We decided to drive the back roads, instead of I-5 toward Sacramento. We past the turnoff to Paradise Ca. where the fire destroyed the town. All along the mountains to the east of us was burned, very depressing.
We were going to Placerville, CA. and not Sac. To accomplish that we got to I-80 and went east to Hwy. 49 south. This was an experience, that bends like a snake, very narrow, steep down and up, construction flagman and heavy traffic including Semi's. When we started down the road, the traffic at the stop sign was a 1/2 mile long. Oh! and the scenery was awesome.
We finally got to Placerville and checked out the town. Had lunch at Mel's Diner. Placerville is the gold strike town, that I have read about in books of both the early days and more recent times.
We then left heading east over a couple of passes to South Lake Tahoe. Having been there a few times before (wedding and honeymoon 1978 for one), and in Ca. fashion, a lot of traffic. We just headed south over a couple more passes to highway 395 south along the Nevada border and the California mountain ranges. All of it was very beautiful. After 400 miles we had to stop.