Day 2 of our Sacramento Sojourn...

Since last night's trip to the cemetery was guided and dark, we returned today with dowsing rods for ghost talks and photographing.

The Sacramento Historic City Cemetery (or Old City Cemetery), is the oldest existing cemetery in Sacramento (1849). It is located at the highest point in the City and was designed to resemble a Victorian garden. The sections that are not located in level areas are surrounded by brick or concrete retaining walls to create level terraces.The cemetery grounds are noted for their roses which are said to be among the finest in California. And how cool is the A.A. Van Voorhies mausoleum, built in 1894?
I am always sad to see the graves of children. Poor James and Eliza Fountain outlived six of their sons and daughters so very, very tragic.
We found this marker to be quite interesting. In the Mohammedan Cemetery there are several gravesites dedicated to members of Sacramento's early Muslim community. There are several other areas in the cemetery where Muslims are buried, but this portion (in the famous Crocker Section) is the earliest identified for its association with them.

As we strolled, we were so impressed by the statuary. All the symbols mean something so I had to know what significance is the palm frond in this woman's arms. According to a very informative website, the Palm symbolizes "spiritual victory over death, martyrdom, peace". Now I wish I knew the departed's story. History lessons abound in cemeteries.
What I love about this particular place is that it is full of life among all the death. To sit and listen to bird song or to frolic in all the foliage, it is more park than cemetery. It really is an exceptional space in which to explore. Every time I return, I discover so much more.
Located on our path home, I wanted to share Folsom State Prison (1878) with Cyndy by visiting the Museum, located on the grounds. Being the exceptional tour guide that I am, I called yesterday to get the hours. However, when we showed up, it was closed due to a lack of a docent. Next time, we will call the day of.
Even though we couldn't explore the history through the museum, we wandered the grounds and made promises to return.

It was a diverse, exciting, informative two days that I would gleefully repeat anytime soon. I love our local history and I an delighted even more as I go along.

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Old Sacramento: Underground & in the Cemetery

The last time Cyndy and I were in Sacramento, we decided we had to return for more history lessons and unique fun.

I suggested, to learn more about our State's Capitol, she needed to go underneath it. So off we went to explore the excavated foundations and enclosed pathways hidden since Sacramento raised its streets over 150 years ago.
This was my second such excursion, and ironically it was with the same tour guide, portraying Lavinia Waterhouse. Mrs. Waterhouse (1809-1890) lives at the intersection of a tangle of ideas that, to the 21st Century mind, have no business being together.  She was a physician practicing in the midst of California’s Gold Rush who was also a Spiritualist who was also a poet and artist who was also a leading suffragist who was also a businesswoman (at least during the rare intervals when Sacramento managed to not be critically flooded or on fire).  That combination of hard-nosed practicality and artistic whimsy, baffling to us, formed a cohesive and sensible whole in the Nineteenth Century, each part reinforcing the others in subtle ways that could never happen again. Great history is found in the most interesting of characters.
We entered this building to learn how  Sacramento lifted itself up out of the flood waters during the 1860s and 1870s!
As example of what was involved is the St. George Hotel, which was raised in 1866.Two hundred and fifty jackscrews were put into place under that job in early August (a $7,450 contract). By October, the whole job was finished; 160 feet by 76 feet, weighing about 1,900 tons, the building had been raised 8 feet (with very little damage inside and out). All of this integrated construction, to raise the city in order to achieve flood protection, took several years and during those years, the streets were a perilous obstacle course for pedestrians and horse-drawn vehicles. Even today, the dangers of Sacramento’s underground are still visible even if the surface barriers have been gone for more than a century.
Below, the memories of those early days remain... sharing with us buried stories of characters and their history. It was a very interesting tour.

What brought us back to town, this weekend was the 2017 Lantern Tours of the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery presented by the Old City Cemetery Committee. This was a fundraiser and my first foray into a cemetery at night... wild stuff and very cool indeed.

