Another Central Valley town, another ceiling to paint!
Sean put up gutters.
Modesto is like the other towns we have been to where all the activity except local admin has been moved out of the centre to retail parks leaving only offices, and services for those working in them. This means for visitors like us there’s not much to see, particularly at weekends when the offices are closed. However, this town was brightened up by our meeting with John Stephen Thomas who makes and fixes violins in his shop in town. He invited us in for coffee and we spent a pleasant couple of hours swapping stories and hearing about his transformation from Anthropolgy Professor to violin maker. It was fascinating to see his work in progress and to hear how he learnt his new career after retirement. He also recommended a very good Vietnamese restaurant.
We were able to borrow Connie’s bikes and cycled along the creek most afternoons. Yesterday this took us to Modesto museum where we learnt about the gold mining railroading history of the town and again brought home to us the struggle that went into building up these places. When returning to the Vietnamese restaurant we also took a bit more notice of the bail bond offices along the sidewalk. One of these, Bad Boys Bail Bond – your mama wants you home! , particularly caught our attention so I took a picture of Sean outside. This in turn caught the attention of those inside and we were invited in and given lanyards, a Bad Boys mug and licence plate holder as freebies. We did have to promise to send photos of the mug in various locations around the world.
Today Connie and Richard took us to some truly historical old towns. We visited Knight’s Landing, Columbia and Sonora. We drank in genuine saloons, saw preserved Wild West streets, a covered bridge, went in an old bank with an outlaw safe and a blacksmiths and leather shop where Sean finally got to buy the cowboy boots he’s been hankering after.
On the way back we stopped at a casino (for which read bingo hall cum amusement arcade) and at Mango Mad for a mangonada, a less than happy marriage of fresh mango, ice cream and chilli. We all agreed that the whole was less than the component parts.