top of page

The John Shinnick 58 California Counties 58 County Pledge

Counties 7-12


I thought Susanville was going to be my Lassen County stop, but as I drove over a hill about 30 miles out, I caught my first glimpse of Eagle Lake.  On a whim I drove all the way around it.  Great views and, on the east side, a reminder that this is the Sierra foothills.  Snow!  Lots of it!  But the roads were passable.  This was not on my itinerary, which is why this was so fun!  I passed through Susanville, but didn't feel the need to spend time there.  (4-27-11)


This is Thunderhill Raceway Park. Located just a few miles east of Willows, it's an auto raceway. Actually two raceways as facilities manager Bob Maybell explained. Bob saw me wandering around the parking lot looking for, well he didn't know what I was looking for, but I sure looked confused. I told him I was looking for a photo op for Glenn County.

Anyway, one track is two miles long and the other is three, but they can be put together to form one five mile track, making it the longest in north America!

Bob said I could follow him as his next stop would go past a good lookout point. Because the tracks wind through some nice rolling hills, there's not much road you can see at any one point, but this view kinda seemed like a good racetrack shot. You can even see a bit of track. I actually met 3 people there, all really nice and helpful. (12-14-17)


I remember the city of Chico from a softball tournament I played there in the mid-'80's.  Back then I'd have paid little notice to this landmark, the Bidwell Mansion.  It was the home of General John Bidwell, a high profile military and political dude, and his wife Annie, also a high-profile type, from 1868 when it was built to 1900 when John Bidwell died.  Annie lived there until her death in 1918.  They knew several presidents (A. Johnson, U. S. Grant, R. Hayes) and several other well known folks (John Muir, Asa Gray).  Sadly, the place wasn't open on Thursdays when I went through.  Dang budget cuts!  Still, there was enough to see on the outside.  (4-28-11)


4-25-11!  As a Thanksgiving present last year, Putney Financial gave me a box set of olive oil from the Corning Olive Oil Company.  I'm no chef but it turns out that Tehama County is a top olive producing area of the world!  Corning is a town in the southern part of the county on Interstate 5.  They don't grow their own olives, but have turned (generally) locally grown olives into great award-winning products like those shown here!  The owners are fun and proud of what they've done.  Great stop!


When I'd just started at PG&E in 1980, they encouraged continuing education through several in-house home study courses.  One was "Lakes of California".  I remembered one of them as being Lake Alminor, so when I saw it was in Plumas County, I set my sights on it.  I spent the night in the booming metropolis of Chester, population about 2,000, but I suspect booming in the summer months when tourism picks up.  I circumnavigated the lake, and this was the only stop that was deemed a "scenic overlook".  Not a bad choice!  That's Mt. Lassen in the background.  (4-27-11)


I've passed this place several times when visiting my brother's family. "Confusion Hill" is on US 101 about 10 miles south of Humboldt County.  I had never stopped there until today.  This is me in a little building there, looking rather tipsy, like it's closer to St. Patrick's Day than Thanksgiving.

They have a website,, at which you can learn more about the strange goings on and mysterious forces in play here, as well as the tale of the Chickalope. Actually, I suspect they built this whole thing on a slant and the visual cues only serve to disorient, but what do I know?

Actually, Fort Bragg is probably Mendocino's top attraction, but I'd been there.  And someday I should ride "The Skunk Train" since my old buddy Earl Oliver plays on it in the summertime.  And if I REALLY want to be confused, I'll just go back to work at PG&E!  (11-29-09)

bottom of page