Sun Oct. 17th
Mon Oct. 18th
Tue Oct. 19th
Wed Oct. 20th
Thu Oct. 21th
Wed Oct. 20th

Took Maggie to breakfast, had a waiter who made a full sweep and took orders in the whole damn place (more than thirty people) without writing a thing down, and pulled it off perfectly, even though Cozy Dog changed seats with Richard just to trick him. I felt like I was in one of the mega memory infomercials. We finally got south of Auburn, it was looking like the 49er was gonna take longer than Route 66, and being that it is only 15% of the distance it had me worried, I've got some gigs in LA later this month. Dropped down to the American River, a beautiful rugged rush of water that snakes through deep ravines over craggy and ominous rock outcroppings. I figure there's still piles of gold down there, there's no way they could have found it all…is there? It is also obvious from first sight why whitewater rafting is so exceptional and popular here.

About a dozen miles south of Auburn we arrived in Coloma, the site of Marshall's gold discovery at Sutter's Mill. We got out and dodged the park rangers to play some tunes for tourists and school kids who were all carrying pans, somehow I don't think they were planning on using em for cooking. The history is so amazing, after all, the Spaniards came to California looking for gold, settled here for years-at great hardship and expense, to both themselves and the indigenous people who were here, finally to cede it in Mexico's struggle for independence and then it was annexed by the US, too long to go into all the details. Transfer happened in January of '47, 1847 that is, and not even a year later Marshall goes and practically stumbles over the stuff, finding one of the richest lodes of all time, and triggering one of the hugest human migrations…I guess, just like music, timing is everything.

When the rangers and park people caught up with us, all they did was ask us to play in front of the mercantile so they could enjoy it, about the pleasantest rousting by the law that a renegade bopper could dream of. We swung hard enough to stay out of jail and headed south for more. We visited Hangtown, Plymouth, Fiddletown, Drytown and Amador City-Amador, my guess is that means love of gold-funny how you can see something like that on a wine bottle and not give it a moment's thought, but in context it screams out at you. We settled into Sutter Creek and found an old Italian joint called Billote's I think, run by a great guy named Jay, he fed us and let us play, of course we had to wait for the finish of the Sox-Yanx series, another thing I hadn't thought through. If you are going to try and troubadour your way into clubs and such, it's better to have good weather and no playoffs! But that just ain't the Cow Bop way! And surely our timing is still a tad better than the Mexico's of 47!

We played a set and headed to the St. George Hotel in Volcano, traded out a hit on Friday for rooms tonight…is that cool or what. (Actually it's not Cool, Cool is a town just north of Coloma…alas, I digress) This place is too much, a can't miss stop for anyone who travels through. Can't wait to give you the full rundown tomorrow when I can check it all out in the daytime. The hotel is the same as it was a century ago, their idea if high-speed wireless is yodelin!

Nuff said, got to get some rest, we have a very early set at the Pioneer Elementary, spreadin the word…night all!

Due to popular demand, we have decided to give folks a detailed accounting of the Challenge, that way you can all ride the edge with us…yikes!



Earned Pledges (on road)
$100 (seed money)
$191 (Coopers)

$89 (Club Car)

36 (Bilotte's)
$46 breakfast
$5 (tis & bits)

$3 its & bits
$37 food

$59 breakfast, ouch!
$30 gas
$113 lunch food, beer and discount dinner (gotta keep the troops happy)
$49 (1)

$300 Art Council of Placer County
TOTAL $416 $293 $349

In-pocket total: $123... still in the game!

Click here for the Cowbop Theater movie (requires Windows Media)