My visit to a real ghost town!


Bodie, California is a truly amazing place.


In the 1880’s this town was booming! Once gold was discovered in 1859 by Waterman S. Body, word spread and people came to settle and strike it rich. By 1879 the population had climbed from about 20 to 10,000!






The Standard Mine yielded nearly $15 million over 25 years. However, once the mine closed in 1941, residents  moved on to greener pastures.

For unexplained reasons, most of the buildings remain completely furnished with the belongings of their previous residents. It is as if everyone just walked away. It is haunting, but also quite beautiful.

inside of the general store, still stocked with goods!

a peek inside of the general store, still stocked with goods!



the pool hall

the pool hall

Herby had a good time too!

Herby had a good time too! (although she has the classic Boxer “sad face”)

Bodie is now a California State Historic Park and remains untouched. Nothing may be touched or removed from the park. Even the smallest pieces of old glass and rusted tin cans remain in the dirt from generations past. All of the photos I took of interiors were taken through old window panes, as entrance to the buildings is prohibited.









an amazing discovery inside of the old bank building!






the lay of the land

‘ the lay of the land



I highly suggest a visit to Bodie. It was such a great adventure! The natural landscape is truly breathtaking and the town itself is amazing.

I really loved the casual nature of the park as well. Once you pay to enter ($7) you’re basically on your own. There are no guides or paths. You are free to wander and explore as you wish.

Hope you all are out there enjoying the summer and having adventures of your own!



Vintage Lovin’ Gal


Up in the Redwoods…


A few weeks ago Derek & I went up to the Redwoods (a few hours north of us) to do a bit of sign work. While there, we couldn’t help but take in some of the gorgeous sights!

Derek demonstrating the human to bear size difference...yikes!

Derek demonstrating the human to bear size difference…yikes!


one-log house

“One-log house”. This is just as it sounds, a huge log that was hollowed out and made into a house. Unfortunately it was closed when we were there and you can’t even peek inside! However, I looked up some photos and it seems pretty cute on the inside. 

I made a friend!

I made a friend!

one armed lumberjack...he was huge!

one armed lumberjack…he was huge!

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We stopped alongside the highway and hiked down to the Russian River! It was beautiful!

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One last blurry, out of the van window shot for the road.....

One last blurry, out of the van window shot for the road…..

We had a great time on our brief visit to the gorgeous Redwoods of Northern California. I highly recommend a visit!



Vintage Lovin’ Gal

My birthday: exploring a Chinese ghost town and other adventures…


Today is my 29th birthday!

Derek & I always celebrate by taking a drive to explore new and interesting areas. Today we headed out to Locke, California. Locke is located just off the Sacramento River, about 60 miles from Berkeley.

Locke is a small town that was built by Chinese farm workers in 1915, when the Chinatown of  a neighboring town called Walnut Grove burned in a fire.  The town was a hub of activity for the Chinese community from the 1920’s thru 1940’s. There were several restaurants, bars, stores and even a movie theater where they showed black and white films in the twenties!

Today there is not much activity left in this small town. In fact, I only saw two business open on the main street. It is sad to see the town so empty, but it is in good hands as it has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Now for the photos…….

Locke, Ca

Derek, strolling the streets

Derek, strolling the streets

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Hey…there I am!

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Derek made a friend.

Derek made a friend.


favorite picture.

We also drove through a town called Isleton, Ca. It had a lot of interesting buildings, some of which were obviously Chinese businesses as well. The town was more happenin’ than Locke….but not by much.

(Oh, we peeked through the windows of the local Dry Goods store and saw STACKS of deadstock clothes & hats!! It was all locked up and we couldn’t determine the era of the items, but I’d LOVE to get in there and shop! Perhaps next time we’ll try to find someone in charge.)

Here’s a bit of Isleton:

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I had a great day exploring these interesting towns with my honey and even came home to some birthday goodies in the mail! Today was a good day!



