Photos from Around California
Last year, while I was unemployed, I took a few short driving trips around the state where I visited some small towns I hadn't been to before. On the first trip, I forgot to bring my real camera and thus just took a couple of camera-phone shots, and on my second trip, my camera broke about halfway through. What few pictures I have from the latter trip I just uploaded to my Picasa Web Albums site and added captions, so you can see the complete set here.
One shot I should include from that first trip, when I managed to visit all the remaining California counties I hadn't yet visited, is of this wrong-way duplex sign of state routes 49 South and 89 North in Sierraville.
In case you're curious, the road there is actually heading roughly west-by-northwest.
So anyway, the trip where I actually had my camera was one where I decided to see some of the Gold Country towns along Route 49 I hadn't been to before. Some trivia here: not only was Route 49 named after the 49er miners, but the shape of the California highway shield (seen above) was chosen so that the sign would look like a miner's spade.
First stop is Bakersfield, which is generally kind of a pit (I was employed there for a month in 1996), but which has some nice architecture downtown, including this art-deco Nile movie theater.In Sonora, which has a fairly bustling downtown for such a small place, I came across an old CSAA parking sign from back in the days when the Auto Club would post signs:A little ways up in Calaveras County is a favorite for connoisseurs of sophomoric humor, the Glory Hole Center:Nearby is Moaning Cavern, a deep hole in the ground full of limestone formations:In Amador County you can find the ruins of the Butte Store, which doesn't look like much from the outside, but on the inside (you have to peek through a fence) is a fascinating example of nature reclaiming a building:Farther up in Sutter Creek, the Sutter Creek Cream Emporium is a charming knickknack-filled ice cream shop with a player piano and a proprietor who came out from behind the counter to play a couple of piano rags himself:So then, up in Placerville, my camera seized up and I couldn't take any more pictures of my trip, which took me as far up as Nevada City. I used my wife's camera for about a year after that (I'll post narratives of my trips to Toronto and Alaska soon) and just yesterday bought a new camera of my own, which I haven't used yet.