Tuesday January 8, 2018
The weather hasn’t been conducive to exploration, so we didn’t do much of that sort of thing. Not much exploring, but we had a few adventures. Not being familiar with the area sort of make us explorers even if that includes a trip to the market. I guess one could say trying to get to a super market that is only 2 miles away could be an exploring adventure of sorts. It sure was! Traffic was pretty bad, like backed up between traffic signals. Gridlock! But that was Friday, a.k.a get-away day. An adventure……..
We did have a little adventure today, Wednesday, if you can call visiting the civic center of a large city that. We chose to drive surface streets from Cal Expo RV Park to downtown Sac, a distance of 8 miles. The 2 miles was down the same street that took us by the market. Traffic was not bad this time. We approach Fair Oaks and hang a right. Fair Oaks leads us over the American River towards downtown Sacramento on two lane residential streets. No adventure there!
The next 3 or so miles was through a very nice residential part of town. There are lots of big trees planted in Sacramento as it can get pretty warm here in the summer. Quite a bit of tree material has been raked up and left in piles on the roadside for pick up. Even some large limbs were stacked up, a casualty of the recent wind and rain event. I think this neighborhood is called East Sacramento. Beautiful older homes were they, some built before WWII and some after. A very nice mix of architecture. A nice drive but still no adventure…..
We turn a corner and lo and behold a parking spot!……. but no meter. OK we are downtown, this parking space can’t be free. A pay station is spotted. Old minds try to figure out how to use same as there are no printed directions. Push OK, a screen appears with costs for different lengths of time in which to park. I push the least, which is an hour for $1.75. Nothing happens. I insert my credit card……. nothing happens. I insert the card upside down…… nothing happens. I start all over again with the same result. The card reader is broken and I don’t have a roll of quarters handy to feed the machine. A half a block down is another one that works. I pay, grab the pay stub and put it on the cars dashboard. A little more adventure…………..
As I get the dogs out of the car Jil tells me not to step in the human barf next to the car. Jeez! The streets and sidewalks look dirty two days after a record breaking rainfall. As we walk towards the Cathedral lots of homeless looking folks seem to appear all at once. Double Jeez! Arriving at the Cathedral Jil knocks on the office door. A face appears from behind a pulled curtain, the curtain closes, the door finally opens a crack. Jil asks if we can go into the Cathedral. The lady explains that if the doors of the Cathedral were left open that the homeless would rush in and would never be able to be removed. Jeez! Sorta an adventure……..
Defeated we walk two blocks to the state Capital grounds. The building itself is very pretty and the park like grounds that stretch two blocks to the east are beautiful, even in winter.
We walk through groves of camellias that have grown to the size of small trees as well as a couple of orange trees bearing fruit to visit the many memorials and monuments.
Two memorials are especially touching to us, the Vietnam Memorial where all the names of California military members killed in the war are memorialized. Jil finds her friends name- he was 19 years old when he died. She stated that he missed at least 60 years of life on earth…………………
The California Firefighters Memorial is a short distance away. The names of my fallen brothers and sisters from the Los Angeles Fire Department are included on the engraved stone wall. I knew many of them, more than half. Seeing their names brings back fond memories. It makes me proud to have worked with them yet sad that they are gone, making the ultimate sacrifice. That memorial wall hasn’t much more room to include many more names of fallen firefighters. I hope there is no need to expand it…….. but I know that is not realistic. There will always be one more firefighter who gives their life so someone else may live.
We’ve been to Sacramento and the State Capitol before, so our real adventure was getting in and out of the Big City without getting in a wreck running over a jaywalker or walking the sidewalks without stepping in human fluids of some sort, then getting out of town unscathed. At least the Capital grounds were clean and inviting. We met some mounted bicycle police officers. They were members of the California Highway Patrol.
Ironically, the newly installed Governor, Gavin Newsom is more concerned about maintaining a sanctuary state and aligning the thought process of President Trump and Congress with that of Kali-fornia than making his own cities, Sacramento being one of them, safe, clean and inviting for everyone, including those of that are less fortunate than ourselves.