Angels Camp, California

The past two days have been driving days, and we've covered a lot of mileage since leaving Desert Hot Springs. There was a rather dramatic sunset the last evening we were there as the clouds moved in for more rain.

As we were pulling out of the park on Thursday morning, a roadrunner ran across the road in front of us. I only caught him as he ran under one of the RV's. It's not a great picture, but I wanted you to see him anyway.

They are large birds, nearly as big as a small chicken. Here's another one I caught with my camera when we were visiting Palo Duro State Park in Texas a few years ago.

It was obviously a bright sunny day when we saw that guy...but getting back to SoCal, the rain came down. It rained and rained and rained, and it was a downright terrible day for driving.

It was interstate driving most of the day, but eventually, we turned off to more tranquil scenery as we entered the agricultural area in the San Joaquin valley. We saw a lot of citrus that day. I tried to capture some of the orange trees, loaded with fruit, but my pictures were all a blur.

We spent the night at a county campground. There was time to get started on the eighth snowflake. Yes...the snowflake won out over hand quilting. I'll get back to the hand quilting eventually, but the snowflakes have my heart for the time being. I've stitched even more since taking the picture below.

The kitties were tired after a long day of driving. I don't think they get much daytime napping on driving days. Sadie was curled up on her window perch. She was letting her tail hang over the side, like Smitty does. Her tail is less impressive than his, but she keeps hoping.

Smitty was about ready to join her, but he likes cooling his tummy on the floor first.

When we left the campground yesterday morning, I was taken in by this pastoral scene on the hillside behind us.

It was another day of driving...this time up CA99, which is a road listed on our "Roads Not To Travel" list. We drove south on this road about five years ago, and it was so bumpy and rough, we vowed never to do it again. Still, years later, it was the fastest way to reach our final destination, and so we decided to give it another chance. We noted all the places we could bail off and get over to Interstate 5, but that turned out not to be necessary. The road is much improved since our previous trip, and we stayed on our route the whole distance. It was improved enough that we took it off our list of roads not to travel.

Along the way, we caught just the tail end of the almond trees in bloom. They are mostly leafed out already and their flower petals can be seen scattered on the ground beneath them.

The weather was much better from the day before. Everything is terrifically green.

As we approached our turn-off, we saw this crop duster. We watched him cross the road, turn back, drop his load...

And then he pulled up just as he reached the road right in front of us.

He was dusting some kind of fruit tree. We also saw mustard in bloom.

And finally, we're back into an area where we can see some barns. It's been quite a while since I've posted any barns.

Mainly, we just saw wide open spaces.

Getting even closer to our final destination, we saw these bovine beauties marching single file across the hillside.

Our last turn off was here. Head 'em up...Move 'em out! Rollin', rollin', rollin... (And if you're too young to understand that reference, then shut up.)

Okay, so we're here in Angels Camp for the next four nights...three now. We're expecting rain 100% of the time...heavy rain...which is kind of a bummer. I may have misspoken in an earlier post if I said we were here to visit three ghost towns. They are not "ghost towns," they are gold rush era towns, and there is a lot of history in this area. It will mean donning our rain gear and doing some walking up and down historic main streets, and so the rain is particularly unwelcome for this. Oh well. That's how it goes sometimes. But we are intrepid Oregonians. Rain? What rain?

On our drive here, we passed by the Mark Twain cabin just was we crossed the boundary into Calaveras County. We didn't know it was here, but happened upon it by accident. This is actually a replica of the original cabin. The cabin burned in the late 1800s, and only the stone chimney and fireplace were left. This replica was built in its place in the 1920's.

It was here that he wrote "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," which launched his career as a writer. It was inspired by a story about a jumping frog he heard in a saloon right here in Angels Camp. He went on to write 26 books before his death in April, 1910. I often wish I'd been alive to know the man. I imagine he was a hoot. Also, he was a cat lover, and therefore, a kindred spirit. He once wrote: “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.” Here's a picture of him with his kitten found on the internet.

Okay...so the world has gone a little crazy since we visited Whitewater Preserve. Maybe it started even before that, but the crazy seems to be accelerating as we go along. We were finally able to score three rolls of TP here at the campground. We have plenty of TP to make it all the way home, but we're searching for something RV friendly. These rolls we got probably aren't any better than the ones we already have. Also, I have plenty at home, and so TP is the least of my worries. Nevertheless, I find myself as worried about the public panic as I am about the virus itself. And just last night a Facebook friend wrote that a family member of his had died from it. 

