Needless to say, we got out of Oroville fast. By 6:40 AM, we were on our way! Our plan was to head down to Yosemite National Park. That was the extent of any planning or research we did about the journey down there. So it was quite the pleasant surprise to find that Route 49 is littered with quaint old mining towns nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The great thing about not having any real fixed plans is that when you run across something interesting, you can stop and explore without worrying about where you need to be and by when.
We stopped at Auburn, Plymouth, Placerville and Jackson. Great places to snap some photos of old buildings and signs. Sorry, now you have to look at some of them.
We spent the night in Sonora at a decidedly less dodgy place than the place in Oroville. It was clean, nobody was making porno movies and, best of all, the cops never stopped by. We had a fantastic dinner at a family run taquiera. Great food, amazing salsas (especially the tomatillo one!) and half the price of the Mexican restaurant across the road. Delicious.
After dinner, we stopped by and had a beer at a combo bar and gun shop. Yep, you read that right. They sell beer and guns at the same establishment. What could possibly go wrong? Fascinating place. The bartender was a nice guy and the folks drinking beer seemed pleasant enough. Of course, their conversation revolved around what guns they owned and what guns they wanted to buy. I've never owned a gun and don't plan on owning one so I couldn't really relate. However, I did admire how they decorated the bar for Breast Cancer Awareness Month - have you ever seen taxidermy and pink garters before?
We explored old Californian mining towns, avoided getting arrested and only bought beer (no guns) on 23 October 2014.