Thanks for pointing out my goofy error, here's our actual Day 7
An early start and we were quickly away from Napa (which was more then could be said for the tailback stretching miles along the road in to town). Iin no time at all the hills and peaks of the wine valleys had disappeared and we were faced with a vast flat expanse punctuated only by occasional air balloons as we neared Fairfield. The journey was speedy but no so that we couldn't appreciate the range of what we Brits would term market gardneing going on across the northern end of the Central Valley. In no time we were at our mid point stopover, Sacramento. We'd arranged to meet up with an acquaintance we'd formed on a cruise through the Panama Canal last Autumn. However, as we'd arrived early, we made our way into the Old Sacramento district, located an appropriate car parking garage, parked the car and found our way to the Visitor Centre. Now it has to be said that the roads of Sacramento don't appear to attract anywhere near the traffic of the other major Californian cities we have visited, but it was a complete delight to drive into this city. Clear, early signage and limited distraction. If only every American city was so easy!
Armed with maps and useful information, we began to meander our way through the old city area, pausing at different shop and museum entrances as we made our way to the Riverfront where we had arranged to meet. Whilst waiting we were treated to a range of exciting events. Sacramento's Tower Bridge was raised and lowered, the railway swing bridge was also opened right out and several goods trains made their way along the waterfront ringing their bells and tooting their whistles with great gusto as they went. I was in my element, but despite a few longing glances towards the Railway Museum, I never got in. Ah well, I gather there's a good museum in Jamestown, which we visit in a few days time.
By now we'd met up with our friend and had decided that lunch would be a good idea before he treated us to a driving tour of the city. We headed to a Mexican restaurant, La Terrazza, which was most enjoyable. Our after dinner drive took us through several different inner and outer areas of Sacramento, which left us with a number of favourable impressions. The housing stock, whilst often a reproduction of a European or Latino style has a good deal of character and the streets all seem spacious. However, the overriding memory will always be the abundance and variety of trees. Can there be any other city at the heart of a dry bowl which can have the kind of beautiful canopy over the main routes? Of course, many of our own cities in the UK and through northern and western Europe can boast strong green lungs, but the background of Sacramento makes it really stunning. Nowhere is this truer than in the extensive grounds surrounding the Capitol Building. Luckily we had time to spare to go into the building and view rooms, county exhibits and the stunning dome, though truth be told we could have spent a lot longer both in and out of the building.
Whilst resourcing this trip, I confess to be surprised when somebody posted a query about how to spend 4 days in Sacramento, because I doubted there was really enough for 4 hours. Well I now stand corrected and next time we are this way we'll be staying a good bit longer.
As our friend's house is on the way to our next port of call at South Lake Tahoe, he insisted that we join him and his wife for a spot of refreshment before continuing on our way. As a consequence, there was little light left in the day as we set off and we completed most of the trip in the dark. That was a shame as the twisting turning nature of the route suggested at something quite dramatic, but for this trip the mystery will have to linger on.