So all of that to say we're being super, super careful. We wash our hands coming and going from public places and we avoid touching things while we're out. We're spreading napkins out when we eat in a public venue in order to avoid touching the tables we're using, and we're avoiding touching any doors as we pass through. It's amazing how dextrous one can be just using one's elbows. So, seriously, my friends...stay safe, and be well. I want you all here with me when this passes. And it will pass.


Katie said...

Sadie's tail is beautiful. She has no need to compare herself to a big oafy boy like Smitty, so tell her to stop worrying. I did not know Mark Twain was a cat person, but like you, now like him even more. Be safe in your final travels!

Shasta Matova said...

When you mention having to drive through the rain or wishing you could spend more time in one place or another, I wonder how much flexibility you have in your schedule to make adjustments for that type of thing.

Julierose said...

What an interesting "leg" of your journey--I'll bet those almond trees were just lovely. Stay safe sounds like you're doing everything right;)) We are staying in--schools just closed for 2 wks...grandchildren home from colleges; hunkered down...hugs, Julierose


sorry to hear that a facebook friend has lost a loved one to this virus--I do think that the US is not just panicking about this--I do believe there is more to the story as they say--as to why everything is shutting down--I mean have you ever heard of Disney and sports shutting down for any reason!! So--I guess we really really gotta take this seriously (and I live in a senior apt complex of 162 or so other folks right in that target age group--very concerning too--)but I am not one to be able to stay shut up--have to get out each day--need my sunshine and a bit of a walk-- the big thing is --alot of folks are still getting the winter flu around--and that has the same conditions of stomach aches, coughs, ect as this new virus--very confusing?????
Glad you are still having a good time in your travels--give kitties a hug for me--
love, di

Judy1522 said...

I spoke to someone I know that is an ER doctor and he said what is different about this virus is that it spreads so quickly. Distancing ourselves from large groups and doing what we can to follow good hygiene will help to keep large groups of people in an area from becoming sick. Too many people descending on hospitals at once will overwhelm staff and facilities. I was pretty appalled to hear that 30% of people do not wash their hands after using the restroom. Lets hope this will scare people enough into always washing their hands and they will keep on doing it after this is all over.

Cathy said...

Just stay safe! That is all. Oh wait, that’s not all. I got a kick out of the way you worded the sentence about the picture of Mark Twain and the kitten. At first I thought it sounded like he found the kitten on the internet. You know, like the “old” meme about Abe Lincoln urging us not to believe everything we see on FB.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I went to Walmart yesterday to pick up a couple of things. There were so many empty shelves besides in the paper aisle, and leaning aisle. No soups, pasta, cheese, eggs, Tyson Chicken or frozen pizza. No bread. Lots of employees trying to stock shelves. Now WM will close at night to allow shelf stockers to get their job done. I didn't buy anything to stockpile but I do admit to buying enough so I don't have to go back there for a while.

That looked like heavy rain to travel through. I guess when you are on a months long vacay you have to expect a few rainy days. At least you will have a few days to recharge.
xx, Carol

SJSM said...

Yes, a new world for a while. I spent Thursday and Friday working with our Guild (ASJ-SanJose) determining a plan. All meetings cancelled. Trying to build on line programs for the interim time. We did go to the gym. Needed some exercise. It is very sparse on people and the cleaning crew is beefed up and you can see them constantly deep cleaning. After doing some spin cycle got on the treadmill. Every other one is turned off. This creates 6+ feet between machines. The row are closer to 12 feet wide.

Today will be doing taxes and hopefully start sewing. It is believed this is how life will be for the next month to two months. Meanwhile those who can are working from home. Commuter trains are cut back and rigorously cleaned. Traffic is light, stores are stripped bare. I will go when the hoarders have no place else to stash their booty and the shelves are stocked once more. The word is the supply chain is full.

Stay aware and safe.

quiltzyx said...

Nice sunset shot! Speedy Roadrunner - Meep!meep!!

Glad the CA99 is off of the 'do not drive' list now. Lots of great views along the way.

QuiltGranma said...

When you talk about being from Oregon and accustomed to rain, remember you are talking about WETstern Or. EAST of the Cascades it has been DRY, except for Fri and Sat. nights we got snow, the winter said, HEY, I'm not gone yet! Thankfully it is melting and the temps are warming again. Love that Twain quote, I agree with it!