Archives for posts with tag: Auburn

So much fun seeing my friend in Auburn and getting caught up with her and her animals! But, we were on a quest to get to Crescent City by early evening and we did! We drove along roads I’ve not been on before and it was magnificent, as always, exploring the back roads of this wonderful country of ours!

As I had some serious two-fisted driving to do over Hwy. 299 most of the afternoon, I can’t remember the names of most of what we saw! LOL I do remember something about Trinity and Shasta, but the best part was just the drive. If you’re a “friend” on FB, you will see a video Jenni posted of a part of the drive. I really wasn’t driving as fast as the video shows! We would have died if I’d been going that fast. Heck, people were passing me!

Enjoy the ride below with us!





Tomorrow, we get to live the dream of seeing Jedediah Smith Redwood Forest! YAY!

HAPPY TAILS for sure tonight!



It was quite an exciting Saturday night! Murray Sawchuck (the Vegas Magician) invited me and two others to see Gordie Brown (impersonator) at the Golden Nugget. It was one of the funniest comedy impersonator shows I’ve ever seen! To say it was irreverent is an understatement because I guffawed so hard through his whole show that he told me he loved hearing my laugh…and that ain’t a bad thang to be known by!

If you love to laugh, you just gotta go see him!


After the show Murray took us all over the bar across the parking lot from the Rick Harrison’s Gold and Silver Pawn (of Pawn Stars fame) to have drinks with Rick! Going to the Rollin’ Smoke BBQ and Tavern is a MUST if you like to feel like family and have a great time with good people and great music and some of the BEST RIBS I’ve ever tasted! Wow! What a night! Oh…and this time it ain’t a cut out of Rick!


We partied until 1:00 AM (or later) and still headed for Auburn, CA (east of Sacramento) as planned…just a tad bit later than expected! I chose to drive through Nevada all the way on the back roads through Tonopah, NV and up to Reno, NV and west toward Auburn as the drive has some spectacular surprises!

Jenni Lee (my photo journalist on this trip of Electra Brass fame) took some great pictures with her phone! I hope to be able to download some exciting video footage from today’s wild ride!


Joshua Trees! Know why they’re called that? Because it reminded the settlers of Joshua raising his hands up toward the Lord! Cool, huh? I love word/saying origins!


Goldfield, NV Courthouse



And the contrasting architecture in Goldfield is stunning!





And, as we got closer to Tonapah, the desert mountain ranges changed into a painted desert landscape. Colors changing with every blink of the eye to add or subtract green foliage, iron deposits, limestone with the brightest, clearest blue blue sky for a backdrop. Magnificent!


Then BOOM Mother nature throws in some snow peaks seemingly suspended in mid-air over this desert land!


Drive more in the desert, turn a corner and BAM a HUGE blue lake in the middle of the driest, rockiest desolate area you’ve ever seen! Walker Lake.


Sleeping babies! So darn cute!


Then we are past Reno and into California just an hour outside of Auburn!


It’s a wonderful nine hour drive that really didn’t feel like that long because of all of the wonderful views and surprises along the way on the back roads of this great country of ours!


Today was our day to say adieu to good friends of many animal variety types but not goodbye! It was time to hit the back roads again headed south. I chose to take Hwy. 49 by Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks thinking I could go into one of them without spending my whole day.

However, the thoughts of crowds, bumper-to-bumper driving, noise, confusion and getting to Fresno after dark pushed me and my TomTom right past them. I’ll do them another time when I’m not in a hurry…not that I’m in a hurry on the back roads…I’m more in the mode to drive without all those things I mentioned above!

Hwy. 49 was a lovely scenery, curvy, mountainous road taking us in and out of these quaint little towns one could miss with the blink of an eye.

From prairie-lands


to  prairie-lands with mountains


To lush pastures full of livestock


To no pastures at all


To caves of trees covering the road!


And flowering bushes close enough to touch!


Then this!


And back again!



And into Angel Camp with clothes hanging across the road. What’s up with that?



OH! It must be in celebration of the upcoming fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee!



