Rolling hills framed by pockets of dense forests. The first European settlers in this beautiful part of California in 1812 weren’t from across the Atlantic at all. They were Russians coming across the Pacific. And they had a plan to build a New Russia of their own over here after seeing how well New England and New Spain had been taking root. There were lots of seals and sea otters here, and their fur made some great caps and coats for a cold Russian night so they went to work establishing some pretty rad forts. But as the sea otters grew scarce, their pelts could no longer compete with the cheaper Chinese wool sweaters (+free shipping on Amazon) and that was the end of Russian America.