Today we drove into the Santa Cruz mountains in search of some geocaches and California history. There used to be a train through the mountains from Silicon Valley to Santa Cruz, and towns along the train line made their money from selling lumber.
These days, the towns are gone, and in the case of Patchen, a Christmas tree farm has taken its place. It is one of the few farms that produces Monterey pines. It also grows Sierra redwoods and Douglas firs. Patchen is one of several ghost towns associated with “Mountain Charley” McKiernan, an early white settler of the area.
The only buildings visible on the property today are these small sheds with red or brown doors, and a sun-gate.
And they’re not too busy anymore this time of year!