Saturday, June 02, 2007

Today's Country Drive

It was a beautiful day out today, and for whatever reason I woke up relatively early. Wanting to get out of the house and even out of the area, I called up a friend and suggested we go a-picture-takin'. We headed southeast, into a different part of California's Gold Country than we've traveled previously. Our first stop was Volcano.

Volcano is essentially a ghost town today. Oh, the sign says there are 101 residents, but they certainly weren't on either of the two streets in town. And while the 1850's-era buildings still stand (some of them, anyway), the town was once going to be flooded by a dam, or so the plaque below states (click on any picture for an enlargement):

Volcano has its own little bit of Civil War history.

There's also a cannon nearby, one that was brought here to "quell rebel sympathizers", but I wasn't about to walk through the swarm of bees to get close enough to take a picture in the dark shed that housed it!

Here are some shots from Volcano's main street. I saw more cars than people.

I've already mentioned its Civil War history. Here's a little bit of World War II history.

Not all the buildings still stand....

From Volcano we drove to Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park. If you're interested in some of California's indigenous peoples, you'll find the following plaques and pictures quite interesting.

This is the largest grinding rock in the park.

From there we went to Jackson. Jackson is one of those old gold mining towns that was important in its day but is primarily a tourist destination (and county seat) today. It's one of those towns in which the main street used to be the main highway from "here" to "there", and before that the highway used to be the stage route, and before that it probably used to be an Indian trail.

Notice how steep the hill is going from the main street to the court house.

Here's a view from the court house looking back down that same street.

The Court House looks just like the one in Nevada City, which was built as a public works project during the Great Depression. It even has the same "Pac Man" font as the one in Nevada City:

Here's another bit of history in Jackson, but not of the kind you'd expect to find in the foothills of the Gold Country.

This "Pac Man" font must have been popular in the 1930's.

That was it for pictures. From there we took State Highway 49 (get it?) to El Dorado, where we picked up Mother Lode Drive through Shingle Springs. In Cameron Park I showed my friend the community built along the airport, where people land their planes and taxi them down the streets and park them in the garage next to the BMW! Green Valley Road, one of many empty 2-lane roads from my childhood that today are highways bounded by McMansions, presented a nice drive to Folsom, and from there I came home.

I'm not sure where my next day trip will take me. But still I look forward to it!

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