Sunday, January 6, 2013

Adventure Time: Paramount Ranch

The husband and I have a resolution this year to go on more adventures. Things like exploring new places, getting out of town for a night away more often, go on more hikes, etc etc etc. So far we have plans to visit Cambria, San Francisco, and in July we'll be going to Hawaii for a friend's wedding!

But first we decided to visit someplace a bit closer to home. About an hour away from Anaheim is the Agoura Hills, birthplace of the first Renaissance Faire and home to a number of old movie ranches were Hollywood would film westerns and other things. Most of these were sold off to developers, but one has been preserved as a park and still has some of the sets available; Paramount Ranch.

If the town looks familiar, it's because it served as Colorado Springs for the popular show Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman. I won't deny that this is a big part of why I wanted to go see it - I loved Dr Quinn as a kid. 

(This was the train station, and Horace's office)

(Looking down the street at what I am pretty sure is the house that Grace and Robert E moved in to)

(Hank's Hotel)

(Bray's Mercantile)

(Jake's Barber shop and the Bank)

(And the Clinic of course!)

(Right through that door was where Dr Mike saw her patients)

My husband was amazed at how much I remembered from the show. At one point he, jokingly, refused to acknowledge that we were together saying that 'I was getting my nerd all over him'.

Of course he'll be just as bad when we go to visit the MASH set in a week or two. 

There are also a number of trails in the area. Most of them are very clear, so it's hard to get lost unless you go off the trail. However, not all the trails are labeled - we started off on Coyote Canyon Trail, which begins behind the train station. It takes you on a loop, up a hill behind the town, and then drops you off a little ways away from the town on the old race track.

(The view of the Western Town from the trail)

(A creek that runs around the town)

From there you can follow the racetrack down to other trails, but none of these are clearly labeled. I assumed that the larger trail we took was Medicine Woman Trail, which takes you up by where Dr Quinn's Homestead was (though that's long gone) and the Witches Wood where the fortune tellers tents were located when the Renaissance Faire used to be held out here. 

However all we encountered was some cement blocks on the top of a hill that didn't look anything like Dr Mike's place, or the cabin that Sully built for her after they married. The husband and I assumed that we had trekked up Marco Polo hill instead, which is where an old movie about Marco Polo was filmed in the 30's.

(Random cabin - believe it or not, some of those logs are fiberglass)

(The field where the church and the school would have been)

Unfortunately, the park closes at dusk, and, since the sun was setting, we couldn't stick around to check out the other trails so we headed back to the car. Overall it was a very good adventure, but next time we'll head out earlier in the day. I'd like to try to find the Medicine Woman Trail, and maybe even take a shot at the backdrop trail.

Next up: Malibu Creek State Park and the MASH set!

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