I’ve seen way too many lakes with horribly low water levels. Look for the old water marks on the banks of this one. Way too many in Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana and now California tell the story. The other thing I’ve noticed this time on these back roads are a great deal of strip mining. Way too much of it is going on…way more than you think!


Tom and I had a disagreement about my taking this road…J59 (I think) but I’m sure glad I took it! This looked like silk blowing in the wind…for about 120 miles…in 97 degree heat!


And this just before I got on the 99.


Turns out that Fresno isn’t a safe place to be and that I got lucky when I picked the hotel where I’m staying tonight. The person at the front desk said that most of the hotels in Fresno don’t ask for ID or get your car tag number. Seems like every motel/hotel I’ve stayed in required that info. Glad I’m only here for one night!

I’m headed to LA for another respite and reunion! The good news is that I’ll be staying on the beach and I’m hoping don’t have to deal with the pollution too much. UGH!


We’ve had the distinct pleasure and challenge (we being me and Montana) to stay in the home of a dear friend and true animal whisperer. This New York City born and raised woman never had any pets or room for them. However, as an adult, she’s made up for lost time!

Montana and I have shared this unique environment of cats, dogs, horses, ducks and rabbits for about a week now and they all get along amazingly well. It’s the guests who are challenged! Montana loves kitties and is in a constant cat-atonic state! Her nose twitches just like a bunny’s nose trying to figure out all the smells bombarding all her senses.

As my BFF neighbor will affirm, Montana truly loves her bunny play time. The ones here are quite a bit bigger than the wild ones in my front yard but that doesn’t keep Montana from lusting after them.

This is the best I could do with getting a bunny picture! I’m surprised they let me even get this close because Montana was at my side! I have to keep Montana on a leash all the time because of the openness of the environment. As I carried my salad to my seat with one hand and Montana’s leash in the other, she bolted through the doggie door toward not only the rabbits but a cat! She’d obviously been paying attention to the dogs running in and out of the doggie door after the bunnies have been put to bed and saw her moment. UGH!


A couple of years ago, my friend rescued a duckling. Of course she made it a pet and of course she got it a friend (as she did with all her foundlings). The male duck was supposed to be female but, as is true with many small animals, it’s not until they get older do you actually know exactly what you’ve gotten your hands on. So now there’s three!

The ducks are named Schnoooldz (mom), Dooodlz (dad) and Nooodlz (baby). Montana hasn’t really paid any attention to the ducks until today when Dooodlz flew off the handrail and did a nose dive into the mud. I had a close tether on her not knowing what she was going to do…or him either for that matter. Because he goes around hissing and flapping his wings all the time making sure everyone knows he’s the BOSS, my friend  aptly nicknamed him “rattlesnake!”


Nooodlz is about two weeks old.


My friend  has several names for each of her babies. She calls Schnooodlz  her “eagle” because she actually can fly. My friend has taught her to give “kisses” and to perch on her shoulder like an eagle! Who knew?


Dooodlz…the rattlesnake.


For dogs, she has them in three sizes: LARGE, Medium Large and small. Reno, a Bernese Mountain Dog, is “my” dog and weighs in at about 120 and is who I call Big Baby….because he is. He reminds me of my Newfie/Lab (Doobie) who passed in 2010.

The little scruffy dude next to him is Reign a/k/a The Enforcer.


This is Brody a/k/a Three Legs. He always looks confused! LOL No other name needed as I can remember numbers!


Then there’s the goat killer from the Caribbean she rescued while in medical school, Bella. Bella is the only dog to ever attacked the unsuspecting Montana so we were overly cautious when I first got here. Bella found a way out and charged Montana within seconds. Bella wanted to establish her pecking order to this new female!

Needless to say, I asserted MY pecking order and have continued my pack leader role by carrying around an empty water bottle that makes a very loud crackling sound when squeezed. If Bella even looks funny or if Montana even thinks about a cat or bunny I pull my water bottle from my holster and crackle away!

Bella’s a/k/a is Dingo Dog.


