There is a little town in the Sierra Foothills called Iowa Hill. It still has a one-room school for kids k-8. Only 56 families receive mail at the local post office housed in the only visible business in the community, the Iowa Hill Store/Bar/Post Office/Restrauant. Everyone lives off the grid (solar, hydro-power, batteries and generators)
It is a lifestyle where you wake to the song of birds, listen to wind blowing through the pines, play at Sugar Pine Lake or at the snow park at China Wall above Foresthill. There are riding trails past the lake for dirt bikes, fishing at Sugar Pine Lake, hiking, riding, crystal digging, gold panning. There is room to grow gardens and have family gatherings. People in the area tend to be somewhat independent.
Iowa Hill is a historic gold mining area where some still live on mining gold full time. Others work off the hill or have second homes for their get-a-way. It is a great place to re-create. It is unique and is one of the best kept secrets of Placer County.