Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sparkling Green Water and Shiny Golden Rocks

We took the kids to our favorite local state park the other day. Our original goal was to walk a new trail, but we didn't get very far. After getting maybe a quarter mile down the path, we stopped to investigate a little beach area on the bank of the South Yuba River. You know what happens when you put a bunch of boys near rocks and water, right? They start throwing them in. And if the rocks are big enough? They start making bridges and pathways to the little islands in the middle of the river. The kids were having so much fun that we ended up staying on our little beach for well over an hour. Even then we only left because it was getting dark!

If you remember my first post about this park, you might have figured out what Sam had on the end of his finger. It's a small gold flake. I think it's technically called gold dust. (Y'all had me laughing with the guesses yesterday! I'm almost glad I don't have a great camera! Now I'm going to be looking for more things I can do like this because it was fun!)


The weather was gorgeous. It was over 60 degrees and the sun was out--we could see the gold dust sparkling under the water. Sam, who has been very excited about the prospect of panning for gold, was over the moon with glee.


It wasn't long before he ditched the shoes and socks, rolled up his pant legs, and got down to business. This was serious stuff, y'all.


We haven't picked up proper panning supplies just yet, but he did a good job improvising. It's not in the picture but we also utilized someone's discarded coffee cup and lid. (Had to get in our community service for the day, don'tcha know?!)


I mentioned that it was 60 degrees, right? It was lovely outside, but that water was frigid. His hands and feet were lobster red. I did the mom thing and worried about him "catching his death of cold"--and all I got was the I'm-nearly-14-gimme-a-break-mom eyeroll. He's got it down pretty well. *insert exasperated mom sigh here*


Can you believe the color of the water? It was gorgeous. The deeper parts were slighter more turquoise and the interplay of that with the emerald green was breathtaking. That kid there isn't too bad, either. This picture of him amuses me because, for once, you can see my family in his face. Everyone generally says, "Wow! He looks just like Jason!" And he does, but in this photo I can see my dad's dad. It's the chin and jawline.


It was a great day and, at the end of it, we had about eight decent-sized flakes. He's very gung-ho about finding some more; his birthday is next week and I'm trying to find some basic panning supplies. Not the metal detector and big-time supplies the guy across from us had (holy moly!), but a pan and some tweezers or something. Panning for gold is not one of the activities I ever saw this family getting into but it's rather looking like we will. Maybe we'll luck out like this guy. On second thought--maybe that metal detector isn't such a terrible idea.

Have you ever panned for gold? What kind of area specific hobbies do people have where you live?

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