This Monastery in Platina California happens to be in our Diocese. Platina is about 40 miles west of Redding [click here for map]and nestled in a little valley. Wikipedia has the population at around 200 which sounds high to me. Its a rather idyllic place.
I went up to visit the Monastery with a friend during the winter few years ago and down in the valley it where the post office is was wet from rain, but as we went up the hill we encountered snow. This picture pales in comparison to what I saw with my eyes. The sun shining on the snow covered domes with a pure blue sky in the background was absolutely stunning. These were taken with an inexpensive point and shoot camera. I have since graduated to a Nikon D200 with my most commonly used lens being th 18 x 200mm vr