This is the only cat I could catch a photo of. I’m so confused about all the official and unofficial names of her menagerie that I’ve come up with my own. This one reminds me of Ava’s black cat Vinnie. She’s very curious about us and opens the bathroom door in the middle of the night when you think you’re alone.

My friend also rescued a large white fat cat from the Caribbean whose a/k/a is Cab Cat, one I call “Patches” and one I only catch a glimpse of so I have no feel for it’s other name.


The horses are Jessie (red on the right) and Moose. Moose is “my” horse because when I met him years ago, I told her she needed to get him because he was so sad. He’s not any more! He’s no longer confined to a tiny area without any contact. He’s a retired professional barrel racing horse and I found that out a few years back when I goosed him to go faster not knowing he’d run full bore toward the gate! WHOA!

Montana hasn’t been too interested in the horses until Moose got a little too close to me and she stood up and touched his nose establishing his boundary with me.


This is Montana laughing at how easy it was for her to get that big dawg to back off! LOL


My friend is not only a great animal whisperer but an awesome friend. She’s been there for me and Ava many times over the years and I’ve loved having this time with her in her new digs.

Tonight we’re going to eat steak. A big ole juicy one at Ruth’s Chris’s Steak House! I’ll let you know how that works out for me being able to get an early start in the morning!



When I was in Auburn the other day (when I was not taking pictures), I noticed a Thai restaurant and decided then and there that I was going back to see if their coconut milk  soup was as good as the one at my favorite Thai restaurant in Las Vegas or Dunwoody (a northeastern burb of Atlanta). It’s called Royal Thai in downtown Auburn (as opposed to the historic area).

I ordered off the lunch combo menu and was not disappointed! The coconut soup (a separate item) and the Massaman Curry dish with chicken…both items my all time favorites…were better than both my other favorite places! I highly recommend going to check them out the next time you’re in this area.


Then it was time to walk off some of that wonderful food so I drove to the historic area. It’s interesting when you realize that California didn’t become a state until after gold was discovered and that Congress “fast-tracked” it to becoming a state (learned that yesterday).

In perspective of the history of our country, I think of the 1600’s as old…not a pre-Civil War period! My ancestors came over about a hundred years before that which, from a European perspective, is still considered current history! However, it doesn’t take away the cuteness of this area’s western flair and mixture of people from every where.


This is a HUGE concrete sculpture of the person who discovered gold in this area. When driving up/down St. Hwy 49 and you see him, turn toward him and you’ll be in the historic district.


This has to be one of the oldest buildings in town called the Joss House. But, if you read the  Auburn plaque, you’ll see the number of times this town burned to the ground! That any buildings survived is pretty remarkable.



The good news is that it wasn’t as busy as Grass Valley was so finding a parking place wasn’t too difficult.


The weather here is surprisingly dry considering all the abundance of green vegetation and trees. It looks and feels a bit like where I live in the North Georgia mountains but without the humidity…and I’m not sure I’d like living in a green desert for very long! Use lots of lotion and drink plenty of water.

Tomorrow, I’m off to the back roads again headed south and then southwest.



When I decided to come to Auburn, California, little did I know that this is the area where gold was first discovered in California and started the whole gold rush thing in the 1800’s!

When I went to the Auburn Visitor’s Center yesterday, I was given a wonderful history lesson on this very subject by an Auburn historical enthusiast who works at the Center. I highly recommend going there for some great detailed information!

Although I didn’t take any photos of the historic downtown Auburn, it was authentic and well preserved…more so than most…and they have a lovely walking tour of this area. I just wanted to get a feel of the area without the interruption of a camera lens.

However, today when I traveled to Grass Valley, California (a neighboring city) to visit the Empire Mine State Historic Park and the historic district of Grass Valley, I did take the Canon with me!

Empire Mine State Historic Park is beautifully maintained and rich in gold fever and mining history from its earliest California days. It’s also has luxurious gardens of roses, huge indigenous trees such as Douglas Fir, and Ponderosa Pine. The  well-preserved buildings make it seem like the workers have just gone home for the day and the owners are ready to sit down for dinner.

