Jim Chevallier's Web Site



Horthern California - Weaverville


It was dark when I hit the Best Western in Weaverville. I had no expectations of the town, though I was tickled to see that the local community theater shared space with a meeting hall right near my room.

As it turned, the town has a few things to offer. Nothing, I’d say, that would lure me to make the drive up from Sacramento (for instance), but enough to stop for if nearby. One was a very sweet little café with a patio which I never got to try, plus some other little galleries and such. But there’s also a few historical touches, notably glimpses of the Chinese participation in the Gold Rush (including the Joss House) and several spiral staircases that come UP FROM THE SIDEWALK.

The latter, unique so far as I know, have their origin in the fact that the owners of the first floor were often different from the owners of the second floor. Rather than, as I imagine generally happens, building a staircase along one side of the building, Weaverville residents chose to build spiral staircases straight up from the sidewalk. A few of these remain and the effect is as charming as it is unexpected.

I then drove on to Redding (no one seemed to think there anything to see there) and down to Sacramento, stopping only to try the olives at the Olive Pit in Corning.


Since my goal was to get to Lake Tahoe, I didn’t even try to see this fairly large city, which had not been highly recommended by anyone. Though I did briefly consider the irony of visiting the state capitol for the first time just as its chief resident was up for possible removal.

Instead, I took a quick look at Old Sacramento, a cluster of cowboy-ish looking arcades near the river. I imagine this area is fun for most tourists, but I had trouble taking it seriously – the old Western set at Warner Brothers looked more genuine to me.

I then drove on and soon found myself among mountains and pines as I approached Lake Tahoe.