Panning for Gold Like Fools.

The American River.

Awesome right?

 Oh yeah.

And chock-full of gold.

You know, the sparkly… sought-out kind,

by 49ers, hilbillies, and a couple of elated history geeks with their kids?

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A good omen perhaps?

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Kiddish elation. Let’s call it sugar or the fact that it’s 10:00 in the morning.

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Lollygagin’ and chatterboxin’ about,

“How much gold we gon’ get!”

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Where fools are made:

You hear “Gold Panning” and the general audience thinks of a murky river rushing along

with a shriveled up old timer hunched over a tin pan filled with rocks and mud on it’s bank,

his long grey beard trailing in the current.

Our envisioning of this trip was more like Gold Rush on Discovery Channel.

And then we got there. And we saw why people are fools for Gold Panning.

It’s like Pirates of the Caribbean.

Our eyes bulged and gold nuggets appeared where our pupils had been.

Whaaaat? It’s all just PEBBLES?

Little guy on the top right-

“Augh! Not stupid rocks again!”

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Mini Montage:

A flake perhaps?!

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Aiden’s Spillage:

And I quote my little cousin Aiden,

“There’s nothin to do here…  so I’m gonna dig a hole.”

Welp. That’s what we get for cheating Aiden. Sorry bud.

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Went for a walk. Loved this rustic home that some lucky gold-lover lives in.

That lucky gold-lover probably runs the park office, and has dressed it up pretty cute too!

“Well hey there Steve!”

Heh heh you get it? He’s a 49er, and Steve Young was a… oh NEVERMIND.

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Lunch, candy and running break.

 then some jumping still-shots. Heck yes we’re epic!

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 Found this on probably the “most panned spot on the American River”,

It’s not just Californians who love their gold… or their dogs.

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We headed down the stream a bit, this time with fishing poles and barbless hooks.

That lasted for about… ten minutes. I started eyeing this rock-island and thought

myself crafty enough to contrapt my across with a rock bridge. This was all for the sake of my dinky

vans and ill-protected feet from the snow-cold water. After twenty minutes of careful contemplation, I found my way across

and did a little happy dance when I got there. I then look up to hear this splashing…

Sigh. Boots are lovely.

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Science Camp Rock Paint:

Rub two wet river rocks together until you get a murky, watery paste.

Swipe across limbs and/or face and then do a rain dance.

On second thought, have someone else do your face… especially if you’re eight years old.

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And here we say adieu, to you gorgeous American. Let your synthetic glitter dazzle(v) future tourists

and give them an oh so temporary gasp of hope. A hope for fortune. The same hope the 49ers felt those hundred sixty or so years ago,

but that was actually genuine. Genuine gold nuggets that is. Those pigs.

A clearly disappointed wave, returned by the camera-bearer. But… we’re they’re ride home.

And a clearly sorrowful little boy, no gold= no joy.

It’s okay little cutie, your sad attempt at a smile has shown me that it doesn’t matter how much of a reward we found,

but the stories, lessons and laughs that brought us close were the gold.

The 49ers were still pigs though.

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