Well this was the perfect do-over, I must say. Last time we came, we had to cut our visit short unexpectedly. So we reserved the very same site, and even got to cash in the rain check with a fabulous friend. All good!
Traffic all along Interstate 80 on Friday was slow going, so we ended up pulling in after dark. Score a point for the exterior port side light with the external switch. We even felt confident enough to use the CM and spin Dory for the nice river view we knew we’d get in the morning.
After getting set up, I got to bask in the darkness of my new and improved Sad Room. I have found that there are some weeks where the intensity of the world is just a little too much for me. Especially in the past two years. In those moments, what helps the most is being out in Dory, staring through the big glass windows, listening to music, and sipping a margarita or cold glass of wine. Richard always kindly offers to deal with dinner, but that requires light in order to see, and escaping the horrors of the universe is an activity best attempted in the dark. I tried pulling the privacy curtain to create a Sad Room for me, and a Happy Room for him. The problem was that the factory installed curtain only goes as far as the shower, so way too much light is able to creep in. My latest project has been to finish off the curtain, thus blocking the entry of all forms of happiness.
The hardest part of this project was finding exactly the right parts online. I admit this is a challenge I enjoy, and I was ultimately able to get precisely matching supplies. The aluminum curtain track needed to be cut down from 4′ and I simply attached it to the ceiling with strong double sided sticky tape. The fabric for the curtain is actually a blackout curtain liner (53″x58″) and comes with a strip of velcro pre sewn across the top. All I needed to do there was cut that part off and sew on a length of snap tape. This section required 8 matching snap glides and fits nicely in that space. To close off the small gap around the corner, I decided to leave an extra flap of fabric with a small velcro square at the end. This then sticks to the shower curtain rail mount. And voila! I can now settle into total sadness while dinner cooks. What is kind of amazing is that creating two separate spaces has the effect of making Dory actually seem a lot bigger. I’m very happy with the results of this Sad project.
Saturday we walked around the historic part of Coloma. This is the site where gold was first discovered by James Marshall in 1848. The California Gold Rush followed and forever changed the history of the west. Many of the buildings and structures are restorations from originals that have long since perished. But some of the buildings are originals and most of the artifacts on display are either from the site, or from nearby historic collections that match what would have been used by the people in Coloma at the time.
The Visitor Center is new and very impressive. There are multimedia displays telling the story of the miners, the immigrants, and the Native Americans who had been living in the area before the vast migration. We spent a good hour there and then went and looked at the outside exhibits. They have a monument marking the original location of Sutter’s Mill, and a recreation of the mill farther away from the river’s edge.
Again, we enjoyed a meal at the Argonaut cafe/restaurant and chatted with our friendly server from before, who even remembered us as the “happy campers”! She is awesome, as was the turkey sandwich and side salad. For dessert, we got some gelato to go and headed to the blacksmith shop, where we got a nice history lesson from an actual blacksmith making actual things. One tidbit he shared was that the historic bridge we drive across to get to the RV park is listed somewhere as one of the “most dangerous bridges in CA.” This, because of its age, the lack of expertise of the people who built it in 1915, and the frequent river floods that threaten to wash it all away. We figured, as long as we’re not *on* the bridge when it collapses, we’d be ok if we have to just live by the river in the RV resort from now on.
After lunch, I got to enjoy a really wonderful afternoon talking with my long lost friend. She lives not too far from Coloma so I was super glad she was able to come over. She’s probably the nicest human I know, so of course she thought to bring snacks and wine. We talked and talked until we realized it was dinner time. Richard was out on a bike ride in the afternoon and returned with a nasty bee sting on his face. It looked red, but luckily he does not appear to be allergic. Ouch though!
Sunday we headed home and took Lotus Road to Shingle Springs rather than Highway 49. That is a good call and how we’d get there next time. I will note that the dump in the RV park is one of those annoying raised concrete pads with a high curb. For little trailers, this makes dumping unpleasant and you have to kind of snake everything through the hose to get it over the curb. Yuck. Besides that though, this is a great place to hang out. You’ve got river side sites with hookups, fun things to do that are walking distance, and a great restaurant. We’d return for sure. Next time, I’d really like to know if there’s a kayak put in spot up river. That would be fun.
Total miles (way off because of traffic rerouting and detours): 131.2, 4 hours 7 min, 16.0 mpg. Site 72. Electric and water, nice solar. No service for ATT, but pretty good free campground wifi. LTE for Verizon. Walking around the park, there is CA State Park wifi too.