Country road take me home to the place I belong…Northern California. Most folks not from around here would never guess how much country is in our soul. We have rodeos and cowboys, folks in big trucks and guitar-playing farmers just like the south does. The rural parts of the state are saturated with agriculture that feeds much of the country and even the world. Open land here is dotted with barns full of cattle and fields of veggies and trees of fruit. We take pride in our land. If you don’t believe me, then maybe these photos will change your mind.
1. Mount Aukum
Barns with lakes beside them are pretty much as picturesque as they get.
2. Weather Vanes
Nothing screams rural living like a weather vane with a real cat beside it. Shingle Springs is a rural area just south of Placerville in El Dorado County.
Here's some rural for ya...how about the University of Chico? Here are their happy cows from their agriculture department.
4. Are rodeos rural enough?
Tehama County is home to one of the best rodeos in the state--Red Bluff's rodeo. You'll think you're east of the Mississippi.
5. If it's gonna be a traffic jam it better be a tractor-man
Tractors are a pretty big sign that you're a man's man. This kind of life is not for the faint of heart. Rural living is the definition of hard-working.
6. Berry Picking
On the way to Lake Oroville is a sweet spot to get your strawberries. Mello is the rural spot to grab them. Have you heard of it? Most rural spots are definitely understated. Maybe it's time you stop by.
Rural Past or Present?
This shot of Northern California makes you think you're looking at the rural countryside in the early 1900s--but we promise you're not. There are places around these parts that make you scratch your head and wonder if you're in Kansas or Alabama. But, we promise you're still home.
8. Cowgirls? Why Yes!
Mono County is about as rural as you can get. Home to the historical landmark and ghost town, Bodie. If you enjoy being home on the range, this is the place to be.
9. Covered Bridges
The Bridgeport Covered Bridge has the longest span of any covered bridge in the whole wide world. This bridge was used by gold miners predominantly in the late 1800s to transport their loot. Lots of gold has made its way over this bridge.
10. Rural Anywhwere-Norcal
This spot is pretty much in our rural backyard. A country road dotted with an occasional telephone pole can make our rural places pretty eerie, too.
11. God & Country
When you get into the rural parts of our part of the state you get closer to God. The noise and congestion of the city melts away and you can finally hear yourself think. Folks out here our closer to creation which means they're sometimes better at being more appreciative of their Creator. Just ask em'. They'll tell ya.
12. Malboxes on a Country Road
You don't have to look too far to see country. Nothing screams country like an old tin mailbox. Would you believe this photo is actually near a dog park in Santa Clara County?
13. Mississippi or Missouri?
How about neither? Guess what...this rural place is in NORCAL. Would you believe it's just outside Amador City? Well, it is. The bright orange California Poppies are a dead giveaway. You can drive on this road any time you'd like.
14. Open Spaces
Omira is home to these lovely bovine. Wide open spaces are definitely a thing here. All you need to do is step outside the city for awhile.
You can find this rural shot in Mendocino. Trains were a big part of our Northern California heritage. Our great-great grandfathers were grateful for the jobs and even more grateful they could get somewhere faster than a buggy ride. Thanks trains!
16. Rural Hill Country
Even if you don't live anywhere near a rural place, you might live here. The hill country is where the green meets the blue of the sky. You probably drive by this to work every day but haven't even noticed. Open your eyes and tell us where this is.
17. Car in a Field
Nothing says rural like an abandoned car in a field. It's the best photo op out there. Our family's favorite spot to cut down a Christmas tree has two rusted out vehicles on the land. One with a huge tree growing out of the engine. One of my favorite photos of our family was taken beside it. Perfection.
While we may not be able to enjoy campfires like the old west, Northern California is more country than most folks give us credit for. What town makes you feel like you’re in the country?