Sunday, November 16, 2008

All that Glitters is not Gold

The kids had Veteran's Day off of school this week so we took a long anticipated trip up to "Gold country" east of Sacramento in the little town of Coloma.

A bit of history: We learned about a few members of the Mormon Battalion working their way back to Utah who had stopped to help build Sutter's Mill late in 1847. While digging to divert part of the river in order to power the water wheel, James Marshall, the foreman, found a pea sized piece of gold. On January 24th, 1848, two of the Mormons recorded the date and finding in their journals. Word spread quickly, for the times, and soon the "Gold Rush" was on.

We made quick stops in the museum and blacksmith shop before heading down to pan for gold and strike it rich on the banks of the American river. We had, unfortunately, forgotten our pans but were able to dig through the silt bottom for treasure. Abby was convinced we'd be filling our pockets with gold in no time and was quickly disappointed. The adventure was salvaged when Pam and I started helping, though. We found pyrite (not that the kids cared - it glittered) and some gold as well. Our total haul was a bit less than what you'd collect from running your fingernail along the edge of your Bible but that's just details. The point to all involved was that we came for gold and we found some.

Our last bit of fun for the day was spotting a bunch of geese in a field. I suggested to the kids we sneak up on them and give them a scare - which we proceeded to do. The geese weren't too skittish, though. Locals walking by laughed and told Pam (who was uninvolved in the mischief) that they'd been chased before. The geese mostly ran from us until they, reluctantly, took flight. The point - like the rest of the day - was the adventure, not the magnitude of success.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

"No pictures, please"

Halloween 2008 started out with Joshua parading with his pre-school class and telling Pam, "No pictures, please." Not sure how he decided that but it's an instant classic.

It was a bit rainy so the crowds were down a bit. We had about 250 come to the door, down from a more typical 350. Good times were had, of course, by all.

Indiana Jones

Snow Queen