FRAN: Oh, I don’t enjoy vacations. I toured the California Gold Country ten years ago. It was hot and the bus smelled.
The Gold Country (also known as Mother Lode Country) is a historic region in northern California, mostly around the Sierra Nevada and into the Sacramento Valley. It’s famous for the gold mines which attracted immigrants, known as the ’49ers, during the 1849 California Gold Rush. Most of the mines were shut down in 1942 because of World War II, but several gold rush towns are still popular tourist attractions.
Fran would have taken her bus tour around the Gold Country in 1991, presumably in summer since she says it was hot. Summers are hot and dry in this region.