A Mini Weekend In The Motherlode – 3-5 August 2007

August 3-5, 2007

Base Camp: Holiday Inn Express, 120 Grass Valley Hwy Auburn, CA 95603 (530) 887-8787

DAY ONE (Friday 3 August) 6 PM – We will meet for dinner and social hour at Fanny Anne’s Saloon, 1023 2nd St Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 441-0505
Parking in Old Sacramento is plentiful in the two parking structures. A parking fee is charged, but most restaurants and shops will validate your parking ticket.
After dinner, we will take a walking tour of Old Sacramento, including the Delta King steam ship and the underground “Old” Old Sacramento. There will be many historically significant sites along the walk.

DAY TWO (Saturday 4 August) We will meet up at the parking lot of the Holiday Inn in Auburn, after breakfast, for a 9 AM departure.

We will wind along scenic and somewhat challenging roads (including one-lane bridges) through the Grass Valley area (California’s most productive gold mining area) to the town of Downieville, site of the Sheriff’s Gallows, where we will stop for photo opportunities and rest.

Departing Downieville, we will travel along historic wagon roads (now paved) to the town of North Bloomfield, site of the Malakoff Diggins, where hydro mining ripped huge gouges into the planet.

After leaving North Bloomfield, we will track our way back out to the Grass Valley area, for an extended stop at the Empire Mine. The entire city of Grass Valley sits atop thousands of miles of underground mines, bored out by Cornish miners in the 19th Century from this spot. During the Gold Rush, over 50 million ounces of gold was retrieved from this mine.
It is suggested that participants pick up picnic supplies and such while driving through Grass Valley. For a traditional Cornish miner’s treat, get some pasties at Cousin Jack’s Pasties, 100 So. Auburn St. The proprietor will heat them up for you if you wish. Cold drinks and side dishes are available as well.

Also, around the corner is a Safeway store and Cold Stone Creamery for more modern conveniences.

After a light lunch and tour of the Empire Mine and Estate, we will take a beautiful drive through Nevada and Placer Counties to the railroading town of Colfax and a dinner party at the Drooling Dog BBQ.

After dinner, you are free to travel back to the Holiday Inn in Auburn at your leisure. If you get a chance, drive downtown and see the “Old” Auburn with it’s odd mix of old Chinese Joss Houses and eclectic art shops and boutiques. Saloons with live music abound here as well!

DAY THREE (Sunday 5 August) Once again we will meet up after breakfast at the Holiday Inn parking area at 9 AM. This time to head off towards El Dorado, Amador and Calaveras Counties. You should check out of your hotel room this morning, as we will not be returning to Auburn.

Our first stop will be where the Gold Rush all began, the Sutter Mill at Coloma. This is where John Sutter’s engineer James Marshall spotted a glittery object in the river bed, and immediately realized the potential, and the dangers of his discovery. The two tried to keep the gold discovery a secret, but word got out and soon hundreds of thousands of fortune seekers began to migrate to Northern California. Billions of dollars in gold was mined from these rivers and hills, building an empire from San Francisco to the banks of the Sacramento River and through the foothills to the source of the American River. Ironically, both Sutter and Marshall died penniless!

Departing the Marshall Gold Discovery Park, we will travel curvy back roads to the town of Sutter Creek. In it’s heyday, Sutter Creek was a bustling mining town filled with thousands of people, saloons, brothels and supply stores. The brothels continued operation as late as 1945, servicing the soldiers, sailors and airmen on leave from war-time duties. Today, the town is much quieter, featuring nice restaurants, vineyards, antique shops and a refreshing ice cream parlor. It is very pleasant to walk the wooden sidewalks of this quaint town.
More scenic roads will be explored as we wind our way through the foothills to the town of Jackson, home to the Jackson Rancheria Hotel Casino Resort. Here we will celebrate our weekend with a dinner party and share our memories. Out-of-towners May wish to book a room at the hotel here for the night, before heading home.

Feel free to join us for all or part of this weekend of stepping back in history. Each day has been designed as a different and separate experience.

We remind everyone to be a responsible driver. Please don’t drink and drive!

Bring along plenty of bottled water (August can be a very hot time in this area), and sun screen.

Tune your two-way radios to the channel designated each day by the Ol’ Wagon Master and have your maps and directions at the ready.

Bring your cameras and camcorders too! This is beautiful country, full of historic sites along the way!

Have a great weekend and don’t hesitate to stop along the way to explore further. This weekend was designed for leisure and there is no strict schedule except for the morning start times. If you get the itch to veer off-course, we’ll be waiting for you down the road.

Please visit the Redwood Empire Mini Enthusiasts website for maps and sign up information!