Well, guess what? Here we are in Jackson, the heart of California’s Gold County, and we cannot connect to the Internet! Our wifi says we have an excellent signal, but we cannot connect. So we are writing in MS Word, and as soon as we can, we’ll connect with you folks! We are parked at the Elks’ Lodge in Jackson, beneath a huge old oak tree, with this kind of view from our site. The lodge charges $12 a night for a 30 amp site with water. Hard to beat!
We traveled only 45 miles today, from Pollock Pines to Jackson, with a stop in Placerville for gas (with a 20 cent discount at Safeway, thank you!). Most of our journey was along California State Highway 49, the “Golden Chain Highway.” Highway 49 is cherished by California and Californians as one of the nation’s most scenic highways, and rightfully so. However, it is not cherished by drivers of medium to large RVs, as much of it is narrow and twisty two-lane highway with little-if-any shoulder! (Suzy says, “That’s true,” as she just got done driving that route!) And in a couple of days, she has more of Highway 49 to travel).
Our plans for Friday include a car trip back along 49 to the little old gold rush towns of Sutter Creek, Amador City and Drytown. Hold on, folks, and our Magic Carpet will take you along with us!
We did travel down to the three small towns mentioned, and had a great Friday. The three towns are about 2 – 3 miles apart on Old Highway 49. The very names evoke images of the past. If you ever watched the movie “Paint Your Wagon,” that’s California’s Gold Country.
Sutter Creek is the biggest of these small communities, and the Knight Foundry is one of the main relics of the past. Mr. Sam Knight established this foundry in 1873. Mr. Knight had developed a seven-foot-diameter, high-speed cast iron water wheel to operate the main machinery. His water wheels also powered the first hydroelectric dams in California.
|The sign on the door reads" Office & Bar."|
In Sutter Creek we also visited the local Catholic Church, surrounded as it is by its historic cemetery. I found a number of children’s graves, one stating that the deceased was age one month and one day at the time of his death. Probably not unusual in those days.
In Amador City, the Keystone Mine, reaching a depth of 2680 feet below ground level, operated from 1851 to 1952, employing as many as 100 men at a time and producing $24 million in gold. These weekends there are porch sales throughout the town, producing their own share of the “gold.”
The smallest of the three towns, Drytown, was where we ate lunch at the Old Well Café and Motel.
|Drytown Club. They claim to be "The Only Wet Spot in Drytown."|
So now it is Friday evening; we’re grilling kielbasa on our George Foreman for dinner, and tomorrow morning we’re picking up and leaving for Groveland, the access point on Highway 120 for Yosemite National Park. Let’s see what happens tomorrow, along… Our Life on Wheels.