What’s cool in Cool?
My first time visiting Cool was a few years ago when my son had a sports tournament there. As I was sitting watching his game I thought to myself: “Where else could you watch a baseball game and enjoy the sound of the American River flowing by and such beauty all around you?” I thought a moment and realized this was a very “cool” place!
The history of Cool dates back to before the1850s, but the town as it exists today was founded officially in 1885. Cool was called Cave Valley because of the numerous limestone caves that provided miners with some relief from the summer heat that often exceeded 100 degrees.
Some of the caves were used as storage for ice. There are at least three possible stories behind the name Cool. One is that the caves were where the miners went in summer to get cooled off, so it made sense to call it Cool.
The town of Cool consists of a post office, grocery, fire station, service station, several nice restaurants and a small strip mall featuring real estate and service industry businesses at the junction of highways 49 and 193.
The Auburn State Recreational Area encompasses Cool, offering an equestrian center and parking area with horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking trails that cover 5,600 acres on the uncompleted Auburn Dam site.
The Western States 100-Mile Run passes through Cool on its way to the finish line in Auburn.
The same trails also accommodate the world-famous Tevis Cup horseback endurance ride.
I spent the day in Cool recently talking to some of the locals to find out what’s “cool” in Cool.
Top 10 cool things:
1. The sunrise over the American River Canyon.
2. Cooling off your horse on the Osborn Loop Trail after a long ride.
3. Enjoying the beautiful wildflowers at the Auburn State Recreational area.
4. A bike ride on the Osborn Loop Trail.
5. The weather in Cool is not so cool.
6. Enjoying a leisurely walk on the Olmstead Loop Trail.
7. Visiting the Cool Deli for the best sandwich in town.
Owners Ray and Lori Attleberger make you feel like you are family.
8. The residences of Cool are “cool.”
9. Trying to find the town of Cool on a map.
10. Buying the town of Cool. Recently a couple of Bay Area transplants purchased the entire downtown.
Mary and Dino Masouris fell in love with the area. They sold four restaurants in Los Gatos and looked into several possibilities as to what to do with their investments.
They heard that the town of Cool was for sale and bought it for a bargain price of $1.7 million. Now that’s “Cool!”
The distance between Grass Valley and Cool is 31 miles and a 51-minute drive, according to California State Automobile Association figures.
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