Saturday, November 27, 2010

On to Sacramento

Redding to Sacramento and beyond
Leaving Redding I drove by miles and miles of olive orchards…perfectly in line with green grass between each row.  That turned into fields of grape arbors with golden leaves.   In the middle of the olive country, I stopped for breakfast at Corning and had a great meal at a small cafĂ© at the end of town. I don’t remember the name but it was the only restaurant  not Mexican or pizza.  I did notice palm date trees loaded with hanging fruit.  The weather feels decidedly warmer . 
Traveling south on I-5, I followed the signs to “old Sacramento”.  I was looking for more information on the gold rush.   Exiting the freeway, the streets are layed out so that the capital building is at the end of a tree-lined boulevard.  Lovely   
Well marked with good signage, I soon found the old town and special parking for RV’s (although I later noticed a lot of open parking along the streets).  The sidewalks are rough-hewn plank boards, and the buildings have been restored to their original glamour.  They now house bicycle shops, saloons, dry goods stores, ice cream parlors, tattoo parlors, and restaurants.  I especially liked the old fashioned clothes and even patterns to make your own.  Lots of feathers, ribbons and lace to become a dancing saloon girl in 1849.  The shopkeepers I chatted with said business was slow (this was Monday) and I noticed several store fronts empty and for lease.  Next was the Sacramento Historical Museum  and everything-you-want-to know about the gold rush and how to be a miner…they even used a water cannon to take down hillsides.  I knew the Chinese became miners and were treated badly including taxed as “foreign miners” but didn’t know they were contractors to the Chinese government who sponsored them.
Off to Modesto where I’d hoped to dry camp at the Wal-Mart.  Wow, it was part of a huge shopping center…not stand-alone as I’m used to.  I waved down the patroling security truck and asked where the RV parking was and he said the complex is owned by the mall company and maybe I could park but the Modesto police may knock on my door in the middle of the night.  I went to dinner to ponder my situation and found “Fresh Choice” a local franchise with salad bar, soup, lots of other stuff and desserts.  I had a big green salad to celebrate my visit to California where it’s all grown (maybe).  I then shopped the other stores and asked the nice people in Wal-Mart if there was another one nearby where RV parking WAS available.  They sent me down the road to Ceres…where it was the same story.  However they are open 24 hours and the manager’s manager gave me permission after  I pleaded with every card I had…even night blindness.  I sure won’t let this happen again.  So here I sit at my “oven desk” and  know that I can shop at 3am if there’s anything I need.  


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