Sunday 24 May 2015

Road Trip Diary: Sutter Creek > Grass Valley > Redding

17. Fresno to Sutter Creek
Wednesday 20th May 2015

Hands down, Sutter Creek has been our favourite place so far. It's an old gold mining town from the 1840's and many of the old brick buildings are still standing with their wooden frontages and pastel colours. It's now mainly a tourist town but was relatively quiet the days we were there due to it being midweek.





The weather was perfect, clear and warm, so we wandered the shops. Ellie loved it, full of antique malls as they call them here, a bit like an emporium with lots of different sellers under one roof and full of weird and wonderful things. We especially liked Lizzie Ann's Bubblegum Books, a second-hand book shop also crammed with vintage china and other random stuff. Ellie bought a couple of hideous vintage sweaters and a Sutter Creek patch and we carried on through the shops.  

We decided we deserved a nice meal after a few too many roadside burgers so we booked a table at a hotel restaurant called The Sutter. The whole front of the restaurant opened up on to the pavement and the warm breeze made a decent accompaniment to a lovely meal. Afterwards we sat in the bar trying to figure out baseball but sadly we're still none the wiser!




18. Sutter Creek to Grass Valley
Thursday 21st May 2015

Awaking after a decent nights rest at Days Inn Sutter Creek, we had seen online that there was a pretty amazing antique shop right up our street, Gothic Rose Antiques in Placerville. A little bit incense-scented Camden market, it was full of black velvet and faux Victoriana but buried beneath it were a few gems. Some great old gothic medical equipment, taxidermy, household items and Ellie found a tarnished old star picture holder for $25 dollars. We had a chat with the really nice shop boy about Ye Olde England and how obsessed 'we' (as in the whole of the UK apparently) are with the royal family. We smiled, nodded a lot, said farewell and had a little laugh afterwards.

Placerville also had some pretty old signage and buildings, plus lots of odd references to the IOOF which we discovered later stood for the Independent Order of Oddfellows (pretty long winded to explain so have a read here). The chain link stands for 'Friendship, Love and Truth'.




On the drive to Grass Valley later on, we realised that in the 18 days we'd been in the U.S. I had already eaten 9 burgers. One every other day. Bloody hell.
We drove through a town called Cool, which was cool. In fact, everything in Cool was named cool. Cool Cleaners, Cool Cafe, Cool Dentist, Cool Gas. Well played Cool, well played.

Grass Valley was another old mining town but was quite a lot bigger than Sutter Creek. We browsed the town centre and Ellie made me pose with an owl. We checked into the motel,  had a lazy afternoon browsing the supermarket for a microwavable dinner to eat at the motel and grabbing a Starbucks where the barista told us she wanted our accents. People are really very nice here!


19. Grass Valley to Redding
Friday 22nd May 2015

We ate lunch at In'N Out Burger in a place called Chico (all we could think of was 'It's Chico Time!' Such Brits) and I was now onto my 10th burger so I'm obviously aiming for a record!
After arriving early at our stay in Redding, a motel called Thunderbird Lodge with an amazing sign, we looked up things near by to do and found Whiskeytown Lake so jumped in the car and drove a few miles down the road. The lake was huge, very peaceful and full of wildlife including a couple of woodpeckers and some local teenagers hanging out on the beach.

We found some more stunning signage the next morning near where we were staying- The Stardust Motel and The Americana Lodge- but sadly their neon looked the most impressive thing about them and both looked a bit run down.

Tomorrow, Oregon!







1 comment

  1. Your photos are amazing! This is totally the kind of America I would want to see on a roadtrip. Love your travel stories so far!


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