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Our Journey: I didn't want to leave Alturas, CA in Modoc County!

Our Journey date: 2021-11-01

In November, 2021 I swung by Alturas, CA to visit properties and what should have taken 1 day turned into at least 5 days - oh I fell more in love with this little town!  One of the biggest reasons I stayed was to visit the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge at the edge of town.

This is the spot just south of town off,  a spot to stop and view the wildlife - there's always birds and deer here!


Just SE of town is another part of the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge. I woke up several mornings and took the 3 mile drive that goes right thru the 7000 acre refuge.  In 1980 the first Three-toed Woodpecker recorded in the State of California! 


A view of the Warner Mountains on one of the ponds! They are a spur of the southern Cascade Mountains and home of the Modoc National Forest, nearly two million acres of pine forests and meadows, lakes, streams rugged canyons, wetlands, lava beds and high desert plateaus.

The Tundra Swans are occasional residents of refuge - I got lucky!

I thought this was unique - a bald eagle sharing a moment with a crow! I grew up in the Pacific Northwest where it's filled with bald eagles and I don't recall every seeing one sit with anyone else!


Bald eagles were on the endangered species list until 2007. In 1972 there was a ban put on DDT, an insecticide that was used from 1940 to 1950 to control malaria, because it caused the hard shell around the females egg to not develop properly. In 1963 there were only 487 nesting pairs left. 

There were a handful of people walking it in the mornings and I stopped and chatted with these 2 locals, a beautiful cattle dog and and lovely best friend who told me a bit about the area! I love the scenery behind them with the storm on the horizon....brr it was cold in ealry November! Beautiful! Nice! Sweet!

Sport hunting is permitted on 2,130 acres of the refuge and I spotted these outside my hotel door in the morning! He said one of them was a rare find. 


Alturas is the county seat for Modoc County and has a population of about 2700. It sure is a friendly town and I was warmly welcomed by many! It has quite a few ammenities for being so small; a hospital, Dollar General, Grocery Outlet, some awesome resturants, a casino, and is surrounded by the Modoc National Forest!

The Modoc Medical Center sure is an important part of this community. It's an 8 bed, critical access hospital providing emergency services, family practice medicine, retail pharmacy, and operating a 50-bed skilled nursing facility in addition to other ancillary services such as radiology, laboratory, physical therapy, and day surgery services. 


There are deer roaming everywhere!

I've been coming here since early 2000's to view properties in the Modoc Recreational Estates which sits north of the little town of Alturas.  I remember the first time I came up here you could barely drive thru the northern parts as the roads were in such difficult shape but wow has that all changed.

Sons of the Pioneer Lake sits in the middle of it and it's a cute little park! 

There's several homes but still lots of undeveloped properties, deer roaming everywhere and a few other locals - too cute!

I checked into the night at the Rimrock Motel that sits on the edge of town. I've been staying here since the early 2000's and although it's nothing fancy it's friendly folks, clean, rustic charm and decent beds! I ended up staying 5 nights I had such an enjoyable time visiting the area!


A few doors down is the best damn steak house the Brass Rail Basque Restaurant - definitely the locals favorite!

I ate garlic steak several times! Delicious and affordable!

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One evening a young lady showed up with spurs on her boots! I asked her if I could take her photo because that is such the essence of the area! She smiled big and tucked her shirt into her pant line to show me a huge belt buckle she won bronco riding! What a sweet cowgirl!

I also loved Rubio's for breakfast - a small little hole in the wall and delicous!  Wow is this ever a busy place during the lunch hour but they are fast!




The Desert Rose Casino is about a mile out of town and is having a new building built. I also got gas here because it was $1.00 cheaper than the other gas station!


For my first time I bought some properties about 10 miles SW of town in Pit River Recreational Estates. It was early in the morning when I arrived and the neighbors were watching me wondering what I was up to and I hollered I would stop by afterwards. I did and I spent the morning visiting with Peggy Sue under her beautiful trees! She told me the area is a lot of retirees and people who came to visit and never left like her and her husband!


A glimpse of Mt Shasta from one of the properties in Pit River Rec Estates!


I drove around the area where the schools and activity fields are and there were nice playgrounds and schools. I caught a few out playing soccer!





I spent my afternoons driving around the countryside - boy is she ever pretty! It's a farming community with lots of cattle, hay fields, cool ranch signs and old farm equipment!

This guy gets my favorite cow award - isn't he handsome with all those curls!

I had to choose a John Deere as my favorite tractor if I don't want to get disowned by the family! Ha!





A shout out to this cute little coffee gift shop, the Wild Mustard! It was getting close to Christmas and I wandered around the store a few times with a cup of hot coffee!  I really enjoyed spending my holiday cash locally and what a great selection of usefull things! The historical building is gorgeous!


I sure had a beautiful trip to Alturas and once again was reminded that you're never too old to meet a new friend! I met Stacy at the Brass Rail and started chatting with her. She is actually the reason I stayed so long - I found a fun friend to hang out with! She had her nails done in camo and she said she did them herself  - they were press ons from Color Street and she hooked me up! 


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Our Journeys - I didnt want to leave Alturas, CA in Modoc County!

Tags: Alturas, California, Land for sale, Modoc County, Modoc National Forest, Modoc National Wildlife Refuge, Modoc Recreational Estates, Pit River Recreational Estates, Property for sale, Smile4u, Warner Mountains