Im into factoids. Im gonna write some toids right now.
BULLET the Indian tribe that lived here in the American river valley were called the Nisenan and they were freakin awesome. They didn’t have war, they had dance offs, and whoever got served hardest had to give the victor the spoils. Thus is the natural order of things. Mostly they were into eating stuff like acorn mush, deer flesh, and fishes from the river. There were more than a dozen species of fish native to the lower American, most importantly salmon, which are huge, and tasty on acorn mush crackers. The Nisenan were part of the larger Maidu tribe, peaceful shell and feather folk who lived in partially subterranean huts. When a dude wanted to marry a girl, he had to move in with her folks and help them hunt and keep the house clean. Once hed payed up in labor and shells and whatnot he could take the girly away to live with his family, where theyd stay in a little shanty in the backyard and pretty much fuck all day. I think that’s a pretty cool style don’t you?
BULLET in sacramento, theres a few superfund sites. If you don’t know what that is then you don’t know jack about Al Gore son. Basically he wanted to pool a bunch of money in a super-fund, and then, use that money to clean up super-fucked places like Mather field, and the old train yards downtown. The thing is, sacramento has a short but intense history of environmental damage doing. Remember, there were only about 400-500 people living around these parts before the miners came, enslaving the nisenan and peeing in the river. When Johnny Sutter’s boys found gold, all hell broke loose. Within 10 years the hills above sacramento were crawling with dirty, dirty men, scraping the river beds and crapping all along the banks. Then some guy invented this thing they called “the monitor”, which was a huge water cannon they used for leveling hills and finding precious precious gold. In order to run these things they had to build dams and redirect millions of gallons of water through hundreds of miles of sluices and aquaducts. The dirty men didn’t think much about what it might do to the valley below, blasting away whole hillsides and draining it all into the rio de Americano. Really they probably knew, but they didn’t care, cuz they were making bank and getting laid. All the silt and dust they deposited in the river washed away bridges, ruined farmland, flooded the new towns, and made the upper American impassable by riverboats. Whoops! Now how are they gonna get all their supplies up river? How are they gonna get all their lumber, granite, cobblestones, and precious precious gold downriver? No problem, they’ll just ship in some trains from the east, and use hundreds of reused emigrant covered-wagons to ship freight in the meantime. Better build some roads, better lay some tracks, better import some Chinese labor. Soon the valley was crosscut with roads, ramshackle seasonal bridges, and the tracks of several upstart train companys. Including the sacramento valley line, the sacramento-placer-nevada line, the California central line, the central pacific line, the western pacific line, and the northern electric. Central pacific built a bridge across the American in 1862, and 5 years later it burned up. They replaced it with another wooden one, then a steel one, the steel one fell into the river, taking a loaded train with it. Bridges collapsing was no big d in those early days. It was almost expected and people started to hold their breaths when theyd cross. All this crazy transport infrastructure called for a great big central railyard, and if youre from here you know this spot as the ghost yard. Nationally, its known as one of the worst polluted spots in the country, and a fine example of 19th century industrial practices like: burying metal shavings and busted train parts, dumping paint into giant pits, heavy stuff falling on peoples heads, heavy stuff rolling over peoples bodies, and fires starting. Once some friends and I got caught drinking box wine there amongst the rusted and busted train corpses, and some of my friends got taken to jail. I chased the cop car for a few blocks, thinking I dunno, id flip it over and save my friends. But they lost me, so I went to the arrestee’s house and crashed on their couch and drank the rest of the box wine. They were really pissed that I did that for some reason. That morning when they got back from jail, I got a few phone calls. One of the phone calls was from my girlfriend, she had slept with some other dude the night before and thought we should talk about it. The next phone call was from my job at the restaurant, they needed to fire me because they had me on camera stealing a bottle of olive oil. The next phone call was from my mom, telling me she was kicking me out of the shanty, I forget why, i think I just accepted it and hung up. After all that good news I decided I needed to mark the occasion, so I got a tattoo in my friends living room. The tattoo says “it was a mistake”, which is a really funny thing to get tattooed permanently onto your body and into your forever. You know, I don’t regret it. But I do regret all that terrible shit those cowboys and 49ers did to this place. We are living a legacy of destruction and greed in this valley. No matter what we do now, weve already paved paradise, weve already killed off dozens of useful and awesome native species. Now if you want to marry a girl you have to go out and get some precious precious gold. No girl wants to live in a one room partially subterranean mud thatch hut with me. This city is two stories sunk, and it smells like poopoo sewer here in the summertime. They still repaint sutters fort every few years, and if you fill out the junior ranger scavenger hunt ditto at the “American Indian” museum outside of those white walls, they’ll give you an authentic arrowhead.