Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day Fun

This Labor Day, we drove up to Bridgeport to hike the Buttermilk Bend Trail and check out the Bridgeport Covered Bridge, the longest wooden single-span covered bridge in America.

We found the Buttermilk Bend Trail in this book, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Sacramento. I'd highly recommend this guide if you live in the area and enjoy hiking. There are also hiking books in the same vein for other major cities including San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, etc.

This easy 2.5 mile hiking trail meandered along the cliffs above the South Yuba River, affording us excellent views of the river. In typical Labor Day fashion, many people were swimming and frolicking in the river, trying to beat the heat.

We encountered some massive boulders down by the river. Continuing towards the river, we plopped ourselves down on the river's edge and dipped our feet in the cool water. Reportedly, the area where we stopped was once a mining camp where large numbers of people pitched their tents. We saw a stone fireplace just 50 feet from the trail, and our hiking guide indicates that this may have been part of a boardinghouse or home. Teaching fourth grade has definitely rekindled my interest in California history, particularly the events of the Gold Rush era.

In fact, next time, we'll have to pan for gold.

After our hike, we crossed the road and walked down a short path to the Bridgeport Covered Bridge. Built in 1862, the bridge spans 229 feet and is one of only ten covered bridges left in California.

Walking through the covered bridge and examining the Douglas Fir wood, my thoughts wandered back in time. I thought about all the people, horses, mules, and wagons that have crossed through this bridge in the past 150 years.

Here's a side view of the bridge as we walked back to our car along Pleasant Valley Road. Pretty impressive, huh?!

On our way back from Bridgeport, we stopped in at Ikeda's, a well-known restaurant and bakery in Auburn, to try their famous burgers and browse their country market.

The burgers were good, but what I loved most about the market was the fresh fruit. In fact, a basket of Pluots made their way home with us.

As did these peach muffins.

The market was quite crowded, though, so we purchased our pluots and muffins and hit the road.

But don't worry; I'm already making plans to visit again near the holidays to purchase a homemade pie, more locally-grown produce and a dip or two. (Brian raved about their garlic dip!)

Hope you and yours had a fun day, too.


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