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A Trip To French Gulch

Updated on July 8, 2014

A Short Photo Trip To French Gulch

My wife and I life in scenic Northern California about 25 miles south of the city of Redding. There is so much to see up here, beautiful lakes, snow capped mountains and some major rivers. I had the opportunity to deliver some art to a lady in a small town called French Gulch which is about an hour from where we live and decided to make it into a photo opp trip.

My photos actually begin with French Gulch and then on to Whiskeytown Lake, and then finally (saving what I felt was the best for last) Shasta City (Old Shasta) which has some restoration going back to the days of the California Gold Rush. I hope that you enjoy looking at the photos.

It's A Beautiful Day

It started as a beautiful, clear day with just the right amount of clouds to make it interesting...

A Lake on the Way

Driving up from Redding on Highway 299 I passed Whiskeytown Lake and took this shot from my car window.

The Road To French Gulch

Just after Whiskeytown Lake it's a few more miles to the French Gulch turnoff. I took a picture of this field and grove of trees on the way.....

An Interesting Rock

I spotted this rock near a telephone pole and it looked interesting, so I jumped out the car and took this one.......

Some Pretty Cliffs

On the left side of the highway going into French Gulch there was this pretty rocky cliff so I stopped to take some photos of it.

Pulling Into French Gulch

There's actually just a handful of buildings in French Gulch, a hotel/restaurant, a post office, fire department, a general store, and a gas pump.......the rest are some remarkable old houses and the population is around 350 as of the 2010 census.

A Very Cool Old Building

The light was hitting this old building in an interesting way. I had to shoot it.

Looking Into The Downtown Section

First glimpse of beautiful downtown French Gulch......

A Little Closer Look

Here is a little closer look........probably hasn't changed much since the 1850's......

A View of The River

Leaving French Gulch I turned left at Highway 299 and saw this view of the Trinity River.....really nice.

I Looked Up and Saw This.....

I turned around and looked up and saw these interesting looking trees.......

Interesting Light Rays

Then I saw this interesting light playing on the grass........

Some Reflections in Water

Saw a cloud reflected in a pool left over from a recent rain......

Return to Whiskeytown Lake

Back at Whiskeytown Lake, I decided to take a few more shots of this beautiful body of water. There is lots of recreation possibilities here, especially in the late Spring and early Summer.....

A Nice View From Highway 299

There is something special about the green and blue transitions in the water here contrasted with the golden/red soil.....

A Pine By The Lake

There was a nice breeze blowing and you could hear the gentle lapping of the water........

Another View From The Same Spot

Another view from the same spot. It doesn't get much more peaceful than this........

Another View from The Highway

Shooting into the sun, but still beautiful........

The Cliffs On The Other Side

Here is a shot of the cliffs on the other side of the highway. Some of the rocks in the area are colored like the rainbow and have very unique shapes.....

View From The Rest Area

Here is a view of the lake from the official Whiskeytown Lake Visitor Center........

Moved Back A Little

The same view but I backed up a little.......

Under the Eaves

I moved over under the eaves of the rest area....I think it makes a more interesting composition......

And Now On To Old Shasta

About 10 minutes below Whiskeytown Lake (going back towards Redding) is the town of Shasta, most of which consists of a museum, a lodge, a bakery, a few houses and a very interesting string of old brick ruins that are being rebuilt. My photos taken here are mostly of these old buildings........

Big Dark Blue Doors

Here is one of the close to finished building fronts that had these interesting big dark blue doors on the front of it.....

Under Re-Construction

Again dating back to the 1850's it's interesting to watch the reconstruction efforts going on......

Definitely A Ghost Town

I like this shot with the different levels and stone work in the back......

French Gulch Trip Poll Module

Which is Your Favorite Spot on This Little Trip?

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Inner Walls

I liked the patterns that were happening on this inner wall area......

Descriptive Signs

In Old Shasta they have some signage that describes the building that you are looking at, which is a plus for visitors. These signs talk about the "Spirit of The Gold Rush" and "Supplying The Miners".

The latter sign states: "Most early residents of Shasta came in search of gold. Many, however, decided that providing goods and services to miners offered greater riches than mining. Their businesses included bakeries, banking and assay services, restaurants, saloons, and bookstores to name just a few".

Dramatic Elements

Here is an interesting composition with two elements almost in collision with each other. I think it makes a dramatic visual statement.

Background Images

It's interesting to have buildings that are just hollow brick boxes which gives opportunities for layers of images that appear through various openings.

Looking Down The Street

It's a lovely day in the neighborhood. Can you see the ladies wearing their bonnets and long dresses, or the horse and buggies going by? A different sort of world....

More Brick and Stone

More brick and stone......they are definitely making progress....

Spin Around and Look Across The Street

Looking across the street you see what looks like an old Lodge building. It looks in good repair.....

Another View of the Lodge

Here is another view of the old Lodge......

Another Building

Here is another building that is being restored.....

A Patch of Green

Utilizing a horizontal composition with a textural contrast between the soft wet grass and the cold hard brick....

Looking Down

Looking down for a change....interesting textures....

Looking Up

Looking up through one of the very large openings......

A Pattern of Brick

I like the simplicity of this and brick. :)

Hidden Reinforcements

Some of the steel reinforcements are shown here that are holding these beauties upright........

The Bakery?

I think this is a building that is one of the few functioning businesses in Shasta.......

Well it was a beautiful little trip with lots of nice photo opps and I left Old Shasta feeling satisfied, drove back to Redding, had a meal, and then headed south for home. I hope you enjoyed the ride. :)

French Gulch Guest Comments

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    • jnstewart profile imageAUTHOR

      John Norman Stewart 

      5 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @happynutritionist: Hi and thanks for your comment. We live 5 minutes from a lake in Cottonwood, CA and I love it every time I drive down to it. There is a peaceful serenity about the water. Have a great weekend. :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      A great collection of photos...I have a thing about on one and love to watch water, find it so very relaxing, so naturally was drawn to the pictures with lakes, but all are special in their own way.


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