Golden Spike National Historic Site is north of the Great Salt Lake near Promontory, Utah. This is where the
Union Pacific railroad met the Central Pacific railroad to make the first transcontinental railroad line across the US
on May 10, 1869. In the celebration of the event a golden spike was driven. Actually several were placed in
augured holes. At least one was gold for California, one silver for Nevada and one iron or steel for the East. But
the celebration engraved spikes were promptly pulled up and replaced with regular ones.
Your Mama wouldn’t want you to stop at Mustang Bridge Ranch, east of Reno.
Donner Party site in California near Reno, Nevada. Try to go after lunch.
Virginia City south of Reno. Old mining town. Now tourist attraction. Mine tours. Steam train.
Marshall Gold Discovery site between Auburn and Placerville (originally Hangtown), California.
Sutter’s Fort museum in Sacramento. The fort was restored in 1947. Good place to see gold rush stuff. Also an
Town of “Hayden” on Hwy. 49. Thirty-five years ago there was a street named Pig Turd Alley. Didn’t find it on
Microsoft Streets & Trips maps. It appears to be renamed. I know you Harley riders didn’t steal all the signs. Did
the town just go hawg wild on respectability? Let’s put this mining town crap behind us. Or was a schoolmarm
elected mayor? Bet they closed Miss Piggy’s bordello too. Or maybe they had a real estate developer for
mayor. A street name like that would drive away business. “Hayden” is a substitute name for the town. Don’t
want to drive away business.
Hwy. 49 was named for the Gold Rush of 1849. It follows the mother lode area in the Sierra foothills. Maybe
traffic is backed for miles on holidays. You might want to consider Hwy. 99 from Sacramento to points south.
Plymouth on Hwy. 49. Evel Knievel once jumped his Harley over pit of rattlesnakes near Plymouth. Was going to
be also over a mountain lion, but animal rights groups objected.
Joaquin Murrieta: Bandit in gold fields of California. Almost everything that was written about him was fiction.
He was born in Alamos or Trincheras, Sonora, Mexico or in Quillota, Chile and came to California after gold was
discovered. Many bandits with the first name Joaquin. Maybe five. Or more. In the summer of 1853 a former
Texas Ranger Capt. Harry Love was hired and offered a $1000 reward to get Joaquin Marietta. He was also paid
so much for 90 days to hire a posse.
They searched all around until the time was almost up and found a group of Mexicans and killed two. One was
supposedly Joaquin Murrieta and the other Three Fingered Jack. They cut off Joaquin’s head and preserved it in
alcohol and Three Fingered Jack’s finger or hand. One story is that it was Joaquin Valenzuela and not Murrieta,
but they presented the head and received the reward and a $4000 bonus. The head was displayed in Mariposa,
Stockton and San Francisco.
One story is that Murrieta’s sister saw the head and said it wasn’t his because it didn’t have a scar that Joaquin
Murrieta had on his face. There is an area north and west of Yosemite Park that is known as Murrieta’s Roost
that was supposedly his hideout.
Black Bart Charles E. Bowles was born 1829 in Norfolk County, England. He came with his parents at age two
to America and settled in Jefferson County in upstate New York. Changed the spelling to Boles. He became a
stage coach robber in California. He never shot anyone, but was wounded twice.
He was captured and given a six year sentence. Went to San Quentin November 21, 1883 and was a model
prisoner. He didn’t have any visitors, but received letters from his wife. He was released on January 21, 1888.
Wells Fargo followed him everywhere. He was last seen on February 28, 1888 and never returned to his wife
Mary in Hannibal, Missouri. www.blackbart.com
Jenny Linn is a small town about 15 miles west of Hwy. 49. Jenny Linn once sang there. If you go by, don’t be
Angels Camp on Hwy. 49. Made famous by Mark Twain in his story about the incredible jumping frog in
Calaveras County. Calaveras Big Trees State Park is about 25 miles up Hwy. 4 from Angels Camp. Could be a
substitute for Sequoia National Park. “If you’ve seen one redwood, you’ve seen ‘em all.”
Sonora on Hwy. 49. Hometown of Melvin Belli, famous lawyer in San Francisco -- twentieth century.
Yosemite National Park Waterfalls, Half Dome, El Capitan, etc.
Ghost towns www.ghosttowngallery.com They list maybe a 100 or so ghost towns and have photos that you
can view. They sell copies of these photos. Bodie in California, east of the Sierras, is a good sized town in a fairly
barren treeless area. State park. It is off Hwy. 395 north of Mono Lake. About 13 road miles. About ten miles
are paved and about three miles are un-surfaced.
Sequoia National Park big trees – real big.
Death Valley, California Don’t go in summer. Really big. About 50% larger than Yellowstone. Don’t get
Mountain Meadows Utah Wagon Train Massacre A wagon train of the Francher party or Francher-Baker party
of about 140 pioneers from Arkansas were massacred on September 11, 1857 north of the present town of
Central in southwestern Utah. They were headed to Southern California. A Mormon, Parley P. Pratt was
murdered in Arkansas in June 1857 by the husband of a woman he had taken as an additional wife.
The murder of Parley Pratt was one event that might have led to the massacre, but the Mormons were also
preparing for an invasion of US Troops at the time. US citizens, passing through, were made very unwelcome.
Mormons dressed as Indians and some Paiute Indians had fired on and killed some of the party on September 7
and had kept them penned down with rifle fire until September 11 when they approached them with a white flag
and convinced members of the party to throw down their arms and surrender. The adults and children over the
age of six - eight were murdered.
The Mormon leaders tried to cover up the massacre. Twenty years later John Doyle Lee was executed by a
firing squad at the massacre site. He was the only one sentenced. The site might not be open to the public, but it
is close to Hwy. 18 between Enterprise and Central in a place called Mountain Meadows. You might want to
check out the visiting rules before making the trip.
Public Broadcasting System film on the Mormons.
Zion National Park is about 25 miles east southeast.
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Outlaws Utah, Nevada