Cow Town

Parkfield, CA, is considered to be a true old Western Town. Perhaps the most Western town remaining in the State. And it is not a ghost town. Folks still live and work here, as ranchers mostly, and farmers. Town population is a robust 18 individuals (though more live in the surrounding area).

Old windmill-powered well pump and water tank.

Parkfield is also know for being located directly on top of the San Andreas Fault. Nicknamed the “Earthquake Capital of the World” – since the nineteenth century, the area has experienced magnitude 6.0 shakers on average every 22 years. The last 6.0 quake was in 2004.

Earthquake Capital of the World.

Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore…

In the heart of old town Parkfield is the V6 Cafe and Lodge. If you like grass fed beef, then good food can be had here. It is also possible to sleep at the Lodge if you plan ahead.

I plan to go back for a “Seasonal Steak Special”.

Old branding irons hanging from the ceiling.

What fireplace isn’t complete without a cow skull?

Parkfield has a famous Bluegrass Festival every year on Mother’s Day. Folks come from across the country. Some artists stay at the Lodge, everyone else camps out in trailers and tents spread all over the little town. Sounds like a blast, Dominique and I would love to take Babette out there.I personally have always liked Bluegrass.

Parkfield Bluegrass Festival Promotion.

Parkfield also has a rodeo each year in late May.

Maybe there was a Shell gas station here at one time?

The town itself is North/East of Paso Robles, kind of in the middle of nowhere. There are only two small roads in and out of the town. One coming in from Hwy 46 near Cholame (right where James Dean met his maker in his Porsche sports car), and the other from Hwy 101 near San Miguel. Dominique and I drove to Parkfield on a nice January day, coming in from the 46, and doing out towards the 101, making a big loop. Both routes are incredibly scenic. Especially the way out to San Miguel.

You will see this sign as you drive into Parkfield from Cholame.

In these parts you’ll still see real cowboys rustlin’ cattle along the highway.

A gorgeous old barn on the way out to San Miguel.

Another old barn. There are hundreds of these in Central CA.

“What are you city-slickers lookin’ at?”

Coming down off the pass on the way out of Parkfield. You might think you were in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains.

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