Although I was born and raised in San Francisco and it makes me “city-folk”, my parents and siblings have spent our lives seeking out Mother Nature to retreat and rebuild from the The City lifestyle. We leave our cellphones in our trucks when we go hiking and make sure our fancy REI purchased equipment is secure at our camp before venturing out for a day trip around town and beyond. And we were disguises.

This is a picture of city folk disguised as Mountain People.

Flatlanders disguised as Mountain People

From left to right: financial planner, real estate agent and electrician, cancer researcher and computer expert.

Most days, we leave camp and head for Chester. It’s always for coffee and ice, or breakfast, postcards or to see what the general hardware store has to offer the year of our visit.

The town of Chester is a small slice of the greater Northern California Americana Pie which means it has been lived in first by Native American Indians then shaped by the gold rush then by forestry and tourism. Any who has been to a small town around Eureka, Trinity Alps, Mt. Shasta, Mt Lassen, Lake Tahoe or around Lake Almanor knows exactly what I am referring to. Some towns are so small that you dare not blink when driving through it or you might miss it. Located east of Red Bluff and west of Susanville, Chester has roughly eighteen square miles of land at an altitude of about 4,300′ and one thousand families living in it. Of the pioneer families who settled there well over one hundred and twenty years ago there are two that need mention in my story: Johnson and Martin.

Two men, Burwell Johnson who had been born in Chester, Missouri and Oscar Martin who had been born in Chester, Vermont have the  honor of naming the town.  It happened when the post office was established in the mid-1890’s at a stage coach stop and ranch and it officially became the name of the town.

These towns get hit hard in recession years as tourism fluctuates. Coffee shops and restaurants trade hands and we’ve seen places come and go. Gourmet food is not exactly found here, but you can always find an espresso drink in town no matter what. And it must be the wonderful snow melt water that is used for steaming hot cups of coffee up there and good bean roasting tactics that make for delicious hot drinks. I’ve often driven into town twice in one day, the mochas are so good.

For freshly made Kool Aid the local kids can’t be beat.

This photo is of little kids in Chester selling freshly made Kool Aid.

Freshly Made Kool Aid

If you do plan to go camping in the area and don’t want to leave your pet at home, you may want to check out the local Doggie Day Care. They have a fantastic place with great people caring for you dog. It’s owned and run by Avonna. Call 530-258-6355 and tell her Hugh’s sister Annie sent ya!

This is a photo of the facade of the Doggie Day Care center in Chester, CA.

Doggie Day Care - Chester, CA

Up next, a trip to a 10,000 year old artesian well and spring just outside Chester.

Be Sociable, Share!