are we about to get it! Temperatures have been low all week – in the 40s and 50s in the daytime and waaaaaay below freezing at night for the last few days. But tomorrow will pack the biggest wallop yet, according to the weatherman. We’re supposed to get snow down to the 1000′ level, which may put a damper on the Murphys Christmas Open House festivities. But never fear, there is another celebration of winter coming – the 4th annual Winter Wonderland at Calaveras Big Trees State Park!
Make sure you save December 27th from 11 am to 3 pm for fun in the snow in Big Trees State Park. $12.50 for adults and $8.50 for kids under 12 pays your way to holiday fun in Calaveras County. Take a scenic ride in an open wagon through the majestic forest of giant ancient trees, watch your kid create a craft project, enjoy some refreshments like hot apple cider, cocoa and cookies, listen to some lively music, and revel in the great outdoors!
See you there!