Sunday, May 27, 2012

Folsom Historic District

After John and I arrived in Folsom, CA late Saturday morning, I opened up Google Maps on my phone and saw that there were trails nearby for running and bicycling--just off of the business park where John's bike race was held.  So I laced up my running shoes, watched a few laps of another men's bike race before heading towards the trail.  What I had hopped onto was part of a 32 mile stretch of paved multi-use pathway called the American River Bike Trail.  It's a pretty impressive trail with many points of interests; I'm glad I had the opportunity to check it out.
I ran south along Lake Natoma past Willow Creek Recreational Area.  People were enjoying lunch on picnic tables with a view of the water on which there were several kayakers.
Initially I ran on the paved trails because I had training shoes for the road but after a while, I jumped onto the dirt trails (mainly so I wouldn't cause accidents between oncoming cyclists and other bicycle riders trying to swerve around me on the bike path).  For the most part the surface of the running trail was packed dirt and well groomed; it's also great for mountain bikes.
The paved area of the bike trail had a steady flow of bicyclists but the dirt trail was very quiet. Often times I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere and all alone, which was peaceful but at the same time kind of unsettling because I was afraid to get lost.  Good thing it was daylight and every mile or so I'd pass other runners if I didn't pass people picnicking along the lake.

It was a beautiful area and a gorgeous day to be outside.  Had I know, I would have brought my bike so I could cover more distance and loop around to the other side of the lake.  I will next time!
I ran back, covering just under 6 miles and in time to watch the last few laps of John's bike race and of course the finish after I quickly changed out of my clothes.  He placed 12th out of a field of 93 riders -- pretty good for his first race after upgrading into a new category.
As we drove towards home looking for a place to eat, I spotted a sign to the Folsom Historic District and John was open to checking it out.  What a cute little area it was!
We checked out a couple shops where we spotted gift ideas in the window. Then walked in to Hop Sing Palace, a Chinese restaurant I saw on Google Maps and was recommended by the lady at one of the gift shops we visited.  The staff was very friendly, all wearing crisp white shirts.  We really liked the cozy, warm interior and old school Chinese restaurant feel...very romantic.
On the table there was a pitcher of ice cold water and a hot pot of tea.  We ordered the seafood special (shrimp and scallops with a choice of asparagus or green beans with black bean sauce; we went with asparagus).  John usually likes to try Pad Thai if we eat Asian food so we also ordered that.  And Wor Wonton Soup, loaded with stuffed wontons, shrimp, vegetables, and BBQ pork -- enough to serve at least four people of not six!  We had lots of leftovers even though we were stuffed (and happy) with dinner.
Then drove home :) The drive was pretty...sunshine peeking through clouds lingering after the rain that passed through.
I'm glad I went with John to his bike race. He did well and I had the chance to explore trails I didn't notice the last time we were there. We got to see a new part of Folsom and enjoy dinner together. As always, our drive is our quality time together when we can talk. I can't recall what we talk about...I just remember that it was a fun trip.
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