Monday, July 20, 2009

day one

North Fork of the Yuba River

halfway to destination

view through the trees

steeple in tiny moutain town

Inn (above) and Print Media (below)

I am spending tonight at an Inn in a tiny little town way up in the Sierra. It has wifi, but no AT&T service (no iPhone, therefore) and worst of all, no AC. It never occurs to me to double check on these things. Which is really a bummer, because today has been near 100 degrees in both foothills gold rush town (where I had a lovely lunch with a former grad student) and here in quaint gold rush town way, way, way up in the mountains. I will get up in the morning and drive to the county north of here--to the Courthouse and Museum--where the most critical sources for this research reside (I hope). Meanwhile, can I just say that I am a city person? I love these little hide-aways, but they roll them up at 6 pm. Actually that is not true. They rolled up this one up at 5 pm, with the exception of one pizza joint. So that was dinner--a mini-pizza and a bottle of Blue Moon. The pizza took a good 45 minutes for them to bake. As the only restaurant open after all the tubers drove in from the North Fork of the Yuba River, they were doing a booming business for a Monday evening. Not that the woman who ran the place let this get the better of her. It was an exercise in serious patience for me. Anyway, it is finally in low 60s and I'm feeling slightly less dehydrated and dizzy. All the windows are open and I'm thanking god for every breeze that blows my way. I'm going to a small town tomorrow, but I suspect it will (happily for me) feel like a megalopolis (stores open after 7 pm and such). My room has a private bath, but is decorated in early overly-done country. A fake wreath hangs over the bed. I took it off the wall because it is so dusty and deathly and I figure spiders are living in there.

view of tiny mountain town on the approach

tiny moutain town; Inn on the right--bridge over the river, straight ahead
My Prius was a trooper all the way up here and around one bend after another. MP2 would be so happy--I left the GPS tracking on the screen the entire time and what a great tool that turned out to be. It really maps out and let's one get a sense of how severe those hairpin turns are going to be. The car is getting great mileage, even with the AC cranked up. It had no trouble climbing up to some fairly high elevations (although tiny town is down a few thousand feet in a mountain valley, so tomorrow, I have to go back up and come down on the other side of the mountains). The drive and the rivers are just gorgeous. Lush. I waded out into the local one before dinner and was reminded of the fishing camps and pebbled riverbottoms my dad introduced us to all over the South and Far West when we were little kids.

grist stone paying homage to olden days of town
tiny mountain town river and butterfly

the garden across from grad student's home in foothills

I'm using my *new* camera. This morning I gave TH my old one--which is still perfectly good. But I wanted one that had both better zoom and good macro capability. It is often the case that the archival repositories (I use that word loosely) in teeny to smallish towns are not equipped with scanners or photocopying services or even staff of any kind. In these cases, I'll often take photographs of documents (or other images) that I can work from (either permanently or until the digitized versions arrive). I bought a new Canon yesterday and tried it out on both documents and some landscapes. It is great! (Although I am not, because I don't take the time to learn all the critical features.) But, I have to say--as someone who once knew how to use a SLR on an intermediate beginner's level way back in the 80s, for my purposes, automatics with manual options (and this one has many) are just great. Mine will rarely leave the auto setting and I'll be completely satisfied with the results. At least for trips like this one.

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