Columbian Gold

            Columbia is an old gold mining town.  Its history is that of the Wild West.  Wooden sidewalks, a stagecoach, and gunslingers can be found throughout town.  Gold is why the town boomed and lack of gold is why it went bust.  You can still do a little panning in the area.

            There is something better than gold in Columbia now.  It is more valuable, more important, and much better tasting.  Columbia’s current rush is a sugar rush caused by the best candy anywhere. 

          At Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen, the work is hand done.  A crew of lovely ladies in their calico frocks sits at marble tables, hand rolling chocolate.  At Christmas, candy canes are lovingly pulled on huge stone tables to cool the sugars. 

          At the head of this happy crew of candy makers is Mrs. Nelson who greeted me with her usual smile.

          With all that candy around, I guess I would have a smile too.  Rumor has it that one couple was so in love with the place, they got married here.

          I couldn’t decide which great hand dipped goodies to stock up on.  They all look so good.  This may be better than the treasures I had on my Swiss trip.

          Maybe I should stock up on something for my hikes in the woods.

          I could eat this all day long.  Maybe I’ll start the day with chocolate covered coffee beans.

            After consuming copious amounts of chocolate covered coffee beans I felt an inexplicable burst of energy and decided to stroll over to Jamestown and catch a train at the state park there.

            I waited around for a few minutes and found out the engine was in the shop for repairs.  I thought I would go take a look.

          I found the engine but I couldn’t get it to start.  Maybe if I checked it out under the hood.

          The shop has the latest in high tech tools so I gave fixing the engine a try.

          I found the problem.  No spark plugs.  Instead of fussing with the big engine, I found something closer to the cars I’m used to.  Even I can drive a car you don’t have to steer.

                                                           Where will the rails take me next?

To Columbia

            Bubba was looking for a relaxing Caribbean holiday but went to a cut rate, online travel agent and ended up in Cuba.  He had a good time but is still looking for his south of the border experience. 

            The travel agent did not give me my time on the beach in the Caribbean and I called to complain.  My trip to Cuba was fantastic but not the hammock and sand adventure I was looking for.  The lady on the other end said there were some great prices on vacations in Columbia and, since the price was so low, I took her up on it. 

            Did you know there is more than one place named Columbia?  Upon arrival I found that there is a restored gold rush town named Columbia located in California. 

When I showed up, they held a parade in my honor.

            They even scrambled the fire department and the militia.

          It may not be in South America but I think I like this place.  Columbia California is a preserved gold rush town that is now a state park.  The park rangers are friendly and helpful.  This nice lady explained that I was not in the Columbia in South America, but a safer spot that didn’t have any beaches. 

          She suggested I look around and meet some of the local residents.  In a western town, you start at the blacksmith’s shop.

          I found a new hiking shoe for my brittle feet.  It was just a little too big though.

          I tried it on and found it was too heavy to go dancing in.

          I had to be rescued by this gunslinger.  He let me ring the dinner bell.

          I decided I would have to stay for awhile.  I found The Fallon House, a hotel on the edge of town.

          I signed in at the register and got my key to room two.

          I stopped off at the local Saloon where the saloon keeper greeted me with a nice, cold, dark beer.

          And another.

          And pretty soon it was time to call it a night.

          Tomorrow I’ll explore the town some more and maybe look for some gold.