Heading East to Calistoga


Leaving the coast meant the end of the journey to me somehow; the end of the journey west and the beginning of the new journey south to my new life in San Francisco.

As we made our way inland, I was eager to get to Calistoga, to experience the nationally renown mudbaths.

We stopped in Guerneville, a small quaint town on the way where they had an interesting outdoor market full of crystals and minerals…..I bought several connected to “vitalizing energy in a new home” and “clarity of thinking.” Expected from me, I was shocked when left brain KPMGer David bought a couple as well.

A bit of history on Calistoga and “the mud.”

It was the novelty of sitting in hot mud that first put Calistoga on the map. Although Native Americans and early Spanish settlers used the area’s natural hot springs, entrepreneur Sam Brannan turned geyser water into gold. After making a fortune selling shovels to prospectors during the Gold Rush, Brannan snapped up the steaming geysers and hot marshlands at the northern end of the Napa Valley with the idea of creating a resort modeled on upstate New York’s famous Saratoga Hot Springs.

Although no records remain, local legend has it that Brannan was the first to mix volcanic ash from nearby Mount St. Helena with hot mineral water to concoct Calistoga’s famous mud baths. He opened his Hot Springs Hotel in 1860, promoting it as the “Saratoga of California.”


Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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