Day 38: Turlock to Sacramento

It’s been really fun exploring the Central Valley the past couple days. I have never been to these towns nor seen the old Route 99 treasures that still exist. Sadly, most of these classic motel neon signs seem pretty much doomed since they have been cut off by intensive highway improvements. They might be “improvements” for motorists, but it means these old businesses are now on hard-to-get-to frontage roads.

This old market in French Camp, with great Eskimo Pie signage, appears to be long closed. I contemplated for a moment quitting my day job and “adopting” this building, turning it into a cafe, the big back property into a dog park and….


Here’s a sweet sign from Stockton:


This Egyptian Revival building in Stockton was once the Dawson Storage Warehouse. It’s pretty obscured by trees now and has been stripped of some details.


And yet a third heartbreak… this neat old ice cream shop in Lodi. Maybe it’s not closed after all. The hours on the door said Mon-Fri 10:30am – 12pm. So that means only open 1 1/2 hours per day? Maybe they serve breakfast food only — and ice cream to crazy people like myself who can eat ice cream any time day or night. But wouldn’t weekends be busier? I’m mystified. Anyway, the building and interior had nice glazed brick, old wood cabinets, cute tables/counters and a visible kitchen production area.


Speaking of food… it’s time to share one of my favorite road snacks for those late afternoons when I don’t have time for a real meal while I’m chasing down stuff on my list as the sun is setting. There are many brands out there but they all seem to taste the same. Peachie-Os are peach-flavored gummy candy — but not as chewy as your typical gummy bears. Crazy mix of sweet and tart — and they taste like peaches. Three of my dogs will eat them. Grem just swallows (she eats dirt and leaves with glee, so she’s not choosy). Nik bobs his head up and down and makes faces. Grip holds it in her mouth for a moment, motionless, and then overdramatizes the chewing aspect. And Fix — no WAY will she eat the stuff. At least one of the five of us has sense!


The dogs got ample exercise today. We revisited the giant mall-to-be field in Turlock first thing. Then in the afternoon, we visited Partner Park in Sacramento( It was a decent size with lots of trees. The bars seemed a little narrow and I gave it a little thought. Then when Nik’s ball went through them at one point — and he followed with a little squeeze — I immediately scooped up Grem as if to prevent her from seeing what just happened. I kept her busy the rest of the time retrieving balls in the center of the park. I guess most dog parks were designed with your Shepherd Mix in mind and not your Chihuahua. If it were my regular park, I’d insist on chicken wire all the way around the bottom couple feet.

Scare #2 of the day, non-dog this time. While I was taking a photo of a neon sign just east of downtown Sacramento, in a really busy area, I saw this giant bird strolling around. Then he/she decided to cross the busy street (G Street?) — “doop-de-doo, think I’ll go this way”. I was assisting the best I could with holding up fast moving traffic. He went into a more residential area and I figured that’s about all I could do for him and wished him well. Now, was this a wild turkey? I tried to get better photos but they all came out horribly blurry. I’m not good with the camera when I’m stressed out.


I hate speed bumps. I really detest them. In supermarket parking lots, I’ll go the long way around just to avoid them. Rotaries are a much better solution for slowing traffic down — but some streets just aren’t wide enough I realize. Some speed bumps are so narrow/tall (usually in the worst neighborhoods, where I’m most inclined to be taking photos), that even at 5mph you’re worried about shortening the life of your shocks or worse. Today, in Sacramento, I saw signs warning about “Undulations Ahead”. Never heard them called that before. And then, this one made me chuckle — another new name to me:

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