Highway 49 images

A Trip Into The Mountains

I was back in the USA in October 2016 for a road trip that took me into the Sierra Nevada mountains and across into Nevada. From there I returned south down most of Highway 49, the Gold Rush Trail – also known as the Golden Chain Highway – in central California, before ending up back in San Jose to watch the 49ers again.

This was a bit of a last minute road trip in planning terms. I was looking at doing another trip – Route 66 all the way from Chicago to Los Angeles – but kept coming up with problems. In trying to work out my itinerary it became apparent that I’d left it too late to book into certain hotels that are considered iconic on that trip. Another issue was timing: a lot of places on Route 66 close from October onwards (often after Columbus Day), which is when I was looking at going.  This was backed up by replies I got from a Rte 66 internet forum. The advice was to do the trip in September and I couldn’t do that this year.

So I decided quite late in the day to postpone Route 66 for another year. I then started looking at where else I could go, and drew up a list of places in California and nearby such as Alcatraz, Yosemite and Lake Tahoe that I’d heard of but never visited. Then I discovered Highway 49, the Golden Chain Highway, with all its attendant history of the California Gold Rush, and supposedly it was a great drive to do as well. So I put it all together, booked my flights and hotels, and a month or two later set off for the wilderness…

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