Gear Head Tuesday – Sports Car Country: Daffodil Hill

Gear Head

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Hat tip to “Chris-to-Fear” for the heads up that the daffodils are blooming at Daffodil Hill in Amador County, CA!

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Sunday was a glorious spring day. The only clouds to be seen were hovering over the high Sierras; the temperature was a comfortable 80º. “Chris-to-Fear” had given me a heads up that the daffodils are blooming at Daffodil Hill in the Mother Lode near the town of Volcano, CA. It was a Sports Car Country kind of day! While technically my “Mazda-rati” isn’t a sports car, no one told the Mazda chassis engineers that it isn’t. They  made it handle like one! Woo! Hoo! So the sunroof came open and off I went to the Gold Country. I-80 East to Sacramento, Capital City Freeway to US 50 East, then CA 16 East to CA 49 South (which snakes through many of the ’49er gold rush towns) to Sutter Creek, then up the hill to Daffodil Hill, enjoying the crisp handling of the “Mazda-rati” where traffic and the absence of California Highway Patrolmen allowed …

I wasn’t the only one taking advantage of the fine weather – there were many Mazda Miatas and other convertibles with their tops down, hundreds – yes, hundreds – of Harleys, belching thunder along the roads, various old cars, including a ’51 Hudson and a ’54 Ford along the way.

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My latest “Mazda-rati”. Zoom Zoom!

Quoting from the Daffodil Hill website:

“Daffodil Hill is a ranch owned by the McLaughlin family since 1887, and is located at 18310 Rams Horn Grade, Volcano, CA 95689. In the early days of the Gold Rush, Daffodil Hill was a regular stopping place for teamsters hauling timber from the Sierras down to the Kennedy and Argonaut Mines, and for eastbound travelers heading for the Comstock Lode on the Amador-Nevada Wagon Road (Highway 88).

In 1877, after coming west from New York and Ohio, Arthur McLaughlin and his wife, “Lizzie” van Vorst-McLaughlin purchased the ranch from Dutchman Pete Denzer, who planted a few daffodils around his residence in remembrance of his home country of Holland. Arthur and Lizzie continued to plant additional daffodils to beautify the ranch.

Daffodil Hill is situated in a beautiful mountain setting at the 3,000 foot elevation in Amador County. With pine trees, the original 1880’s barn, wagon wheels, gold rush era mining equipment and antique farming implements, it appeals to anyone with a love of nature and history. Flowers are everywhere and peacocks, chickens, miniature donkeys (Rosie and Sunshine), and a horse (Hannah) are also there for young and old alike to enjoy.

Over a Century of Nurturing

Today, much of the landscape around the old homestead is covered with several varieties of daffodils. The McLaughlin’s descendants have continued to personally plant several thousand new bulbs a year. In the past several years an average of 16,000 daffodil bulbs per year have been planted by the Ryan brothers and their families, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, and great-great-great grandchildren of Arthur and Lizzie. It is estimated that today, Daffodil Hill is carpeted with approximately 300,000 bulbs when in full bloom.”

Daffodil Hill is located at 18310 Rams Horn Grade, Volcano, CA.

Daffodil Hill Map

Upon entering the property, you are greeted by this windmill:

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On your left is this old Ford truck:

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Hundreds of people were visiting. On the road leading to the property, the California Highway Patrol was directing cross traffic. Judging by the traffic back up going into the place, I surmised (correctly) that the parking lot was full, so I parked more than half a mile away and walked in.

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This peacock was strutting his stuff – but I couldn’t get set up to get a good photo when he opened his tail.

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6 Comments

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  1. You got there just in time, it has been announced that it is now closed for the season.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gordon F. Kertzel,lll 04/04/2017 — 08:19

    Very cool , Paul Gordon

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful, love the color and density of the flowers. Yeah and of course I liked the old ford truck! LOL Good one. Careful in the sports car, My sports car was a Metro. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

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