We packed up in the morning Friday, Rita was really deep into the thick of planning the meals, Rob was wrapping up work while watching the weather reports and road conditions on Highway 4.

Reports came in that the Colletts might not be coming up that day due to car trouble, possibly something about their ride not playing nicely with tire chains. Soon after, Rob saw that Highway 4 was closed by Caltrans near Cabbage Patch, which is about halfway between Arnold and Bear Valley. A plan B was quickly put into place with Rob calling around hotels and motels in the foothills of Highway 4.

Starting in Murphys, there was nothing that would allow a dog. Moving to Angels Camp, turns out it’s a smaller town than what Rob originally thought. Over to Sonora and Jamestown and we hit pay dirt. A motel between those two towns had a room, for pretty cheap, which would allow Lyra to stay there too, for only a $10 extra fee. Rob booked it on the first call, and we were still on track for getting out of town for the weekend.

We left at about 2pm and headed south, over Pacheco Pass, and then turned north toward Gustine on a series of two lane blacktop roads. We stopped at Oakdale’s Tractor Supply store for a bag of food for the pup (we’d forgotten in in the whirlwind of getting Archer ready to go to the Berry’s). Thirty miles later, we pulled into the Country Inn Sonora, right on Highway 108/Highway 49.

The place was pretty nice, especially for the price. Jimtown is in the foothills, so there are a lot of hills around. Our room, though on the third floor, was accessible via car; we just drove up the hill around back and parked squarely in front of our room. That made unloading and refactoring our rooftop load a lot easier.

Dinner at Morelia Mexican Restaurant (to go, we ate in room with another ton of single use plastic waste that housed all the salsa, soup(!), salad, etc) was good, and Penny really liked the little old west town feel of historic downtown Jamestown. We’ll need to go explore it again tomorrow before we leave. Cross our fingers that Highway 4 opens up just long enough for us to scoot up the hill!