All of a sudden, that spinach salad we ate the other day doesn’t seem like such a good idea! But other than the phlegmy remnants of colds that Mike and Don are lugging around California, we’re doing alright. And after moving inland quite a ways on some tight and windy roads, we emerged in Auburn,a pretty little town on the edge of the Sierra Nevadas.
We were drawn by giant concrete sculptures that a dentist named Dr. Ken Fox has been making for almost 40 years. The tallest is 42 feet, and very naked, as are several other of the graceful behemoths he has standing out front of his office. At age 81, he still sees patients two days a week, and makes all kinds of art, some of which shares storage space with vintage dental machines.
The Chinese laborer above, which he made to honor the work that was done to build the railroads, now sits out front of the Chamber of Commerce offices. And another, a gold miner with plenty of clothing, pans a bit at the edge of Auburn’s charming Old Town.
“Your floss is my loss” he told us, but being the TV Weasels we are, we still snagged a free toothbrush for the road. After lunching on some tasty Mexican food, the scenic drive down Highway 49 led past a fence full o’ boots which sounded better on paper than it actually was. Nearby Placerville, which Don recalled being mentioned in a John Stewart song(the musician, not Comedy Central guy), was teeming with tourists, which for the few moments that it took to grab beverages, included us.
We couldn’t resist stopping in Sacramento to see if Gov. Schwarznegger would grab a guest glove and play catch, but all our bellowing on the front lawn was to no avail. And didn’t get us killed either, although a passing train almost did the trick a few blocks later! Don’t ask.
In Davis, we tried to see where the town toads have had their own tunnel built to cross the road, but man, oh man, that’s pretty hard to show. None were anywhere to be seen. And dry, this part of the state is frighteningly crispy underfoot. Salads may be the least of our worries.
Music in the van--”Long Black Cadillac”--Rosanne Cash, “California Bloodlines”--John Stewart, “Bob Dylan XM Radio Baseball Theme Hour