Day 22 - Stuck in Folsom PrisonMay 14, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C
What a day, here goes...
Got up & did all the usual things. I had been umming & ahhing about whether to drive back into Placerville to see the Hangman’s Tree, that had been cut down & an Ice Cream Saloon now sat in it’s place. I was swayed to visit it because apparently an effigy hung outside it. Placerville used to be known as Hangtown for their propensity to hang thieves & the like for the most menial of crimes.
We drove the 10 miles back to Placerville, intending to take a quick photo, but my heart sank when the main Historic High Street was closed. The American version of Trumpton had backed up two fire tenders & had used their ladders to form an Arch with the American flag 🇺🇸 hanging between them. I parked in a Bank car park & Jackie withdrew some cash to justify our parking there.
We then wandered into the Historic High Street & there was bunting everywhere & cowboys swaggering along. I asked a lady at a stall what the occasion was & she said it was to celebrate a big bike race. After further interrogation of her colleagues, we established that the Amgen Tour of California cycle race was coming through. We were also given a free souvenir bell 🛎 to ding. We took some photos with the assembled cowboys & Jackie reminded them just who was the Sheriff.
An hour or so later, the race finally passed through. I spent more time worrying about getting a selfie than I did concentrating on the blur of riders. I later googled this years Amgen Tour of California & discovered that Peter Sagan was currently wearing the yellow jersey & Mark Cavendish was also racing. (Today’s race ended in South Lake Tahoe, won by Kasper Asgreen & the new race leader is Tejay van Garderen).
As soon as the race passed, we hot footed it back to the RV & raced out of town. Next stop was Folsom & it’s famous Prison & Museum. We arrived at Folsom Prison & abandoned the RV in the main car park. We walked over to the Prison guard & told him we were here to visit the Museum. The guard told us that we could take photos of the Prison, but not of the guards or the inmates. That was easier said than done, because both were everywhere.
A deer actually walked past the Prison gates, but was gone before I could snap it. We then went into the Museum, paid our $2 entrance fee, then agreed to watch a 22 minute film about the Prison. The film was really cheesy & was presented by a John Huell Howser, who apart from being condescending, also had the most annoying voice.
After a long 22 minutes we then walked around the excellent Museum, stuffed with artefacts from over the years. Folsom Prison has a long history of violence & during riots several warders were killed. There were lots of interesting facts & stories. There was the original 8ft Ferris wheel made out of toothpicks by an inmate. Most importantly, there was a big exhibition relating to the double visit of Johnny Cash, which was the main reason we had come. We learnt that on his At Folsom Prison album, the song Greystone Chapel was written by an inmate, Glen Shirley, who committed suicide shortly afterwards.
We then drove west still on Highway 50 (The Loneliest Road) into Sacramento. I was keen to see the murals that pop up everywhere throughout the city, so I headed towards the Capitol State Building & we only saw the Capitol State Building! We were running late, so we didn’t stop.
Instead we took a detour into a town called Davis, which allegedly had a good drinking scene, according to our ‘Where to Get F**ked Up’ guidebook. Davis has a big student population from the local university, which is no doubt how it attracted it’s reputation. We were running late, so we didn’t stop.
We continued on Highway 80 & found a good old Walmart & somehow managed to spend $39 on some essentials required for the next day & a half. We had lunch in the car park & then refuelled.
Next stop was the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean factory, open for free tours & an opportunity to buy ‘jelly beans’. We decided to embark on the free tours, but started to regret it when we told we had to where some weird jelly belly sailor paper hat. Still, we thought ‘Luckily no-one will see us wearing them’ so we continued with the tour.
The tour started off with us being given some peach flavoured Jelly Beans. We had to endure a short video, the only thing of which I took from it was that Ronald Reagan was a Jelly Belly Jelly Bean addict. We had a series of sniff tests, a video game & views of the jelly bean production on the factory floor. At the end, I took my eyes of Jackie for just a minute & she had a bag brimming with you know what.
Now it was rush hour & traffic was streaming out of San Francisco. From Highway 80 we took Route 37, then picked up Route 101. This took us right down to the Golden Gate Bridge which we crossed heading from North to South & cost us the princely sum of $6.50. As soon as we had reached the southern end we took a sharp right & drove to Fort Point which is pretty much under the Bridge. We took a few snaps & had to put our coats on. The temperature had seriously plummeted, due mainly to the winds blowing in from the Pacific. From this vantage point it was interesting to see how strong the current was.
We then drove back over the Golden Gate Bridge to Vista Point & onto Golden Gate View Point for more photos. There was one final viewpoint, but we (Jackie) was Golden Gate Bridge’d out, so we headed to Marin RV park for our final 2 nights in the RV.
FITBIT = 10,872 steps / 5.05 miles.
Song of the Day- Folsom Prison Blues (Live at Folsom State Prison) by Johnny Cash.
Bonus Songs of the Day :-
Hangtown by Mulholland
Bicycle Race by Queen
Greystone Chapel (Live at Folsom State Prison) by Johnny Cash
Did You Mean Jelly Bean by Sonny Tucker and the TornadosRead more