Ghirardelli Chocolate Outlet and Ice Cream Store in Lathrop, California – Road Trip Day 12 Ep. 31

Neek sez:

It seemed fitting to finish up our road trip by visiting the Ghirardelli Chocolate Outlet store and having a decadent sundae.  They are the masters in making the most incredible ice cream delights.

After hearing about the gold discovery at Sutter’s Mill, Domenico Ghirardelli sailed from South America where he had a confectionary store in Lima, Peru.  The news of the gold strike must have been enticing enough for Ghirardelli to open a tent store in Stockton, California in 1849 to sell his products to the miners. Continue reading

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Sutter’s Fort – Refuge for the Donner Party and Victims of Misfortune – Road Trip Day 11 Ep.30

Lex sez:

Thinking back on my elementary school days, some of my favorite moments, outside of lunch and recess, were the times we went on field trips.  Sure, a lot of the joy I received at the time was escaping the tediousness of the classroom, but there was also the excitement of discovering new things and going fun places!  Of all my field trip memories, my favorite is the trip I took in 4th grade to Sacramento.  We got to see the capitol building, had what I considered a real treat at the time eating dinner at McDonalds and stayed overnight in a hotel!  But the highlight in my mind was visiting Sutter’s Fort.

It seemed extremely appropriate that when Neek, Sar and I arrived at Sutter’s Fort, there was a group of students, the same students we saw in Old Town Sacramento, arriving there for a field trip!  Continue reading

Historic Old Sacramento – Underground Tunnels and Old Buildings – Road Trip Day 11 Ep.29

Neek sez:

Old Sacramento is located within the Old Sacramento Historic District which is a U.S. National Historic Landmark District.  The city of Sacramento was developed in the mid-nineteenth century as an extension of Sutter’s Fort as the Sacramento River was the main waterway to the west coast.  John Sutter was the owner of the fort and Sutter’s Mill where gold was found setting off the California Gold Rush.

The waterfront was subject to flooding on a regular basis before the levees were built.  This caused much damage to the buildings in the area and brought in disease such as cholera.   Continue reading

Giant Cement Statues from Weird, California – Road Trip Day 10 Ep.28

Neek sez:

My sister, Sar gave me a book years ago called “Weird California”.  I thought it was a great title for a book considering I have always thought that California was a little off.  Anyways, it’s also inspired me to go out and find some of the strange, unique, creative and “weird” stuff that I have a tendency to be attracted to.  The Giant Cement Statues of Auburn, California is definitely one of them.

A series of nude concrete sculptures were created by a dentist named Dr. Kenneth Fox.  He was completely self-taught and began building the massive statues in the late 1960’s when he was in his 40’s.  At the time, he was assisted by two of his three high school aged sons. Continue reading

Bridgeport Covered Bridge – The Longest Covered Bridge in the World, Road Trip Day 10 Ep.27

Lex sez:

We continued our journey along Highway 49, but decided to take a slight detour.  After taking a right on to Pleasant Valley Road and driving several miles, Neek, Sar and I arrived at the South Yuba River where South Yuba River State Park is located.  Nearby, we found the object of our search: Bridgeport Covered Bridge.

This 19th century bridge attracted our curiosity because it is reported to be the longest single span wooden covered bridge in the world!  Continue reading

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

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