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No need to travel to find first class standing room

By: Gus Thomson Journal Staff Writer
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A London, England-based photo-sharing Web site is creating a list of the 100 greatest places to stand in the U.S. and inviting people to nominate their favorites. And while the Auburn area isn’t on the list, the local landscape has plenty of locations to stand at and drink in the surroundings. Auburn’s Kyla Hamlin said Monday that when she wants visitors to stand at a breathtaking location, she’ll usually take them down to the American River confluence. One of the best places would be a short hike to a vantage point on the El Dorado County side to look back toward Placer, she said. Sherry Peretta of Loomis is also an American River canyon fan. “It’s where I hike,” Peretta said “There’s one spot where you can stop, with a beautiful beach and swimming pool. I feel very safe and it’s very serene.” Stoodthere.com/usa recently issued an update after the first full month of voting that shows Arizona’s Hoover Dam as No. 1 and the Lost Sea, Craighead Caverns in Tennessee in second place. Rounding out the Top 5 are Niagara Falls, the Statue of Liberty in New York, Waimea Canyon in Hawaii, and the Empire State Building. The closest of the currently leading sites to Auburn are the Giant Sequoia National Park (No. 10), the Golden Gate Bridge (No. 22) and South Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Bay (No. 32). “At the other end of the list, it appears that Plymouth Rock and the controversial nomination of the Las Vegas Strip are being ignored by voters,” a statement from the site says. Voting runs through the start of December, when the winners are announced. Voters are being asked to add a photo of themselves to the lists. The Journal has compiled its own list of Top 10 places to stand and readers are invited to submit their own comments and suggestions at Auburnjournal.com or through a letter to the editor. Here’s the list: 1. Under the Foresthill Bridge. While the bridge – 730 feet above the North Fork of the American River and third-highest in the U.S. – has a sweeping view from on high, a short hike along a side trail or a drive to the canyon floor yields a new perspective on the majesty of the span. 2. The North Fork Dry Dam. Also known as the Lake Clementine Dam, it’s accessible by Lower Clementine Road or by the Clementine Trail. Take a short trail to the edge of the spillway to watch the falling water, rainbows in the spray and swallows skylarking in the mist. 3. Placer County Courthouse. Find a spot in Old Town and then look up, way up to a majestic building constructed in 1898 and one of the better-known sites for passing motorists to rubberneck. The real view though is for the lucky motorists who stop, get out of their vehicles, and stand for a while to appreciate the architecture, history and artfulness of the landmark. 4. Troublemaker Rapid. On the South Fork of the American River in El Dorado County, hikers who stand on the rocks above the rapids get a non-stop view of rafters moving through a difficult stretch of whitewater. 5. Middle Fork American River Canyon from Foresthill. One of the best views of the canyon stretching out below is from the parking lot and picnic area beside Worton’s Market along Foresthill Road. 6. Placer’s Grove of Big Trees. The world’s most northerly grove of giant sequoias is located 24 miles east of Auburn along Mosquito Ridge Road. 7. Hidden Falls in Hidden Falls Regional Park. A reward for a hike into a new Placer County park, the 30-foot falls highlights the beauty of a preserved open space. 8. Auburn Dam Overlook. The view provides a look at the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on a dam that is yet to be built and the efforts in recent years to restore the river and recreation to a long-off-limits stretch of water. 9. The Sacramento Valley. Auburn and the foothills provide several glimpses of the Coast Mountains and the Sutter Buttes. One of the best is at the top end of Skyridge School’s far parking lot. 10. Cruise Nite. Stand at the top of Lincoln Way on one of the Friday-night Cruise Nites and look down Lincoln Way at the crowds and colorful array of autos. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com.