Yesterday was politics, so today was history. Before it got too hot we made our way to Sutter's Fort, an historic military outpost founded before Sacramento.
The place was built by John Sutter, a chancer in every respect, who made his way to the West Coast from Switzerland in 1839 where he grabbed some land, built his fort, got protection from the local Indians, swore allegiance to Mexico, bought a lot of cannons on credit, and set up a sawmill. The waterwheel of his mill churned up the river bed and he discovered gold. The rest is history.
The fort is beautifully preserved and, like all state parks here, manned by incredibly knowledgable guides. Today they were all in period costume and we learned how to trap and skin a beaver and fire a musket. At noon the cannon was fired and Hannah and I decided it was high time to head back to the cooling ocean breezes of the East Bay.
Waiting for the fort to open (in the shade).
John Sutter, the man himself.
Hannah lines up the cannon.
There's more than one way to skin a beaver.
Microwave, circa. 1839.
A sailor shows us the ropes.
Hannah with the cat'o'nine tails.
Loading the musket.
Stories from the wagon train. They weren't pretty.
Before firing the cannon...