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This day in Sacramento, the gray clouds and fog of January, parted long enough to provide blue skies. It has been a welcome sight.
Finding clear skies, I looked at the calendar and schedule this morning, and found them clear as well. This gave incentive to grab the camera, and head East on Highway 16 from Sacramento. There are little California Gold Rush era towns, with names like Slough House and Bridge House, before reaching the Highway 49 turnoff heading south. About 35 miles from Sacramento, travelers reach Amador City, just 2 miles beyond Dry Town. In Amador City, there is a neat little ice cream and sandwich shop by the name of "The Buffalo Chips" which makes fantastic cheeseburgers, fries and sundaes. I was more then ready to shake off a little cabin fever, take a few steps back in time, and give "The Buffalo Chips" a visit.
Even before the California Gold Rush was spurred by the 1849 discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, John Sutter had a lumbering operation in the vicinity of Amador City.
In the past, I have spent wonderful times with grandkids in the old Gold Rush towns along this ribbon of road between Sacramento and Jackson. One favorite memory came during a "Paint Your Wagon" weekend. For those of you who remember the old 1969 Lee Marvin movie by that name, you will recall it as a hilarious comedy of California Gold Rush antics in "fictitiously" named "No Name City" - which I am certain is a spoof on Jackson, California (approximately 6 miles from Amador City). The kids and I started off on a Friday night watching the old flick, while picnicking and camping out on the living room floor. The next morning we woke early, jumped in the car, and headed to Gold Country, to explore mines and caverns in the area, and to dine on ice cream.
Rich mining and pioneer history is steeped along this daisy chain of little gold rush towns and communities. Dry Town, Amador City, Sutter Creek and Jackson are all delightful places. Angel's Camp, Columbia, Murphy's, are also close by.
When I view old photographs from the 1860s to present day, I am amazed at how little change has come to the little community. The major change is the paved road that now occupies what was once only dirt.
Amador City is named after Jose' Maria Amador, who with his companions set up camp in 1848, to collect gold from the creek bottom. Amador was well known as a ranchero from the Livermore Valley. He had left his comfortable home in search of riches in this wild Sierra Foothill countryside.
For more history on Amador City you can visit:
http://www.historichwy49.com/amador/amadorhistory.html and http://www.amador-city.com/
For Gold Rush Country activities in the 40 mile vicinity between Sacramento and Jackson - including cavern tours, gold mine tours, dining and lodging, you can visit:
http://www.amadorcountychamber.com and http://www.touramador.com