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.

4 comments:

Laura said...

My favorite school field trip ever was when we went to gold country. I probably found as much gold as you did (a few flecks), but I was so impressed with myself and excited to be panning for gold.

Aaron and Emily said...

Aaron and I ended up there by accident once. We were driving to Utah, well, I was driving. I missed our turnoff and accidently stayed on ... is it 50? And so we just happen chanced on this place, and what a great surprise it was!

Chris S. said...

Yep, Emily. It's just north of Placerville on 50. Usually 80 is the best way to get back to Utah although I know 50 can get you there too. It's a fun little historical town off by itself.

Michelle and Byron said...

Fun to read the updates. Way to go on the marathon - to both of you! Some day for us, maybe, maybe not! It might be more of an option is Byron could ever get out of training....