Vintage Lovin’ Gal

Nevada’s oldest thirst parlor & other western adventures


It sure seems like this blog is more about my travels than “vintage things”, but my outings tend to involve historic places and things, so I hope you’re all still interested!

This weekend I visited Nevada’s oldest town, Genoa. The town was founded in 1851 when explorers set up a trading post that attracted fellow travelers and trappers to visit and eventually settle in the area.

Genoa NevadaGenoa antique storeGenoa courthousepony express

In Nevada’s oldest town is Nevada’s oldest bar…who would have guessed?! It is called the Genoa Bar and is awesome.

The Genoa Bar is quite the hot spot in these parts.

The Genoa Bar is quite the hot spot in these parts.

genoa bar plaqueThey claim to have never dusted the bar and I believe them. It is an amazing little building packed to the brim with “stuff”, some really old and some not so much.

a peek inside the Genoa Bar..

a peek inside the Genoa Bar..

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We got a few drinks with my boyfriend’s family  (who live nearby) and sat in the sun, enjoying the scenery.

genoaGenoa Bar sign

On our way home from Nevada to California, Derek & I stumbled across this roadside stop that had a photo area too good to pass up!

roadside photo op

I enjoyed my stint as an old west showgirl.

I enjoyed my stint as an old west showgirl.

Meanwhile, Derek got locked up!

Meanwhile, Derek got locked up!


Inside the souvenir shop, I tried on a few hats & drooled over children’s western costumes.

I had to try on this kid's cowboy hat.

I had to try on this kid’s cowboy hat.


coonskin caps!


I couldn’t resist..and I think I love it.


Why is this not in an adult size?!


Kids get all the cool stuff…….

Once I was through “horsing around” at the souvenir shop, Derek & I headed on to the next town. That town was Placerville, Ca and it was lovely. Here are a few shots of the downtown area.

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I hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I enjoyed these adventures!



Vintage Lovin’ Gal


A peek into a traditional Sign Painter’s shop.


Hello friends,

I have the pleasure to live with and experience an age-old trade on a daily basis.

That trade is Sign Painting.

Before the time of computers, all signs were created by hand, by a sign painter.

My boyfriend, Derek, is a talented sign painter that runs his own business called Golden West Sign Arts. I assist in the shop & help with anything and everything.

Isn't he handsome?

Isn’t he handsome?

Everything in our shop is done the old fashioned way, without the use of computers (aside from email). All signs are painted by hand, from drawn patterns. Derek is also a specialist in the art of gilding with genuine gold leaf.

Our shop is an interesting place that I thought some of you may like to see. Here are tons of photos…

that's 23 karat gold!

that’s 23 karat gold!

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Bob & Derek: best pals.

Bob & Derek: best pals.

such a handsome pair.

such a handsome pair.

Now, let’s have a peek at the inside of the shop!


Dandy? Its sure like a charm.

Dandy? It sure is! Works like a charm.


the shop counter houses our collection of crazy knick-knacks

the shop counter houses our collection of crazy knick-knacks

vintage matchbooks

vintage matchbooks




Here are a few more shots of the dashing Sign Painter for your viewing pleasure.

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Check out our website to see examples of the sign work we’ve done!

Here is a wonderful video shot for Jack Daniel’s Whiskey of Derek painting for their ad campaign this summer. It turned out great!

thank you!



Vintage Lovin’ Gal

Golden West Trio with Kay Marie


As I mentioned before, I just returned from a road trip with my boyfriend’s band through Southern California & Arizona. The band is called the Golden West Trio with Kay Marie. They’re a great band & I suggest you check them out if you’re a fan of early rock n’ roll & blues!

Here are some photos I took of them while we were on the road:


** That’s my honey on the drums! **

Click here for a little taste of their music!



Vintage Lovin’ Gal

Workin’ on the 1954 Cadillac

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This past week, Derek & I went to Reno, Nevada to do some work on our 1954 Cadillac. Its currently at our friend Aaron’s house while we’re getting it road worthy.

Here are some photos I snapped of Derek & Aaron working as well as some generally cool car photos.



vintage lovin’ gal