The Foothills – Paradise Lost

When are the mountains, not the mountains?

Answer: When they are the foothills!

OK. A Local Joke. But the Foothills encompass a part of California between the Great Central Valley on the West, and the major Mountain Range, The Sierras on the East.

Here is a little portion of the famous highway known as Highway 49:



The Highway called California State Route 49 has its own Wiki (what else?) and can be found here:

Its name has its origin in the year 1849 when gold was discovered in California, and which runs alongside many of those small towns, many of which experienced a “Boom town” status, at least for a short while, until the gold ran out and the people moved on to other similar places.

My particular section for this blog, is in and around Placerville.

There are faster ways between the Valley (and San Francisco farther West) and the Sierra Nevada, but if you want picturesque towns with Gold Mining Ambiance, then the Foothills just might be the place for you. Some towns, like Angels Camp have a yearly event be it a Fiddler’s Contest, County fair, or the most famous of them all, The Jumping Frog Contest.

If you know your Americana, then you’ll recognize the names, Mark Twain and Bret Harte, who have been in and around here, writing stories and making legends. Placerville is still known as Old Hangtown as is shown by the next photo:


Guns are also readily available here, so I guess, they continue to mean, what they say?

Now, don’t get me wrong. This is as civilized an area in California that could be found, as seen by the above Starbucks Cup. Be prepared though for some extra-curricular reading as there are also politics on the move in this store. My order was ready, so I didn’t have time to harass the employees about this, but if I return, I’ll be sure to question them thoroughly about it!


It was hot, so afterwards, I went over to Baskin Robins Ice Cream Parlor. More reading here as well. I’m not sure if it had to do with me, but I wouldn’t want to break any rules in the Golden State!


Not far away was a tourist stop at a real Gold Mine! Unfortunately, it was about to close, but not before I was allowed to read the next sign:


If they had painted that window a bit more often, then maybe they wouldn’t have to warn visitors about fire? I wish I had my virtual shovel and bucket at that moment, so I could wave it outside the window, showing them that I too, was aware of this danger.

I was a bit short on Greenbacks, so I went to a bank, choosing one with the most American-sounding name that I could find. No, not Band of America, or Golden State Credit Union, and definitely not Wells Fargo, but this one here instead:


I did feel it necessary to ask the nice Bank Employee what the origin of the name was?

Well it was in Native American (she didn’t say which one) and meant “Raging River”. I went to their home page, but other than a lot of other unnecessary information, I wasn’t the wiser. It doesn’t matter, because I got my money and had my iced coffee in the car, next to my Baskin and Robbins spoon, which made me realize that the Foothills still were a sort of Paradise after all!

These Foothill people, who many of them may or may not have moved up from the Flatlands, but who would vehemently deny that fact, being that they were the true residents of the Foothills, and if I wanted to contest that “fact” then I should just take my Danish Socialist Thoughts and go back to somewhere else, not being able to find the American Flag, in every corner, on every vehicle, and even at this Mexican Restaurant, even though I didn’t understand why?

I guess, I just need some more training in being an American?……..



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