Brian Hamilton: Take a trip off the beaten path |

Brian Hamilton: Take a trip off the beaten path

I can’t imagine the number of times I’d driven past the Dew Drop Inn over the past 15 years, but despite its inviting name not once had I pulled off Highway 49 in South County to, in fact, drop in for a visit.

It’s one of those places we often spot off the beaten path while heading to and from wherever we need to be, always meaning to stop by when we have more time but never make a point to do so.

That all changed after chatting up my buddy Bill Rolland, who just so happens to be an amazing videographer.

Why not make a point of going off the beaten path? In fact, why not make a point of doing so several times, and take a camera along to share what we find on each stop?

In future editions … we’ll visit Burgee Dave’s at the Mayo, the Red Frog and the Washington Hotel.

Yes, indeed. Why not?

So Bill, his son, Andrew, and daughter, Emily, served as a highly talented volunteer crew to bring home our travels.

Today, at, you’ll find the first in series of “Off the Beaten Path” videos, which offer a glimpse inside some of these establishments and an opportunity to meet the business owners and learn a bit of the history behind these places we often just drive right by.

See this story online to meet Lori Godfrey, who is the new owner of the Dew Drop Inn but hardly a newcomer to Nevada County. Her family roots run deep here, if not quite as deep as the history of the Dew Drop Inn itself.

In future editions of the series, we’ll visit Burgee Dave’s at the Mayo — still recovering from a devastating July fire — in Camptonville, the Red Frog in Colfax, and the Washington Hotel in the little town of Washington.

We had a great time on each of these stops and hope our video series encourage you to also make a point at venturing off the beaten path and see what they have to offer.

Bruins Fever, catch it

Speaking of road trips, Bear River’s section championship football team has one heck of a trek ahead this week, as the Bruins (10-3) will travel some six hours and about 250 miles to Fortuna to kick off against the host Huskies (12-2) in a Northern California Bowl Game.

Truth is the Bruins have already been on quite a ride in recent weeks, beginning with a must-win regular-season finale to even reach the playoffs. The Bruins had their backs against the wall against Pioneer Valley League foe Center, with their season on the line, and emerged with a 35-27 overtime win.

Bear River kept the momentum rolling in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, knocking off highly touted host Capital Christian (26-7) in the Division V opener and Ripon (14-7) in round two. The section title game, of course, offered the Bruins a chance at redemption against rival Colfax. Bear River didn’t waste that opportunity, taking a 30-27 thriller and the section championship banner.

Everyone loves an underdog story, a role that seemed to fit the Bruins well after barely qualifying for the postseason. But after running off four-straight wins against top competition, another win wouldn’t exactly shock anyone — least of all the cardinal and gray clad crowd that’s been enjoying every mile of the ride.

Go Bruins!

Ringing in the holidays

Christmas is right ’round the corner, which means so are those bell-ringers seeking your support for the Salvation Army and the good work it does in our community.

Members of The Union staff will once again be ringing in the holiday cheer, next to that red kettle collecting the generosity of our community.

We’ve accepted the challenge in a “battle of the media” sort of showdown with the good folks at KNCO 830-AM radio, to see who can raise more money for the Salvation Army. Swing by SPD Market on McKnight Way in Grass Valley from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 13 (one week from today) to show your support. (Haven’t heard word on when our friends at KNCO will be out in force, but I’m sure they’ll let listeners know over the airwaves sometime soon).

In the end, of course, the real winners of our friendly competition will be the people in our community who receive support from the Salvation Army’s efforts.

Contact Editor Brian Hamilton at or 530-477-4249.

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