A little bit of a lay in this morning and a call from one of our boys to see how our vacation is going got us off to a slow start. But, not to worry. This was one of our planned-for-easy-days. We only wanted to get to Sacramento and see the sights in the old town area. After all, no one can keep going at high speed for days on end. Least of all us!

2016-02-26 11.26.37-1We took an alternate route off the freeway and had a lazy, beautiful drive along the Sacramento River. It was hazy this morning and a little overcast – the first day we have not had full sun since arriving in San Francisco.

The valley and the river and the low crops and occasional cattle or horses reminded me of that old TV show “The Big Valley.” They were supposed to be somewhere near Stockton – and this area is certainly the big valley. It’s beautiful country.

2016-02-26 13.12.08We arrived in Sacramento and went directly to the state park where Sutter’s Fort is located. The fort is actually a reconstruction, but built according to the original plans in the original spot, because of its importance to California’s history. While Sutter was never in the Army, he built his fort as the Army did, for defense and safety. 2016-02-26 13.15.09We read that the fort actually became the first frontier shopping mall. It was fun to walk through the rooms and identify the old tools or implements that were in common use on the frontier. It was also a factory of sorts, producing blankets, candles, baskets, guns and other supplies that anyone in the early West would need.

There was a group of school children in high spirits who were darting between us old folks and squealing with delight. And, we enjoyed being in this historic place right along with them, only without the squeals.

2016-02-26 14.11.35After every long morning of exploring the wild west, there must be some lunch. On the same street, just toward the river from the fort, we found The Buckhorn. And as we sat and made our selections, it was as if we were waiting around the campfire for our steaks to be done. The aroma of smoked meat was to die for. And, the meat was DELICIOUS. I doubt if the cowboys ever ate this good, but it was fun to think they might have. We certainly had no complaints.

No trip to Sacramento is complete without at least a walk through the Old Town. It is mostly shops and restaurants now, but it actually is comprised of the very first buildings that became the budding city of Sacramento. It sits right along the river and a railway station is the center piece. The pony express also went right through here and there is a monument to the men who raced the mails across the country in the mid 1800’s.

Sacramento, while certainly an important city, has a laid back, country kind of feel. A comfortable feel. It was the perfect place to spend our lazy day. When we were done exploring, we found our hotel and are packing in early for the long drive tomorrow over the mountains.