A Refreshing Day Trip to Gold Country
Alright, my last post referenced New York City, one of the biggest and most famous cities in the world. Now lets get down to my real life.
Today I was able to take a brief day trip into the Sierra Nevada foothills to the Gold Country town of Sonora, CA. Nestled among rolling hills, just off the main path to Yosemite via the northern gateway (ie Sonora Pass), the Sonora has a storied past. During the height of the gold rush, it was one of the busiest towns in the west. And the first of the "Gold Camps" to achieve some level of civilization, mostly by building over the more rustic elements.
These days the surrounding timber processing industries dominate the financial landscape. That and tourism. But as one local puts it, while they like tourism, they don't want too much of it. Happy to be a special destination for a select few.
And if you look at this image carefully, you can see they have both a 4-H club AND a Celtic Festival! What more can a small town boy like myself ask for.
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The Mother Lode Fairgrounds, located in Sonora, more or less are the site of some famous music festivals - the biggest being the Annual Fire on the Mountain Festival.
But did I see any of that. No.
What I did get was a peaceful drive by myself into the hills on a beautiful fall day.
And a restoration of some part of my soul that links back to growing up in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York.
Living in the Central Valley, I forget what it is like when you can't back the shopping centers up to each other in one long level commercial field. Instead, little pods of commerce spring up where ever a curve in the river or a fluke of the hillside makes a spot that can be leveled off relatively safely and inexpensively.
Here a grocery store with 3 shops.
There a drug store and womens clothing store with the ubiquitous Starbucks in between.
The Regional Hospital spread across the side of a hill with the emergency helicopter pad sitting on the very top terrace, ala M*A*S*H
It brought back memories of chilly New England falls and warm New England romance. Without all the bulky coat stuff.
So while I didn't really get to enjoy the history, or commerce, or even buy any lumber, it was a fun trip on a beautiful day.
When was the last time you just got in your car and drove to the smallest town you know? There are these quiet pockets of America all around us everywhere we live (at least if you live in the US).
Don't just sit and watch another college football game.
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I am your fearless guide through the world of Independent Travel and TheWanderlustLLC.com I will provide guidance, direction, content, and overarching spiritual aura to the site (can you tell I wrote this myself).