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Wednesday, June 7, 2000

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Walking around Sacramento

There's an older lady in my room who took the bus from Mississippi to visit a man in a nursing home that she used to take care of. It's nice to find other older women who get out there by themselves even though they don't have much money. She asked what I was doing today and I told her about volkswalks. She said this sounded like something she would enjoy.

I was at the start point by eight and started my walk on a bridge that crosses over the railroad yard. The interstate also crosses it and I could nsee some guys on cranes working on the underside of the interstate. I passed the railroad bridge and realized that the bottom had tracks but the top layer was for cars. It was closed off but it must be temporary as cars kept coming up to drive over and then had to make a u-turn.

I came down and through the Amtrak parking lot with a side trip to look inside the waiting room. It has an enormous vaulted ceiling that is beautiful. Out of Amtrak I walked down I Street through downtown passing the bus stop where I had caught the bus out to the start point and all the massive government buildings. There's a farmer's market setting up at Cesar Chavez Park and I get a pound of Golden Ranier Cherries. I'd never had them before and they are so sweet and delicious.

The volkswalk took me through a residential neighborhood with large victorian homes ending up at the governor's mansion which is now a state park. I went on the tour and enjoyed the fact that they didn't restore the house to victorian times but left it as it was when the last governor to live there, Ronald Reagan, left it. It had a real lived in look this way.

I was then led a long way down J Street through a more artsy neighborhood with art galleries, tattoo parlors, ethnic and organic restaurants and biking and running stores. The next point of interest was Sutter's Fort but I didn't go in as there were hundred's of school kids milling around. They must all be taking their end of the year field trips. Across the street was a Presbyterian Chuch with a labyrinth where I stopped to rest my aching feet.

The walk directed me west, back downtown and I walk through older but not as fancy neighborhoods on tree lined streets. The trees here are very large and when I reach the capital grounds I see some huge trees. I stop at the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial and wander through the grounds and inside the building. This capital is a contrast to the Nevada one as there is quite a bustle of activity.

I continue on to Old Sacramento and along the riverwalk to the motel where I started. I am tired. I walk quite a bit but I've been pushing it the last few days. I take the bus back to town and wander through downtown and Old Sacramento taking many rest stops.

One of them was at the public library where I checked my email. It is so cool that so many public libraries have free internet access so you don't have to pay. I only had to wait about five minutes. I was apalled to find that someone else had not logged off their Yahoo account, so I logged them off. I am always careful to not only log off but to close the browser. There was an email from my daughter with some pictures of their trip to California in May. It was so nice to see her face.

I was glad when the hostel opened and I could go 'home'. I had laundry to do and, once again, I forgot to bring fabric softener sheets and I have added them to my travel check list. The hostels usually have soap you can buy but don't usually have fabric softener and bleach.

One of the ladies in my room is an african american woman from the LA area. She says that she comes to Sacramento a lot on business and stays in the hostel because it's so nice. You don't see that many african americans in hostels so it's nice to see her, plus she has a little gray in her hair and it's always good to know that more of us crazy gray haired ladies staying in the hostels.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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