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Every time I travel around U.S. without exception, I’m always in awe by the grandiosity of the land. It’s just a big country especially compared to my native South Korea.
Yesterday we stayed in Weaverville, CA and spent time exploring the town. We didn’t have a plan for the bookmobile but we visited the library anyway. Sadly the library was closed on friday and only open 20/week because of budget cuts. (See the photos).
Weaverville is a small historical gold rush town with a population of @ 3500. A logging mill is the only industry that sustains the town today, but during the gold rush era, over 1000 Chinese gold miners lived there. Now the miners and Chinese are largely gone but they left their stories and the glimpse of their lives behind. In Weaverville, there is a Daoist temple, Joss House, built by a chinese entreprenuers in 1874 (Also called "Cloud Forest Temple", é›²æž—å»Ÿ, Yunlin Miao) where the miners worshiped. The land was donated by the local Methodist Church, according to the State Park ranger. After 126 years, the temple is still standing firmly. Wandering around the ground of the Joss house, we all wondered about the lives of those intrepid Chinese miners. For more on the CA gold rush, see From Gold Rush to Golden State and Guld Rush Introduction
We left Weaverville this morning and drove to Redding where the temperature hit over 102 F. While we drove through downtown, we saw the library sign and, like hypnotized people, just followed the sign and ended up in the parking lot of the library.
The Redding library’s new building just opened this January so we could still smell the new furniture, fresh signage, and unfilled shelves. It was hard not to notice a "customer services" sign at the circulation desk — a term that should *not* be used in any library IMHO. The Redding library is quite big and bright, and interestingly powered by solar power which we thought it is an great example of how library can be an example of green building design. The library has a small section of government documents tucked away in one corner of the 2nd floor (*not* the basement!) and according a reference librarian, they are in the process of cataloging and converting from dewey to Sudoc. It’s always nice to see government documents in a public library.
We left the library without knowing where we would spend the night. When we were just about to get into the car, James paused and looked at Sarah and me and said that he left his keys in the ignition of the bookmobile. According to AAA service person, James was the 4th "James" with car trouble that day.
While James was dealing with AAA (Thanks AAA!), Sarah and I looked through several California tour books in the library to find a place to stay. Since Sarah has to be in Anderson on Monday morning (about 10 miles south of Redding) we couldn’t drive too far afield and so Mt. Shasta unfortunately was out of the question. There were nothing much around Redding except the same old franchised restaurants, hotels, walmart, home despot ( 🙂 ), strip malls, etc. So we decided to flip a coin — heads we’d stay in Redding and tails in Red Bluff. One of the travel books noted that Red Bluff is blazing hot during the summer. It turned up tails so we drove to Red Bluff. We found a B&B called Jeter Victorian Inn from a travel book and drove there to see the house before making the reservation. On the way to the B&B, we saw the main street of Ref Bluff and it looked like another declining small town in the U.S. So we had low expectations for the B&B.
Lo and behold, when we arrived at the B&B,s we saw a beautiful Victorian house with an amazing Garden. We rang the bell with curiosity. The proprietress (her name is Mary, and she turned out to be an extremely kind and gracious hostess) opened the door and we saw the inside of the house. Immediately we knew that we were going to stay. Mary and her house are full of stories that mesmerized us all. We will tell you all about them in our next posting.
We don’t have great WIFI access so I won’t be able to upload the photos today but more tomorrow.