I hate to post something negative…especially so new into this blog, but our visit to Calico, the old silver mining town, was a huge disappointment! I was so excited to check it out. We pass it every time we drive to Vegas (which is really more often than we should…twice in July). I was excited to finally get to see what Calico was all about. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting…maybe something a little more rustic, old timey and authentic?
If Calico sounds familiar to you and you don’t take frequent road trips to Las Vegas from LA like we do, it’s probably because you’ve ridden the Calico Mine ride at Knott’s Berry Farm. It’s no surprise then, that Walter Knott, off Knott’s Berry Farm, owned the real Calico Mine and transformed it into what it is today: a modern day “Frontier Land” (sorry Disneyland…nothing against you) with paved roads, new wooden buildings, life sized dolls inside the jail, the mine, the drug store…etc. It’s a mini theme park oasis in the middle of the desert. There are even wooden people cut outs with the heads off so you can stand behind it and take your picture.
It’s not all bad…I guess. For an extra dollar you can take a walking tour of “Maggie’s Mine.” It’s a little creepy down there in spots because some areas are pitch black, but it’s nice and cool in there. And the “museum” is seemingly one of the only original structures left, though it has central air and has been reinforced with visible metal framing. It has a few interesting things to look at. Honestly though, that’s about it. I can see why it’s rumored to be haunted. I’d be unhappy too if the town I helped build ended up looking like that.
If after reading this, you still feel like you need to visit the Calico Mine, take my advice, don’t go during the summer, it’s too hot! If you have to go during the summer, bring cold water. But please, save the trip. You’ll have much more fun riding the Calico ride at Knott’s then trying to experience the history of it by actually going there.
Apparently though, there is a camping area and other mines you can go into…somewhere… and according to one of Chris’ friends, he really enjoyed it. Of course he went during the winter…so maybe this winter, Chris and I will venture back to try and find that area of it…maybe…