Having never been to this area of the Motherlode, we were pleasantly surprised to find The Columbia Gem Motel; a little piece of paradise and an obvious oasis from our hectic city life.
The hospitality we experienced while staying at the "Gem" was an unexpected pleasure right from the start with a sincere and warm greeting. The accomodations were perfect for our needs, cozy, clean and comfortable. It was quiet and a safe place to bring our family...even the family pooch is welcome.
We slept well anticipating tomorrows adventure, into the 1850's, at the State Park in Columbia. Once there, I discovered a little leather shop on main street where I found our son, Johnny, a "coon skin" hat just like Davey Crockett. My husband purchased a fabulous black felt western hat, (he looks so handsome), and even sprung for a silver sheriff's star which I proudly pinned to his shirt. Dressed the part, we made our way over to A.N. Fisher & Co. Stageline and Livery Stable for a ride through town via "the Stage". Johnny, and his daddy (the Sheriff), beamed as they enjoyed their own "famous" ride. We viewed the park and cringed at the tools used by the so called "dentists" back then. OUCH!! We left the park with a new appreciation for how good we have it now. Also, with a great respect of our ancestors and the hardships they endured. We also left with a little gold we panned ourselves.
Rene, the owner of the Gem Motel, suggested that we have lunch at the Goldstreet Cafe and Bakery right in Columbia. As we entered the cafe, we were all struck with the most delicious aroma. It was unanimous! Skip lunch and go right to dessert...scrumptous, warm, fruit pastries. What a treat!
From Columbia, we proceeded to the Springfield Trout Farm just 1 mile away. Surprisingly, everything for fishing is included...license, equipment, bait and cleaning at a very reasonable cost. This was another recommendation from Rene. (Somehow, he knew what we'd like.) At the farm, our son caught his very first fish ever and I wished that I had had the grand event on tape. I shall never forget the look of utter amazement when my little boy hooked that fish. What followed was what I describe as a "Mother Moment" watching my husband, the "daddy sheriff" help his son reel in "the big one!"
The day had been perfect and it was time to head back to the Columbia Gem for the night. My Johnny and the "sheriff" were ready to turn in. The adventures and memories of this day will last a lifetime. Tonight, while I watch them both fall asleep, I find myself planning a return trip in the near future. Somehow, I doubt there will be any resistance.
Thank you, Rene, for being such a terrific host and making our stay so enjoyable. We'll be seeing you soon. - Marilyn, Steve and Johnny.
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