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Calico Ghost Town is about 23 miles from the Newberry Mountain RV Park. Due to heat and barren, dusty roads, we decided it would no be a good idea to go there by bicycle, which would likely take 2 hours each way. I discovered that they offered after-hours tours and we felt it would be cool enough by that time, so we drove the RV with our furry/scaly family in it and parked in the huge lot at Calico.
Calico is mostly made up of either preserved or re-created buildings that are open to the public and hold shops or exhibits. There is also a mine which offers guided tours. The town is part of the San Bernardino County Parks department. If you come during the day, there is an $8 admission fee, and then it’s free to wander around the town on your own. Select buildings require an additional fee for a tour. There is also a campground nearby for those who want to stay overnight (there isn’t much else nearby).
There are some private residences still in use in Calico, which makes the total population for the town 8 people. We were told the town historian has lived in a house there for at least a few decades, as well as some people who work in the restaurants and shops. The owners of the business that runs the tours and maintains the operations of the town also have an apartment there.
The evening tours, which occur every Saturday night, are $10 per person and there are two of them: one of Main Street and the other for Maggie Mine. Each tour lasts an hour, and we opted to do both since we were already going to be there. While during the day you can just show up during business hours, these tours require an advance reservation.
The tours talk a lot about the history of the town and the mine, but with a focus on the “ghost” aspect. They will show places where ghost sightings have occurred, and even have a few pictures. They talk about people who have lived and died in the town and speculate which of them are appearing as apparitions. There is even a ghost dog!
The whole idea is very cute, and you could tell that some people were really hoping to see something. One guy came with a very expensive-looking camera on a huge tripod. Another couple were showing our guide a photo they took that had what the guide called an “orb” in it. Ryan and I didn’t see anything, other than the town cat following us around during the tour, and some bats flying around, and a couple of shooting stars because the night was so clear and dark.
But it was still fun. I’ve attached a video at the bottom of the page if you’d like to take a look at the town. One fun fact: Mr. Knott (of Knott’s Berry Farm) grew up in Calico, so he tried to replicate a lot of the town from his memory when he built the park. The train that you see in the video is a replica, but Knott’s Berry Farm is supposed to have an original.
Our first week has been pretty low-key. I’ve been working on my road bike after work, and I filmed some footage. You guys get to hear me talking in it (yay. = | ). It was quite an adventure…more about that in the bike post.
Our fitness challenge started today. Due to an unexpected bicycle repair snag (now resolved), I wasn’t able to do a ride today. But Ryan put in his 17 miles, so he’s off to a good start. Tomorrow I should be able to ride for my workout plan. Meanwhile, I’ll be riding later for grocery shopping and errands, and we’ll probably be doing lots of walking today as we explore.
Who else is doing a fitness or health challenge this month? What is your plan of action or goal?