Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gold Panning

While my son and his girlfriend were visiting we decided to do something that none of us had ever done. We went gold panning. My man has a friend who actually owns a gold claim and he gave us directions and a map and told us to have fun.

So the kids and I took off, just picture it, me, my 3 sons (ages 14, 20 and 22) and my son's 21 year old girlfriend. My guy couldn't go up with us due to a meeting but he was going to meet us there later.

When we arrived we stopped at the wrong claim, the owner of which came and told us we had to move. He was very nice and when he realized that we were just panning told us we could stay. After talking to him a while he told me where to find the claim I was looking for and off we went. I really didn't want to intrude on his claim,no matter how nice he turned out to be!

We drove down the dirt road until we found what we were looking for. Then we geared up and got busy. The funny thing about doing things outside with my kids is that they all seem to be allergic to fun in the sun, all four of them are serious gamers and while they made an effort I think it was so they could say they had done it and really for the novelty of it. I however had a blast!

I love being outdoors and being in the water is just a bonus! I didn't take too many pictures because I was playing. After an hour the kids were pretty much done. Unfortunately for them we had to wait at least another hour and  a half to make sure my man wasn't driving up to meet us. So I played in the water gold panning and they sat in the truck playing on their smart phones - all of us were happy with that arrangement.

When we did decide to head home we had yet another adventure. Since my jeep won't hold everyone we took my guys truck. Usually that is great however as we were leaving the site we got a flat tire. The funniest moment for me was when I got out of the truck and announced we had a flat. All 4 kids climbed out of the truck and there we were, in the middle of nowhere California, in the middle of a dirt road, standing in a semi-circle around the front end of the truck staring at the flat tire. It makes me giggle every time I think about it.

Then I think, No problem, I've changed a flat before and I had all three of my boys with me - we can handle this - sure that sounds right. NOT! First off, I had no idea where anything was in the truck. So we got out the owner's manual, found where everything was located but then couldn't get any of it out of the truck. Since we had no cell service I sent my middle son and his girlfriend off to try to find somewhere they could make a phone call - turns out that is about 8 - 10 miles from where we were but at that time we were blissfully unaware of that little bit of information.

Meanwhile my oldest and I got to work figuring out how to get what we needed. After what seemed like hours but was probably only about 15 minutes we managed to remove both the jack and the spare tire from their clever homes. It was then that a car with a young family - mom, dad and three adorable little girls arrives - along with my son and his girlfriend. They all got out of their car and the three little girls walk over and look at the flat in the same way that the five of us did, it was the cutest thing! Dad then informed us that cell service was an 8 - 10 mile drive out. Since we had everything under control at that point they went on their merry way and we changed the tire.

What would normally have taken 15 minutes took 45 but we finally were on our way and everyone was still in good spirits. About twenty minutes later we met my guy, who finally was able to make it up to us. He and I went back to the site in the truck while the kids took my jeep and headed for home. We panned for gold for another hour or so and then headed for home since we both had to work the next day.

The drive was stunning. We saw all sorts of wildlife, a coyote, deer, wild turkey and just before the turn off to the site there is a Buffalo farm - seriously cool!

The last stop on our adventure was the Polka Dot ice cream and sandwich stand in Quincy,California. They make the best butterscotch milkshake and grilled cheese on rye bread- I'd drive back to Quincy just for that!
The top picture of the gold pan links to a site that has a bit of information on gold panning. We had a great time and plan on going again. Now I know more of what to do and what to look for, pyrite looks so pretty and gold yet the gold, looks more like copper and is so shiny and so beautiful!

You are probably wondering if we found anything... well we brought back a small amount of shiny fools gold and a few tiny flakes of the real thing. Once I figure out how to take a picture of it I will post it, right now my camera just can't focus on something that small!

1 comment:

  1. What is with this new generation and not wanting to be outdoors? I would have loved doing that. And me being in the sun is generally a bad thing since I'm so fair skinned. But the idea of finding gold would keep me happily out there. Especially in the water. :)

    I really think we sometimes need to unplug and get back to nature. This generation even moreso!