I’ve been to so many state capitals over the past few years, I thought there couldn’t be anything special about them anymore. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when I arrived in Sacramento. My cousin Bryan and his lovely wife Ruth put us up and they did so graciously, considering we got there hours late.
After spending too long talking the first night, we slept in on Friday morning and then took Bryan and Ruth out to breakfast. It was enjoyable to catch up with a relative that I have had so little time with since we grew up and we grew up on two adjacent farms in Brown County, South Dakota. That was a long time ago and we both agree it’s hard to remember those days clearly. It was still fun to visit about them.
Roy and I took off for downtown Sacramento about mid-morning. On Ruth’s (the California native) recommendation, we tried out Old Sutter’s fort. This fascinating recreation of the original Sutter’s Fort outlined the life of Swiss immigrant John Sutter in his quest for a meaningful purpose to his life. As you walked from display to display, motion-sensitive audio tapes gave a meaningful and interesting talk about the fort, detailing among other things the fact that it was from this fort that rescue parties were attempted to bring the Donner party out of their winter trap in the mountains.
Sutter attempted to set up a sawmill quite some distance to the north of this fort and upon the discovery of gold at that sawmill, he lost all of his workers and eventually, his thriving business of the fort was dissolved.
After Sutter’s Fort, we went to the California Museum, also in downtown Sacramento. This was an excellent museum with a bewildering amount of information. Two of the displays we found the most interesting were the Japanese relocation in World War II and the Tuskegee Airman exhibits.
We also visited the State Capital building downtown. Although we did not go inside, it was a beautiful sight, and just what you would expect: a white building gleaming in the sun with palm trees against its walls and lining the paths. The perfect setting!
After these views, we left downtown Sacramento and went north to Coloma, where Sutter built his famous sawmill. Although we missed the museum, we were able to see the recreated sawmill next to the creek of gold and a recreated cabin in which John Marshall stayed and where he was living when he discovered the gold. An audio at the cabin was very interesting in its descriptions of the people.
Having been very late for supper on Thursday night, we were determined to be at Bryan and Ruth’s early on Friday night. We arrived in time for a delicious supper served by Ruth and at which we had the chance to meet her sister, who was in town.
I went shopping with Ruth and her sister to get myself some books, as I am now without my Kindle (wonder who is to blame for that.) We had another wonderful visit with Bryan and Ruth that evening. I know Bryan’s a little nervous, now, since he knows I can find his house! Seriously, it was with reluctance that we ate another fabulous meal that Ruth fixed and left them this morning, with a renewed reminder of how important family is.