Photos from last weekend! I took a trip with ScottB to the town of Mariposa, on highway 49, in the western Sierra foothills. We explored old bridges and wildflowers and green hills and what have you, and a grand old time was had by all.

here is the first day.

By the side of a road called simply “Old Highway”. It is to the southwest of Mariposa, and branches off 140. Whether it is an old 140 alignment or not, no one knows (it isn’t 140 on my 1942 map). In any case, it is well worth driving.

“mariposa” is Spanish for “butterfly” – and here we find an example of one downtown!

A standard representative example of California’s official state flower.

Old sign find of the day. This FAS (Federal Aid Secondary) gantry dates to 1947. The Federal Aid program was used to build infrastructure like roadways and bridges, and the signs date to as far back as 1929, and as recently as the 1960s.

The suspension bridge across the Merced River. Just outside of Yosemite. While this is next to highway 140, it is not an old 140 alignment or anything – it’s just a bridge that leads to a campground.

Highway 49 north of Mariposa crosses the Merced River, after descending sharply down from the mountains.

How to lose business. The whole point of having a card reader at the pump is to avoid having to walk back and forth, and attempt to figure out how much gas will fill the tank before actually filling it. You are a gas station in the central valley, not Tiffany’s… you do not have the cachet by which you are permitted to make the customer jump through hoops!

Where did this wacky “3” come from?

Typical western Sierra foothills scene. This is one of the roads that branches off state highway 180 in the Kings Canyon area.

Our first wildflower patch of the morning, along the side of highway 245 near the awesomely named town of Badger.

Random peacock farm is random.

This sign appears to have fallen off its perch.

To the north of Old Highway.

The old bridge from which the previous photo was taken.

Plenty of old bridges on this road!

California at its greenest.

Our first old sign of the day. We’ve reached the town of Mariposa, where this 1959 historic marker greets us.

Make way for ducklings.

A batch of flowers which shall remain unidentified.

A white variety.

Only Kevin will appreciate this photo. It is downtown Mariposa, by the way.

Giant Plastic Bear holds the key to the many secrets of the universe.

Our first trip to the bridge across the Merced River is in mid-afternoon.

Some red flowering plants, on the way down to the bridge.

Spring is waterfall season, as the snow melts from the tops of the mountains. This is a long exposure with a 10-stop slowdown filter, explaining how I could get blurred water in the middle of the day.

Silhouette bird is a direct result of shooting right into the sun.

Scott calls this one a “purple star”.

And he wonders why I call it “pointy”.

The FAS gantry in front of the bridge that it identifies.

The infrequently seen large version of the California scenic route marker.

Purple flowers. Any species identification on all my photos is greatly appreciated! (Official state flowers and all!)

This bridge is just off to the side of highway 140: it begins the road which leads to the town of Darrah, up in the mountains.

Following the Merced River on 140. We turn around approximately here, having no desire to pay $25 to head into Yosemite when that is not the area we specifically wish to explore.

And we’re back at the 49 bridge. I decided this photo was better in black and white, with the faux 1945 look.

and that’s all for the first day. next up: the second day! more wildflowers… more waterfalls… and even some snow!