Along a gravel road in the Sutter Butte mountain range of Northern California, nestled between an arching hillside and a babbling brook, stands a sign that reads, "Time to Slow Down."
The sign pays homage to a bygone era when Johnson was in the White House,
tie-dye was all the rage and free love was, well, free. The lone road ends at the Wilbur Hot Springs, a turn-of-the-century hotel and spa resort. There you can soak in the restorative powers of several mineral springs that are ideal for unwinding, destressing and restoring your chi.
The resort embodies a simpler time - no TV's, no internet, and no cell phones. Instead, you'll find therapeutic, mineral-water-filled flumes surrounded by sun-drenched redwood decks just ripe for basking. More decks are perched on a hillside in the distance, and hiking trails, littered with footprints from hippies past, traverse the rambling hills of brown grass that seem to whisper, "relax."
From the communal kitchen you can assist in preparing fresh sun-dried prunes, which were grown and cultivated only a few miles from the hot springs. Dried plums, as they are more commonly referred to in the region, are a staple here in the home of the largest dried fruit processing plant in the world. And prunes aren't the only "sun sweet" treat in the region: there are so many fruit stands sprinkled throughout the area that locals have to publish a map.
Follow the fruit stands towards the rising sun to the Sierra Nevada Foothills and visit the South Fork of the Yuba River. Colorful flowers cling to steep cliffs carved by mountain snow melt and the springtime aroma is intoxicating. Well-maintained hiking trails can be reached by crossing a rainbow-arch style footpath that looks like it's always been there. Trails extend up river-like arteries leading to hidden swimming holes, and inspirational views make you feel at one with Mother Nature.
The region lends itself to unforgettable weekend getaways or extended locum stays. You're cordially invited to remove your shoes, turn-off your cell phone, and turn on, tune in and drop in - to Northern California.