For dinner one evening, Kevin cooked green chili smashburgers (recipe below) on the Blackstone Griddle. Oh, it was so good! I texted pictures of him cooking to my sister and brother. My brother wondered what the green stuff was. At first I thought he was asking about the green chilies but no, he was asking about the green grass! HAHA My sister said she was more salivating over the green grass than the burgers. I laughed out loud!
Kevin had a work holiday on Good Friday. This was a good day to schedule some lab work that I needed done. (If you read our blog in the fall of 2021, you will remember that even though I am all deaf, I have terrible ear nerve pain and I am on pain medicine for it. This lab work was just to make sure kidneys and such are still doing great; they are.) We headed to my lab appointment at LabCorp in Sacramento. My appointment was at 9:00am. It was a far cry better than our experiences with doctors and their labs when we were in the Flagstaff, Arizona area! (Blog posts about that during summer 2022.) You check in on the app but from your vehicle and wait there. I checked in at 8:40am and about 2 seconds later had a text back that the technician was ready for me. We went in and the place was clean, the staff friendly, the draw fast, and we were out of there before the appointment time. Awesome! Very impressed.
Grabbed some breakfast and up the mountain we went. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historical Park is in Coloma, CA. This is where James Marshall was working at Sutter’s Mill, looked down, and saw gold. That was the start of the California Gold Rush. We were surrounded by bus loads of school children on a field trip. Thankfully the place is big and it didn’t feel too crowded. I learned placer deposits are loose gold that is often found in sand and gravel along riverbeds. Lode is a vein of gold that has formed in cracks in the earth. California’s Mother Lode ran through the foothills and mountains of the Sierra Nevada range and stretched 0.93-3.73 miles wide by 120 miles long. From 1848-1967 over 106 million ounces of gold was mined here. Men were willing to pay a lot of money for a meal cooked by a woman. Lucy Ann Wakefield Stoddard baked apple pies for $2 a piece. In two years she had made $12,000 which is around $375,000 today! Smart lady! James Marshall, the man who discovered gold…never made a profit from this discovery. He was unsuccessful in making a claim in Coloma so he moved away. He returned to Coloma in 1857 and started a vineyard. He tried to start a gold mine in Kelsey, CA but nearly went bankrupt. In 1872 the California State Legislature gave him a pension. He died in 1885. Apparently Sutter didn’t make money from the gold, either.
We drove to James Marshall statue, along California 153 – “California shortest state hwy”! It is 0.5 miles! The statue is of Marshall pointing to the spot he found the gold. It was made and dedicated after he died.
We took a road to Placerville that was very curvy; it reminded us of Tennessee. Lots of trees along the way. Autio, the fantastic iPhone app, told us that Thomas Kinkade, the great painter, grew up in Placerville. Quite a few of his paintings show life in this town. One house, he said, stood out to him for years and screamed to be painted. He called it “Victorian Christmas”. That would be neat to see, I said. We wandered around the old downtown and then I looked up the picture of Thomas Kinkade and where the house was. (I didn’t add it here due to copyright but you should look it up. My 2nd photo is the angle he drew.) It turns out it was 0.6 miles from us on the other side of the old downtown so we walked there. We found the house and took some pictures from across the street. That was a unique find.
Where to go the next day? We had done everything we wanted in Sacramento and surrounding area. We were at a loss. So, we just drove north out of Nicolaus, CA on highway 70. We saw a lot of orchards with “orange” trees. HAHA Remember, the last sign we saw telling us what the trees were was orange, south of Sacramento. Haven’t seen a new sign to tell us anything different…so they are still orange trees! 🙂 As we got to Oroville (Oro is gold in Spanish, Ville is town) we both saw a sign. I started to tell Kevin not to get excited because that sign and font looked similar to Maverik. (Maverik is Kevin’s most favorite convenient store in the entire world!!) And then? It WAS Maverick. Oh Kevin was giddy with excitement! We drove around main street and old downtown. We saw a park full of the easter bunny, food, bouncy houses, games, and people. Kevin heard the live band so we parked along the levee and he listened for a little while. I am deaf and was too far away to feel a beat but I enjoyed the scenery.
When we came into town I could see a lake above it. We looked it up and drove to Lake Oroville State Recreation Area and the dam. It is an earth dam and at 770 ft, taller than Hoover Dam. We were both surprised that we could walk and drove over it as some dams are off limits.
Walked around the parking area and saw the lake on one side and the steep drop off and valley below on the other. Kevin didn’t want to stop at the visitor center.
We drove on to the guard shack. The guard said we could drive past the spillway but don’t stop. Otherwise sirens will go off. That was really cool to drive slowly past and see how big everything was. At the boat ramps we turned around and went back.
The guard had also suggested for us to go to the stop sign, turn right and then we could see the dam and spillway from below. We did and wow! The water came shooting out. It would go over some concrete things and than loudly crash down to the bottom. Kevin could hear and feel the vibrations. We could just stay there and watch forever.
From there we went to heaven, I mean, Maverik. I wanted to get Kevin a coffee mug that would fit in the truck’s cup holder and our couch cup holder. But they were out of them. That was disappointing. But, we got our drinks and treats and he was a happy boy. We went west and grabbed highway 99 and went all the way south to the campground. It was a nice drive.
RECIPE: (not like the one in last week’s post!HAHAHA)
Green Chili Smashburgers
1 lb ground beef
2 oz can green chilis, drained
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (this can be omitted if you don’t like cilantro)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/8 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Divide into 4 patties and shape. Cook or grill as your normally would. The “smash” part comes from using a spatula to smash the meat flat as soon as you put it on the grill. Hold for a few seconds to get a nice crisp texture and then just let it cook normal.
We first made this recipe with just ground beef, onions, and some seasoning and yum! We tried the green chilis, cilantro, and cumin and we haven’t gone back to the regular way. 🙂 Enjoy!!!
4 thoughts on “Finishing Up Around Sacramento, CA”
Isn’t it wonderful when a scheduled appointment goes smoothly! Sounds like a great day exploring! We are in Tennessee right now, so I totally “get” your comment about the curvy roads! It was interesting to read about where the gold rush started and also about Placerville. And lastly, this recipe was much better than the last one you posted. 🙂 Safe travels, and have a great day!
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So glad you like this recipe better. Hahaha I am happy you are camping. I look forward to reading about your trip to Tennessee- we are looking at travel through there next year. Have a great day and travel safe.
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I am happy we are camping, too!
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Curvy roads are fun if Howie is parked somewhere haha.
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