We joined 20 enthusiastic others on a lantern-led tour through Sacramento’s past. We met some of the cemetery’s eternal residents who shared their stories of adventure and misadventures on the water, across the prairies, on trains and through Gold Rush streets.

Along the way we encountered some ghostly (or is it ghastly?) spirits.
My favorite performance was by Rachelle Weed, who portrayed a teacher on a cross-country train trip, who when she left her seat, a little girl sat down in it. Moments later, a gun fired and it was found that the little girl had been shot and killed, accidentally, by a man who had laid his gun on a shelf in the bathroom. Wracked with guilt for having left her seat, the teacher had gone mad by the time she reached Reno. Rachelle had mad down really well....spooky.
“I have always enjoyed cemeteries.
Altars for the living as well as resting places for the dead,
they are entryways, I think, to any town or city,
the best places to become acquainted with the tastes of the inhabitants,
both present and gone.”
― Edwidge Danticat

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Our Sacramento Retreat...

I just have to share the unique place in which we are staying, while in Sacramento. I love this airbnb.

We loved this space- Located in a peaceful residental neighborhood, the retreat is a detached apartment in the backyard of a home, which includes: a full, spacious bathroom with shower; one bedroom with a queen size bed and hanging space for clothes; a main room with full size loft bed above, small love seat below; a kitchen area with microwave, small refrigerator, sink, teapot, and Keurig coffee maker; and full access to a shared outdoor Moroccan-themed lounge and relaxing backyard with 2-person hot tub! There is no stove or oven located in the unit but there is a convection oven located in the outdoor lounge area if needed. As you can see by the photo of our dinner (below), no oven was needed.

“At the end of the day, it isn’t where I came from.
Maybe home is somewhere I’m going
and never have been before.”
-Warsan Shire

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Awoke to Snow...

While Tahoe was dusted in the white goodness, just a few weeks ago, we were gone and missed it.

It is always special to be greeted by a blanket of snow. I'm ready for it, this time (Steve's going to be here).

The first fall of snow is not only an event,
it is a magical event.
You go to bed in one kind of a world
and wake up in another quite different,
and if this is not enchantment
then where is it to be found?
-J. B. Priestley

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Steve's Belated Birthday Post...

Us moms love to have our babies with us when it's the said baby's birthday. We had scheduled our SoCal trip around that particular milestone, Steve's #55.

We spent the entire day hanging with Betty and then dined at her onsite restaurant- wow!
We could totally get use to eating like this.
The evening ended in song, as all birthdays should.
"Keep calm and be crazy,
Laugh, love and live it up
Because this is the oldest you've been
And the youngest you'll ever be again!"

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Fall Colors in Hope Valley...

We live in a spectacular place... where we are surrounded by variations of beautiful scenery.

Located just 20 miles from our front door is this view.
Hope Valley is the destination for leaf peeping in these parts.

It wasn't just the Aspen trees putting on a show, either.

Every now and then it's good for you to sit and linger on a log!
Lunch was Sorensen's famous Beef Burgundy Stew. We don't eat it very often, but when we do, it's a satisfying bowl of YUM.

“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.”
-William Cullen Bryant

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An Argosy Trailer as Art...

In 1976, my folks bought a brand new Argosy Trailer and we hit the road (and started my love of asphalt adventuring).

This was our rig, with my mom. We took it as far south as Puerta Vallarta, Mexico and as far east as Virginia. We even lived it it for a month, while I was in college, while we waited for a new house to be finished. Wild memories.
So how cool was it for me to see this 1976 groovy Argosy roll into Tahoe? I had to do some research. It was painted in 2012 by a graffiti artist named Beyond Grasp (Chance Canales) for Michael Broussard of Atomic Twelve Designs. Wild right. Below is link the video of it being created. So dang awesome. I would love to revisit my old trailer memories in this rig. Groovy indeed.

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