The docent was a retired structural engineer (of Cornish descent) with a pure love of the history of the mining operation and all related to it started by William Bourn. It was hard rock Cornish miners who came in the mid-1850s who provided the major muscle behind this operation. Hence the passion of the docent.

There were nineteen major buildings in this Park and some outstanding gardens and this man was well versed in all aspects of each and every process of this mining operation (closed in 1956). Below are but a few images of the many at this magnificent park.







One of the many mine shafts.




Looks like everyone just went home, doesn’t it?




A taste Historic Grass Valley, California. I couldn’t believe how many gingerbread Victorian houses still remain in this area!


Not sure if traffic is always complicated in this area but it certainly was today!



Also to explore in this area is Summit Canyon at Donner Pass…one of the richest historical areas in this state. Surely you’ve heard of the story of the first wagon train (1844-46) to cross over Donner Pass, right? “They approached the Sierra after a grueling journey across the Nevada desert and along the Truckee River. As they climbed the pass, it was snowing as they came to a rock wall. They disassembled some of their wagons and hoisted the pieces up.”(seq. Donner Summit Historical Society brochure). If I remember correctly, there was a movie made about this infamous crossing.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring at this point, but I highly recommend eating at the Lumberjack Restaurant on the way to Grass Valley!


Pretty much most Nevadans agree that if it weren’t for mining and gambling, Nevada would be an empty state…well that and legal prostitution! Yesterday, I stopped in the middle of nowhere Nevada to get gas and catch the I-80 and was promptly met by a local to tell me that there were two houses of ill repute behind the station. It was a truck stop (duh) and had only one hotel….hmmm. I was tired but decided that one hotel wasn’t for me! LOL I pushed my way on toward Winnemucca.

Who knew that Winnemucca had a great little place for breakfast? It’s called “The Griddle.” It’s a cute 1950’s diner feel with great food. Other than that, there’s just gambling! To be honest, they say there’s some mining done there too but I never could find out what they mined there!

Over the last seven years when I was traveling, I’d traveled most of Nevada but somehow  missed the northwest corner…until today. I’m so glad I had a chance to experience the wonderment of it from prairie lands, to salt flats, to sand flats, to painted rock, and, finally, to an oasis. Enjoy it with me!


You, literally, can drive a hundred miles without seeing more than a handful of vehicles or an exit. However, I found two exits within my first hundred miles this morning that only had a single dilapidated building at the end of that ramp! One such exit was Jesup, NV.

How did I happen to notice these? I took off from Winnemucca without filling up with gas and there wasn’t so much of an “authorized vehicle” median turn out to go back or anything until I saw a glimmer in the distance which looked like it might be a truck stop of some sort. As I got off the I-80, there was a faded fifty year old wooden sign notifying the weary traveler, “Welcome to Puckerbrush!” As I was solely focused on getting gas and getting on up the road, I didn’t go back for that money shot! I’ll have to get a photo of it next time I’m up there!

This is that exit for Jesup. Look at the cloud patterns in the sky! Looks like airplane patterns but there were no airplanes…or trucks or cars, for that matter!



Then there were sand flats on the left side of the highway…



Followed by salt flats on the left side…


Then both…



And, all the while, prairie lands on the right side of the road.



As the left side of the highway evolves into prairie, salt, sand and water!


Ultimately becoming an oasis!


And painted rocks on the right side…


With prairie lands on the left!


Until, it’s only prairie on both sides of the highway with mountains in the distance.




And an oasis with running water on the left.





The contrasts between states has never been more stark in comparison as it was between Nevada and  California when crossing the state line from Reno! BAM! Now it’s all GREEN! And SNOW!




I didn’t see this much snow at 7000 feet in Glacier National Park! Heck, I didn’t see any snow at Glacier much more than a light dusting on the trees for about 50 feet!




Although I prefer the back roads for my travel joy, I gotta say I-80 wasn’t bad at all. I’d so traverse this route again but West to East next time!

I’ll be in the same place for the next few days so I won’t have much to post but keep tuned in as I’ll be headed to LA next!