Gold in them there crumbling hills, Hog paradise, mountain storms

There was no need to hurry this morning so we set the alarm for 7.30am.  However, our body clocks had other ideas and we climbed out of our comfortable bed around 7.15am.

Our morning “routine” (showers, Princess supplements and website update) went well and we headed out the door of the cabin and down to breakfast around 8.30am.

There were quite a few other guests dining this morning so we took a table  in another part of the “lobby” and enjoyed our final breakfast at The Lodge.  After the other guests departed we were able to chat some more with John (host) before settling our accommodation bill.

With the car packed and our check-out complete we left Ahwahnee (Sierra Mountain Lodge) around 10.15am and joined the historic Highway 49 north for our trip toward Lake Tahoe.

First stop was the town of Mariposa – the town we drove through on the way back from Yosemite yesterday.  We spotted a coffee shop in the town yesterday and decided to try out their coffee for our morning ritual.  The shop was called The Pony Expresso – very cute name and nice coffee.

We walked around the town and took some more photo’s before taking to the road en route to the next small town – Couterville.

The drive along Hwy 49 took us through the “Goldfields” region of California and the landscape was spectacular.  The mountains are fragile and rock slides are regular events in this part of the country.

The drive to Couterville was short and we stopped in this small and historic town to take advantage of the many photo opportunities.

The hotel in the town (Hotel Jeffery) is obviously a favourite place for the hundreds of Harley Davidson riders that take to Hwy 49 at this time of the year because there were a lot of them outside the hotel when we stopped.  The array of Harley models was incredible.  As an ex-Harley owner (Tour Glide Ultra Classic) I was most impressed.  The Princess had to continually wipe the drool from around my mouth!

After a short “pitstop” in the Jeffery Hotel we “mounted” our Japanese mode of transport and headed for Sonora.  This pretty town (another historic goldfields town) was a perfect place to stop for lunch and photo “shoot”.  We enjoyed a light lunch (soup and sandwich) at a traditional family cafe in the main street.  The service was great and the food was delicious.

After lunch we walked the streets of Sonora and honed our photography skills by taking shots of some of the wonderful buildings and streetscape.

Our afternoon coffee was purchased from the Heart Rock Cafe in the main street.  The cafe is run by a local Christian church group and the coffee was great.  We took the coffee and returned to the car for our adventure north.

The road out of Sonora must have been built by roller-coaster engineers because it was perfectly shaped with humps and turns that felt like we were driving on a ‘coaster.  It was great fun and we wanted to turn around and drive it again!!

Not far north of Sonora is the town of Angels Camp.  This is an historic town with a quirky twist.  It is the home of the world famous ‘Jumping Frog Championships”  and also where the author Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) gained the idea for his book “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”.  We enjoyed taking photo’s of the town’s many colourful frogs and some of the locals too.

The last leg of our trip today took us through San Andreas (the famous fault line in the western USA), Mokelumne Hill then onto Jackson – our stop for the night.  You can learn more about the San Andreas here.

We drove around the small town of Jackson before settling on the Holiday Inn for our overnight accommodation.  The staff were friendly and the room rate (inclusive of breakfast) was quite reasonable considering we had not booked ahead of time or online.

The front desk manager recommended several local restaurants so after settling into our room we returned to the car and drove into Main Street for a delicious feed of Mexican at Magdalene’s.  The waiter recommended that we try the Sangria Senorial to complement the meal and we are glad he did. It is a very tasty non-alcoholic drink.

Tonight we are back in our room early and this has allowed us to update the blog and have an early night.

As we prepare to “turn in” for the night we turn our thoughts to you all in your part of the world.  We hope this finds you all as it leaves us – relaxed, happy and looking forward to tomorrow’s adventures.

Roey and The Princess

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