In very short order the weather turned from wintry to springlike, which is a good thing since it's been spring for over a month now. Temperatures the last few days have been in the 80s, and in Northern California that's Heaven.
My son wanted to go for a lengthy scooter ride today, so off we went. Here's what it looked like when I bought it a few years ago:
Don't laugh. It's freeway-legal (I've gotten it up to 72) and gets about 65 mpg. Bikenstein is a 1986 Honda Elite 250. Google Images has a few other shots of similar bikes.
We started out from our home and drove through Folsom, past the prison Johnny Cash made famous, and up Green Valley Road behind Folsom Lake. We then detoured through Cameron Park and Shingle Springs, where my dad built a house for the family back in the 70s. From there we went to Placerville, where we had a delicious lunch at a hole in the wall.
Instead of just driving home, my son wanted to take "the scenic route". So in Placerville we got on State Highway 49 (the one that goes through the Gold Country) and went through Coloma, site of the very same Sutter's Mill in which James Marshall discovered that first, earth-changing nugget of gold. We continued on 49 through Pilot Hill and Cool, and crossed California's highest bridge (730 feet above the North Fork of the American River) before dropping into Auburn.
I had planned to take the old US 40 all the way home, but part of it is covered by Interstate 80, its successor. Not really wanting to take the scooter, with a passenger, on that stretch of freeway, we took Auburn-Folsom Road from Auburn to the Roseville area. Stopped at a Starbucks, visited my grandmother at "the home", and then came home.
At 65 mpg, the entire drive cost only a few dollars. Pretty cheap entertainment, and a great way to see some beautiful countryside.