While most people think of Clear Lake as being the major lake in Lake County, there are many others as well including Blue Lakes. While Clear Lake is large and shallow, Blue Lakes is very deep and remains refreshingly cool throughout the summer. In addition, there is a large fleet of electric boats for rent on Blue Lakes and this adventure starts there.
Blue Lakes is spring-fed, leaving it unaffected by larger climatological factors that many are experiencing across western North America. That means the waters are clean, ideal for swimming and fishing year-round. Although Blue Lakes is comprised of two separate lakes (Upper and Lower), locals refer to both lakes as simply “Blue Lakes”—perhaps to honor its one-of-a-kind, limnological nature.
No matter what the craft there are some people who are masters at it, whether that be woodworking, painting or crane operations. And such a person dropped by the other day to share his experience at being the guy who was the truck driver and crane operator who swung the cabooses into place.
One of the creators of the Featherbed Railroad, Len Bassignani, would often brag that the crane operator who swung the cabooses into place was one of the best he had ever seen, having barely broken two branches in the entire operation. It so happened that Bill Darr stopped by to check on his work these 27 years later.
One of the reasons we dreamed of owning a bed and breakfast is that we love to travel and share in unique experiences. But it’s also a great learning experience and we always make note of things we love, and things we don’t. And those are just part of the things we use when we work to continue to improve the guest experience at the Featherbed Railroad.
But we've been in the customer service business all our lives. Coming from San Diego, our previous role was in the hair care world where we had direct one-on-one relationships with customers who returned to us regularly. As we said when we moved up here, we simply traded our scissors for spatulas and kept doing what we always did, listen to our guests.
One of the questions we hear frequently is “how did the rail cabooses get here?” But one of the things that’s never asked is what did the cabooses look like when they arrived. The answer to that is “full of graffiti.”
If you’ve ever visited a destination and asked someone a simple question about the area and gotten a blank look as your response, you have experienced a problem that many destinations have. Including Lake County. But Lake County now has a solution - the Lake County Certified Tourism Ambassador’s (CTA) Program.
The CTA program is part of a national organization that offers certification as a Certified Tourism Ambassador. Having a tourism destination included in this organization is a lengthy and very, very involved process.
If you enjoy studying trends and habits of people then you’ll know that brides, in particular, are choosing remote locations for destination elopements. While destination honeymoons have long been popular, destination weddings with a few close friends are now equally in vogue. For those looking for a very special place for their very special events, the Featherbed Railroad may be just the ticket.
One a very busy weekend recently we had three very special and different celebrations that demonstrate just how different this incredible place can be, depending on the type of event that you’re looking to host.
The terrific weather that we’ve been enjoying thanks to an early spring doesn’t only mean that you can bring a pair of short pants on your visit to the Featherbed Railroad. It also means that flowers and plants are happier earlier in the year as well with some spectacular shows of colors by the plants both on property and off.
One of the highlights of spring are Anne Garner’s Spring Wildflower Tours on her Eleven Roses Ranch in Long Valley.
We have the coolest guests! Train people, newlyweds, surprised partners, and a whole range of others that we get to spend a little time with and enjoy their company.
Christina and Steve were some of those ultra-cool people that we took to right away. As an added bonus, before they left, Christy left me a couple of her Haunted Souvenir Shop Mysteries. I dove right in, and loved the stories right from the start. What’s not to love? A strong, independent woman, a little trouble, a mystery, and a parrot! Plus those southern dinner recipes! Oh, yum!!!
The very best part about being the caretakers of the Featherbed Railroad is that the coolest people in the world stay here and we get to meet them. In this case it was Bruce and Susan Armstrong and the circumstances for our meeting was their road trip across the US in preparation for writing the book Quirky Sleeps - Some of America’s Most Fun Places to Spend the Night.
Having lived in Lake County now for six years we are beginning to see a renaissance of activity coming to the area with new businesses opening. One of those is the Upper Lake Mercantile, a unique store that celebrates local style in the quaint town of Upper Lake, just a few minutes from the Featherbed Railroad.
Upper Lake Mercantile offers a variety of items that focus on locally-sourced and locally-made items and showcases the talents of some of our incredible local artists. By their own description Upper Lake Mercantile offers an ever-changing variety of interesting and useful things and, when I stopped by, this was absolutely the case. There was everything from jewelry to jams and things for home or person and even locally-made musical instruments! Pretty nifty for browsing and shopping, actually.
A blog about happenings in Lake County.