June 11-13, 2004: My Sister Judy Visits Dallas
March 22, 2004: A Visit with Gerry Vitale in Chicago
Return to Index for 2004

May 3-6, 2004
A Trip to Auburn, California


My trip to Auburn was actually a business trip, but since there was significant sightseeing involving lots of non-business pictures, I have decided to put that non-business stuff here on its own album page. If you are interested in the business portion of the trip, you can read about it on the album page for "Business Trips - 2004" (which can be reached from the Index for 2004).

Getting to Auburn

Getting to Auburn was actually pretty easy. It was a late afternoon flight to Sacramento and then I picked up a rental car. Since I had plenty of time, I too surface streets all the way across North Sacramento to meet up with Interstate 80 East, and then I took that expressway all the way to Auburn and the exit for my hotel.


An Afternoon Drive to the American River

When I was talking to some of my class members at break time, I found out that quite nearby was a very scenic area that I should go see- the Auburn State Recreation Area. I got some directions from one of the class- to head an exit or two north along I-80 and then take the Foresthill Exit and go east. I was supposed to cross a spectacular bridge first, and then be able to drive down below the bridge to where a couple of the forks of the American River come together.

This sounded neat, so since Tuesday afternoon was sunny and clear, and since the class ended early enough for me to have some time to tour around, I set out on the drive.

Once I got off the Interstate and had left most civilization behind, I made a movie of my drive along the scenic highway, and you can watch that movie with the player at left.

And it wasn't long before I could see the bridge I'd been told about way ahead of me, so when I got closer, I started filming a movie to capture what I saw when I got out onto the bridge. The bridge was extremely high and a little unnerving, but I think the movie turned out well. You can watch it with the movie player below:

When I got to the other side of the bridge, there was a turnoff where I could get out and look back at the bridge and down into the ravine. It was pretty spectacular, and I began by making a movie of the bridge and the ravine below, and you can watch that movie at left.

Then I took a couple of still pictures, one of the bridge and one looking down at the confluence of the forks of the American River.

A ways beyond the bridge, I turned off Foresthill Road onto a road that wound down the hills to the right of the bridge, descending to the river, and I took a movie while doing so. After about five minutes, I came out at the bottom near the river, and I took another movie there. You can watch both of these with the players below:

Descending to the River

At the Bottom of the Ravine

Ahead of me, I could see the the bridge over the Auburn Ravine. I got out of the car and made a movie of the view of the tall bridge from down here at the river's edge, and you can watch that movie with the player at right.

Leaving the car parked off the road, I walked a few hundred feet down to an overlook above the the American River confluence, and made a movie of the north fork and confluence. I also made a movie of the view of multiple bridges from down here- the bridge that the highway I am on will cross to intersect with Highway 49, and the high bridge on Foresthill that I just came across. You can watch both those movies with the players below:

The North Fork and Confluence

Looking Back and Up to the Bridge

The path continued right down to the edge of the the American River North Fork; there seemed to be a lot of water flowing through for this late in the spring and it was really pretty. The sound was also really neat, but you won't be able to enjoy that unless you use the player at left to watch my movie of the North Fork of the American River.

I went back to the car and drove across the curved bridge that you've seen a couple of times already, and on the other side there was another viewpoint. Here, I could look ahead at the Highway 49 bridge over the American River and I could look back at the confluence of the north and middle forks of the river.

Finally, before I got onto Highway 49 back into Auburn, I made one more movie of the entire scene, and you can watch that last movie at right.


Exploring Auburn's Old Town

When I took Highway 49 back into Auburn, I came in on the main street through town. Along the way, I passed some interesting, but relatively new, sights, including an Auburn mural on the side of one of the buildings downtown and a small nursery just down the street. It was closed, but looking into the courtyard, I could see an interesting fountain, and I thought I would make a movie of it for Fred. You can watch that movie with the player at left. Also, while I was still in the newer part of town, I found this interesting clocktower that seemed to fit in well with the rustic nature of the town.

I drove on into town past the courthouse down into the center of Old Town Auburn (1), parked my car, and got out to walk around. In this area of town, there are lots of old stores and restaurants and tourist stuff.

As soon as I got out of the car (1), I made a movie of this section of Old Auburn, and you can watch that movie at left.

Then, I walked down the street towards the expressway. There, alongside the highway, was a small park-like area (2) where, apparently, items of importance in the history of the town were on display. Auburn had gotten its start as a gold mining town during the California gold rush period of the mid-1800s, and so the stuff on display here was all mining-related. The most prominent feature of the little park was the huge concrete prospector statue, but there was also a good deal of old mining equipment here as well. The park was very interesting and a nice place to walk around in the warm afternoon, and I made a movie of the park as I walked through it, and you can watch that movie at right.

Just across the street from the park (3), and positioned so that motorists exiting from the expressway would be able to see it, was the welcome sign for "Historic Auburn," and, just diagonally across the street from that (4) were some of the oldest of Auburn's buildings (or at least thats was the plaques said). And as I walked down the street from there back towards the car, I could look back and see the cute little visitor center the town had built.

When I got back to the car, I drove over to the Auburn city hall and courthouse which, being on its own little square in the center of town, reminded me very much of courthouses in small Texas towns- those buildings usually being on center-of-town squares. It was really interesting walking around Auburn, and enjoyed the tour immensely.


My Last Day in Auburn- The Statues

In the three days that I had been going back and forth to the class, I had been using a shortcut to avoid the main highway, and, each day, I had passed three very unusual statues on this shortcut. Today, I decided to take pictures of them. In the aerial view at left, the two buildings are a dentists office on the north and some sort of auto repair building on the south, so I had no idea why these statues were here. I had see the prospector statue in Old Auburn yesterday, and perhaps the same artist that had done that statue did these, but I did not know why they were here (except perhaps that few people would have wanted them near their houses or places they might go frequently). Anyway, even though I did not find out their provenance, I did want to record them pictorially. First, I made a movie of the statues, and you might want to use the player below to watch it.

You'll be able to figure out where I was standing by looking at the aerial view above, left. I have also put thumbnails for the still pictures that I took below- they are, from left to right, for the full-size pictures of statues 1, 2 and 3. Click on them to see the full-size pictures:

I made some movies of my class on this last day, and you can find them and other information about the class on the album page for my business trips this year (accessible from the Index for 2004). I was home in Dallas by midnight.

June 11-13, 2004: My Sister Judy Visits Dallas
March 22, 2004: A Visit with Gerry Vitale in Chicago
Return to Index for 2004