Our party of intrepid adventures, now numbered 14, spent an interesting night at Sutter Creek Inn. The Webers and Sommars had perhaps a more interesting night than some as the beds in their rooms were suspended from the ceiling on chains (you can use your imagination to figure out how interesting that might be!) Each room in the Inn is different, in a funky sort of way, so we all had funny stories to exchange at breakfast. Some of us got up early and walked the town. Most of us got up early and packed the cars. For some, getting up early is a feat in itself.

We threw the whole schedule of the Inn off for the day as we wanted to leave by 8:30am and the innkeeper was steadfast in wanting to serve breakfast at 9am as she usually does. However, after some discussion with Vickie she bent the rules and served our group at 8:10 as long as we did not sit at the tables before she rang the bell. The breakfast spread was excellent, with artichoke fritatta, homemade apple quick bread, ham, and fresh fruit. Of course, we really needed to eat another meal. As Jim Sommars would say….”and so we eat.”

We headed off on this leg pretty much on time, picking up 49 just a short distance from the Inn and staying on it for almost 50 miles. Sometimes we had traffic issues, like following two Cal Fire trucks for miles, but generally the roads were great and we got to our first destination earlier than we thought. We parked at the Columbia State Historic Park and then spent some time in the museum before we met Dolores, a senior park aide, who gave us a private tour of the old town and showed us both old black and white photos and the actual buildings which played a part in the growth of the mining town at Columbia.

By the end of the tour, it was time to eat again so we went to Kate’s Tea Room for a light lunch and, obviously, a large choice of teas. By then the temperatures had reached close to 100 and the old building that housed the Tea Room was not set up for AC so our lunch room was at 86 when we arrived and with all our bodies in it, went up to 89 by the time we left. When we got to the cars it was over 100 and some of us found the heat had overheated some items – Al and Vickie had lemons that had gone very soft; Rob and Daryl had to air cool the batteries in their walkie-talkies before they could use them; Jim and DIane had very hot wine.

The leg to Mariposa was a very challenging drive with rising elevations and lots and lots of curves. The scenery was great and the driving was fun for those who enjoy that sort of thing (Doug, Jim, Joe, Al, Curt and Rob – you know who you are!) However, by the time we reached Mariposa it was time for some to head to the hotel so the Boers and Glenores called it a day on the road trip part and headed to Tenaya. The rest of the group did a self-guided tour of the Mariposa museum and all its historical items. A friend of Al’s who lives there then demonstrated an old five stamp machine, which crushes rock into dust so they can separate any gold. By the end of the demonstration outside in the 100 degree sun, we were pretty much all crushed. Al and Vickie stayed in Mariposa to have dinner with the friends and the rest of us headed to Tenaya, another 50 miles on 49 and 41 through pine forests which are unfortunately showing the impact of the pine bore beetle’s destruction. We got checked in and had some time for unpacking and showers (much needed) before meeting in Jackalope’s Bar and Grill for a casual dinner.

We had a 30 second business meeting before eating, where we determined that Tuesday would be “unstructured”. We could all do as much or as little as we wanted, alone or together. There was talk of swimming and the spa and some sightseeing and of course, Jim and Diane talked about lunch at the Awahnee (or whatever they call it now!)….and so, we eat. In that vein, we will all meet again for dinner and exchange notes on what we did during the day.



Pics from Vickie & Al

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Pics from Alma & Hans

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Pics from Darlena & Curt

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Pics from Daryl & Rob
For Some Reason These Pics Loaded in Reverse Order
That’s Doug at dinner with the Tofu Stir Fry

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