The 51st state. The closer you get to the Oregon border along the 5 Freeway, you begin to see signs announcing the State of Jefferson. After a quick Internet search, you discover that this is a grass-roots movement begun in 1941 to create a state composed of counties from Northern California and southern Oregon. The capital of the proposed region is Yreka, a mining town with a population of about 8,000. With Western-style architecture and turn-of-the-last-century homes, Yreka is more than just a place to sleep on those long drives to the Pacific Northwest.
Since 2006, the Yreka Third Street Inn (326 Third St.;  598-0615; rooms from $95 including breakfast) has operated as a four-bedroom bed and breakfast within walking distance of downtown shopping on Miner Street. Before that, the Victorian home, built in 1897, was a private residence, meaning it's not on hotel-laden Main Street. Each room features its own Victorian aesthetic as well as a private bathroom.
The aptly named Grandma's House (123 E. Center St.;  842-5300; no single item more than $18.95) offers comfort foods such as fried chicken, mashed potatoes, turkey dressing, pancakes, eggs and pies, all served in a setting decorated with jewelry and tapestries. There's even a gift shop with lotions, cards, wine glasses, spoon holders, salt-and-pepper shakers, musical clocks and postcards. Basically, it's kitsch heaven. If it's something healthful you desire, head to Nature's Kitchen (412 S. Main St.;  842-1136; no single item more than $11.25), where salmon burgers and tofu wraps balance all that junk you've been eating in the car. Because you're here, be sure to pick up much-needed vitamins, organic fair-trade coffee and organic whole wheat bread made in the on-site bakery from grain grown in nearby Scott Valley.