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Maybe America’s best kept secret is northern California. I confess to the “California stereotype”: California = sunny, beachy, hang loose, Beach Boys Southern California. Up here in the north, though, the weather is cool, the people are looking for peace and comfort, and the appeal is to the past rather than to the “next thing beyond the next.” It would be unfair for me to create a new set of stereotypes, but we really are finding it to our liking. It doesn’t hurt to be in the foothills — and light snow cascading down.
We spent the day yesterday in Sacramento, most in Old Sacramento. I find Mark Twain everywhere — everyone claims him. For me, he’s a Mississippi River Missourian (but just across the river from Quincy, so we Illinoisians have taken a shine to him). But, his couple of years out West leads Sacramento to claim him. And we ate lunch at a New Orleans diner that had a Mark Twain lounge. We really enjoyed the old village. Seems like Sacramento is fixed on the years around 1850.
Then we had to see where the Governator works, and found the trees around the capitol building beautiful.
Last night was fantastic: we spent the evening with the ministry team at Cold Springs Community Church at David and Pam Cooke’s home (next to a golf course). He played a few holes during the afternoon — in the snow. Met many good folk, and we are looking forward to our time this evening and tomorrow morning.
We are at the gelato shop in historic downtown Placerville, and we have fallen into the hands of a genuine local — fifth generation. And he’s got plenty of chat in him, and Kris has the gift of listening and getting him to tell one story after another. He just told us about the bird habitat of the area, and I’ve seen all kinds of new birds:
Acorn woodpecker
Crisallis Thrasher
Some little black-headed bird (size of a warbler; looks like a chickadee of some sort)
Western bluebird
Blue jay (not like ours in the midwest)
Placerville might be the friendliest place on earth.

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