Friday, November 02, 2018


Our new son-in-law, Danny, is a fanatical devoted gold prospector.


Would you believe that he pulled the gold for these wedding rings out of the ground?


Danny owns a few mining claims in California and has asked us for years to join him and Elisabeth for a few days of prospecting – which we were finally able to do a few weeks ago.

It took us about 14 hours to get to Quincy, CA., where we’d be staying.


Fortunately, the long trip offered some amazing views, especially of Mt. Shasta!



Quincy is a quiet, charming town in the California foothills.




While Danny and Elisabeth always camp on the claim, Tom and I decided that we’re just too old to camp in freezing night temperatures. For the first time since we sold our trailer in March (when we knew we’d be moving), I missed not having our beloved home on wheels.

A motel, we decided, would have to suffice, so we booked a week at the Ranchito Motel which was, well… rustic. It actually had a charm all its own (says the glass-half-full optimist in me), with a cute little meandering stream.


The rooms needed some TLC, but management is apparently “working on it” - and it was kind of nice to have a kitchenette for the week.


When we got to Danny’s claim the next morning, Kat and Ian were there to greet us! (Unfortunately, they’d only be able to stay for two days.) The makings of a great week – our two daughters with their SOs and pooches – had come together to do some California gold mining!



Most of us quickly got to work.






Some of us left the gold mining to others…


I did have a go at mining with the “bazooka,” a cool gizmo that captures little bits of gold.


Just look at this booty (not one grain of which I prospected)!



I was distracted by things like this cute guy.


And this gorgeous white heron!



Quinn at first wanted to chase the poor guy, but quickly seemed to understand that we’d quietly observe and appreciate; no chasing allowed.


Good girl!


After six days of gold mining from sun-up to sun down (Danny and Tom, and sometimes Elisabeth) and relaxing (me, and sometimes Elisabeth), Tom and I headed home, stopping at beautiful Burney Falls on the way. Who knew something this gorgeous is just off the highway?!


We weren’t looking forward to another fourteen hours in the car, but views like this made it worth it.


Stopping in Ashland, Oregon was bittersweet. My parents moved there in 1981, so it was like a second home for me and where we spent many holidays with extended family. But now, since both my mother and father have died, and since Lou (who my father married in 2009) has moved away, there’s no one left for us in Ashland. Sad smile

Still, we enjoyed Lithia Park with its fall leaves, and we stopped for dinner, “creekside.”


(I like this picture of Dad and Lou better!)



When we got home at 2 AM, Quinn settled in to sleep, and barely budged for the next three days!


It was a golden trip, and something tells me it won’t be our only gold prospecting trip to the Golden State in the years to come.

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Margaret said...

I admire you for actively participating in your kids' adventures. I would like to do more with mine, but Alison rock climbs and mountain climbs. That's a big no. We all like to hike; however, like you, my camping outside on the ground days are over! It sounds like a lovely time. The photos are gorgeous too!

Tonya said...

John got into this for a few years and went ALL IN. He built a sluice and a dredge and I got him a Miller table and other equipment for Christmases. He had fair success, but nothing awe-inspiring. He joined some clubs and prospected on claims and traveled a bit around Washington with his panning buddy. And then suddenly, he lost interest! Gave all of his equipment to his panning buddy in exchange for using his tractor/backhoe for a few weeks around the house. He still loves watching Gold Rush, though! (Kind of depressing when they'd pour out POUNDS of gold!)

Tonya said...

Ooops! "Unknown" is me, Tonya!

Carol said...

I figured as much! That John is Mr. Adventure! ❤️

Carol said...

I’ve always admired you for how much you DO do with your girls, Margaret! Remember that I just sat around 99% of the time on the claim!

Cindy said...

Wonderful story,Carol.....You definitely have a ‘flare’ for writing ✍️I am promising myself to catch up on some of your past entries❣️

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