Monday Monday: There’s Gold in Those Hills!

A trip to the foothills for some much needed river R&R

By Meggan Wenbourne

Lots of pristine water flowing this time of year – so thankful!

Lots of pristine water flowing this time of year – so thankful!

What a weekend spent in the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. With the largely celebrated holiday weekend, coupled with spring break for many schools, we were expecting horrible traffic and less time than we wanted playing in the hills.

Boy, were we wrong or at least, lucky. We started our adventures in Coloma along the American River and ended them at the Confluence of the American River outside of Auburn, California. With nothing but perfect weather and only a few puffy clouds in the distance, it was a much needed weekend spent adventuring with old friends and playing in the mountains.

It’s a little intimidating (at least for me) to go solo mountain biking in an area in which I am unfamiliar, however the internet has made it a lot easier to gain a grasp on the surrounding areas for comfortable trails and awesome views. I found myself adventuring solo for most of Sunday and had a spectacular time. Sometimes all you need are a few hours in the fresh air alone with your bike…or your trekking shoes…or a good book. With unfamiliar trails under my tires and the sound of the river always nearby, I headed up and up. There was a lot more ‘up’ involved in this solo ride than I anticipated, however the day gave perfect temperatures and I had nothing but time, so I pedaled onward and upward.

Never underestimate the help of local insight and the World Wide Web for beta on upcoming adventures. While you should not always believe everything you hear/read, generally speaking, people want to be helpful and point you in the right direction. I found nothing but smiling faces down by the river and more than one person willing to stop and chat about the perfect day we were having. Could’ve been the chocolate bunnies, but everyone I encountered was super friendly and enthusiastic about the beautiful day.

Hoping to dive a bit deeper into those trail systems next time. Thanks Auburn for your friendly people and beautiful trail systems.

Helpful trail maps at the Confluence made my life a whole lot easier, especially when traveling by myself for the day.

Helpful trail maps at the Confluence made my life a whole lot easier, especially when traveling by myself for the day.

Found myself exploring the bridges a lot ... pretty incredible infrastructures holding these access points up.

Found myself exploring the bridges a lot … pretty incredible infrastructures holding these access points up.

 Just sleeping on the river for the night ... sunrise brought a new day of awesome adventures.

Just sleeping on the river for the night … sunrise brought a new day of awesome adventures.

Explored a bit of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park – this is where the Gold Rush really took off for California ... wow!

Explored a bit of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park – this is where the Gold Rush really took off for California … wow!


Meg-IndiansMeggan Wenbourne is an avid climber, mountain biker and backpacker who works and plays in Santa Cruz, CA. She spends her time traveling to the mountains as often as possible to get lost in the pine trees and explore the granite rock of the Sierra Nevada range and has recently developed an obsession with the desert and its red rocks. When not away on an adventure, she can be found eating burritos and training at Pacific Edge Climbing Gym, riding amazing trails in the Santa Cruz Mountains or nestled away in her cozy tiny house with cookies and adventure reading.

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