Coloma drive-by

With quarantine and social distancing still in full affect here in Northern California it was high time for a drive.  Rest assured I stayed in my car and didn’t come within miles of other people.

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma, California is a family tradition.  Gold was discovered at this site which ultimatly launched the California Gold Rush.  I panned for gold here dozens of times as a kid.  My mother and Aunts took all of us kids here a lot as children as it isn’t far from where they all grew up in Gold Country.  The site is a lovely place for a picnic on the river.

The historic park is typically full of cars, field trippers, hikers, picnickers, etc.  It was pretty sad to see it totally quiet and absent of people with doors shuttered.  As a travelor I always lament scores of people and hate crowds.  But, I wish they were back as it would be a sign of everyone’s health, the economy, normalcy, and everyone’s general mental well being.

Where is the first place you are going to travel when we can safely do so?  What have you learned while isolating?  What have you come to appreciate that perhaps you once took for granted?  I hope all of you are well and I can’t wait to read about your travels as soon as it is safe to do so again.

California State Indian Museum

In the shadow of Sutter’s Fort sits the small but lovely California State Indian Museum.  The museum was created in 1940 and tells the story of many of the Indian tribes of California.  It highlights more than 60 indigenous groups who lived in our great state long before Mr. Sutter brought his Fort to the area and long before the Gold Rush encouraged waves of people to come out West.

Highlights of the museum are an impressive grouping of baskets, an 18 foot Yurok Redwood Canoe, a large number of beautiful photographs of Indigenous peoples in native outfits during dances or traditional activities, and detailed handmade clothing.

The relationship between California and the local Indian tribes has been a complicated one over time.  Disease brought by Europeans, forced movement, slaughter, and destruction of the local environment have changed the face of indigenous people forever.  This museum tells the story of California Indian heritage through physical items, clothing, photographs, landscaping, local events, and music and dance. It is a lovely reminder of the pride and history of the first Californians.  I only wish the museum were bigger and housed even more beautiful artifacts because I know there is much more to see.




Take note of the feathers weaved in to the spectacular smaller baskets.


This thing is HUGE and must weigh an enormous amount.


Not sure what these berries are. I can’t say I ever remember seeing them in the area but they were beautiful.

Sutter’s Fort – Sacramento, California

The little one and I got out of the house recently and visited the Sacramento landmark of Sutter’s Fort.  This adobe fort was built in 1840, early in Sacramento’s history, for the purposes of trade by John Sutter with the coerced permission of the local Nisenan Indians and randomly with the help of Hawaiian laborers.  Sutter was granted Mexican citizenship in 1840 and the Land Grant for the area in exchange for keeping local Indian tribes “in order.” It was closed shortly after gold was discovered in Coloma sparking the 49r Gold Rush.

The fort has been lovingly restored and the California State Parks service does a great job displaying the period with detailed rooms depicting each of the trades and functions of the fort; Carpenter shop, Millstone, Gunsmith, Blacksmith, Guard Room, Kitchen, Bakery, and Weaving Rooms. The Fort sits on a beautifully maintained garden neighboring the California State Indian Museum.

It has always amazed me that my fellow Sacramentans restored, saved, and preserved this special spot because it is surrounded by period houses, hospital high rises, vibrant bars, all in the heart of downtown Sacramento. It is prime real estate as they say.


Local Girl Scout Groups dress up in period costume for their visit. (I remember doing that not so many years ago!)

Odd Colossal Auburn Statuary

Auburn is another fine Gold Country town near Sacramento, California.  Auburn is known for its mining and mandarins.  But, for those looking for something random and unusual look no farther than Dr. Fox’s Colossal Statues.

One giant Gold Miner can be seen from the freeway welcoming visitors and passersby.  This gold minor embodies the Gold Rush and is the unofficial mascot of the town.

Stranger and slightly more controversial are the naked Amazonian women and their friend in bondage who sit and protect a local auto mechanic’s shop.

I remember driving by these tall muses on my way to a yoga class one day and nearly drove off the road.  One just doesn’t expect to see something like this in the middle of an old fashioned gold country town.  And from what I understand they were quite controversial at one time.

Old Town Auburn Doors

Happy Thursday everyone.  Meet the doors of Old Town Auburn, California.  Auburn is another great city which has its roots in the Gold Rush.  It has changed a lot over the years and is growing regularly.  It is known for its vibrant Old Town, its mandarins, and its wine believe it or not.  I took some inspiration from Norm 2.0 and snapped some colorful photos of its doors for you.


For other Gold Country Posts please click here!

Gold Country – Calaveras Jumping Frog Jubilee

I’ve lived my whole life in this area and always heard of Mark Twain’s famous Jumping Frog Jubilee.  I finally put it on the calendar and made a point of going.  I needed to see those silly frogs jump at the famous Calaveras Jumping Frog Jubilee in Angel’s Camp, California!

It turns out it was great fun to watch the kids “jockey” the frogs.  Some were creeped out and others fearlessly kissed their frog and sent it on its way.  Some jumped and bounced making me fear for the frogs life.  (Thankfully none were squashed/harmed while I was watching.)

The adults weren’t as much fun to watch as the kids but the length the frogs were jumping was far more impressive.  (Upwards towards 18 feet was the maximum I witnessed.)  The 30 year old record was made by Rosie the Ribiter at 21 feet 5 3/4 inches!  Other clever frog names include: Froggy Balboa, Joe Frogtana, and Hillary Croakin.

Small town festivals are a lot of fun.  I challenge you to tell me about a small town festival with a more interesting theme that jumping frog challenges!  🙂


For other Gold Country Posts please click here.

Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge

A Jubilee must qualify as “Jubilant” for the Daily Post, right?

Gold Country Drive – Barbed Wire

When I was a kid my Grandfather had a decoration he hung on the wall with various kinds and shapes of Barbed Wire affixed to it.  I was always interested and had a veiled respect for this display because it could hurt me if I touched it and it also seemed strange that a man would display what seemed like garbage on the wall.  Well, now that I am a little older and realize that the barbed wire isn’t going to jump off the display and cut me I find it a fascinating thing to photograph.  I ran across some while I took my little Gold Country drive the other day.  I hope you enjoy the different perspective and the good excuse to use my macro lens. 


Gold Country Drive – Doors & Windows Edition

The California Gold Country boasts lots of beautiful shop-filled main streets in various states of revitalization or disrepair.  But, one thing is for sure…no one wants to throw out a great old door or window with some personality.  Join me and get a feel for what its like to walk by the Gold Country main streets of the 1850s.  Do you have anything like this where you live?

Visit Norm 2.0 for other examples of greats Doors on Thursday!

For other posts in and around the gold country please click here.