Downieville, California on Hwy 49 – A Most Unusual Historic Landmark – Road Trip Day 10 Ep.26

Lex sez:

Driving along Highway 49 was definitely one of the highlights of our road trip.  I loved riding with the window down to breathe the fresh mountain air and listen to the Yuba River crashing by!  One destination that Neek, Sar and I really wanted to check out along this stretch of road was Downieville, which has a very interesting history.

Named after Major William Downie who, along with a group of other miners, made camp here in their search for gold in 1849, Downieville was an important “49er” gold rush town in California.  By 1851, the population rose to a peak of 5,000 people living in what was then called “The Forks”, named because two rivers converged there.  With a population according to Wikipedia of 282, it is considered one of the least changed gold rush towns in California, and driving into it, we could see its rustic past still living! Continue reading

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Little Towns on The Mother Lode Highway – Hwy 49 – Road Trip Day 10 Ep.25

Neek sez:

California Highway 49 is named after the 49ers who came to this state in their search for gold in 1849.  It begins in Oakhurst on State Route 41 and travels north toward the Sierra Nevadas and ends at Vinton somewhat near the Nevada border.

We decided to take the Northern route towards Auburn, California bypassing the interstate.   Continue reading

Road Trip California to Utah – Day 1 Ep. 1

Neek sez:

It’s bad enough trying to get some sleep before a big road trip but when someone starts gunning their motorcycle outside your home at 2:00 in the morning, you start saying some very bad words. Oh well, we had to get up at 4:00 AM anyways. After our epic road trip last year to Oregon, Washington, The Canadian Icefields, Yellowstone, and Las Vegas, we decided that we would take another one to Wyoming, South Dakota, Nevada, and Northern California to have some more amazing journeys in fun.

We left at 5:00AM and would be traveling over 10 hours to get to our motel in Utah. First, we decided to visit Whiskey Pete’s in Primm, Nevada so we could make a pit stop and visit some pretty intense relics of the past.

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100th Anniversary in downtown Los Angeles – San Antonio Winery

Lex sez:

This is definitely the oldest operating winery in Los Angeles – and now it is celebrating its 100th anniversary!  Neek and I went to visit their beautiful location in downtown L.A. – they also have locations in Ontario and Paso Robles – to check out the tour that they offer the San Antonio Winery.  We had tasted many of their wines before, including their famous line with the Stella Rosa label, and we wanted to learn more about their illustrious history and see their operations up close and personal.

The San Antonio Winery was founded in 1917 on Lamar Street in downtown Los Angeles by Italian immigrant Santo Cambianica.  A devout Catholic, Cambianica named the winery after his Patron Saint Anthony.  Continue reading

One of the World’s Largest Artists’ Colony – The Brewery Complex in Downtown Los Angeles

Neek sez:

I always had a fantasy of living the artist’s lifestyle in a garret somewhere cold;  living and working passionately in a tiny studio, loving my soul mate and dying of a disease.  Oh wait!  That’s La Boheme isn’t it? or if you’re into the contemporary version, Rent.  Actually, artist colonies do exist in Los Angeles although being a bit more livable, healthier, and much warmer.

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A Preserved California Historic Site – Campo de Cahuenga

Right down the hill from Universal Studios, Hollywood is a preserved historic site that is probably one of the most important sites for California and the United States. Campo de Cahuenga was an adobe ranch house where the Treaty of Cahuenga (also known as “The Capitulation of Cahuenga”) was signed between Lieutenant Colonel John C. Fremont and General Andrés Pico on January 13, 1847, ending the fighting in the Mexican American War.

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One of the Longest Murals in the World – The Great Wall of Los Angeles

Lex sez:

Walking along the Tujunga Wash concrete basin in the San Fernando Valley community of Valley Glen, Neek and I were impressed with the enormity of the mural painted on the 13 feet high concrete sides.   This is The Great Wall of Los Angeles, one of the longest murals in the world at 2,754 feet (839.42 meters) in length, stretching over six city blocks!  Officially titled The History of California, this amazing work of art reminded me thematically of the book A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

For those of you who have not read it, A People’s History of the United States is not just a history book; it is a rich tapestry of stories spotlighting groups of people often neglected in ‘official’ history books.  Continue reading