You could say folks who live in Eastern Madera County are lucky. We’re just 45 minutes away from a metropolitan area (Fresno) so everything is at our fingertips, yet we live a peaceful, bucolic rural lifestyle here at the base of the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Thanks to Mother Nature’s special attention, the fishing is great, the cross-country skiing and snow mobiling across powdery snow is inviting and the hiking trails entice year-round. The southern gate to Yosemite National Park is our back door.
Tourism, retail and communications companies mean jobs, and plenty of them. So while Yosemite National Park provides employment for many local residents, far more thrive off the businesses that serve tourists drawn to the park. More than a million and a half visitors pass through here annually — many headed to Yosemite, the rest itching to start their drive up Highway 49 to visit famous old gold mining towns such as Mariposa, Sonora, Sutter Creek, and Nevada City.
Our history is rich thanks to American Indian tribes like the Chuckchansi, Mono, and Miwok who discovered this land before European settlers landed on the East Coast. Their love for this spot transcended cultural differences, and today everyone who chooses to cross paths with Eastern Madera County — whether for a day or a lifetime — keeps a sense of wonder for our slice of the world in their hearts.
Yes, we are 12 separate communities, each with its own personality and direction. But we all unite as Americans, Californians and dreamers who believe wholeheartedly in our future.
On second thought, we’re not lucky. We’re blessed!