Digging for Gold

Merry Christmas! Hope all you lovely ladies got some bling bling, in the form of gold, from under the Christmas tree. As for moi, that is a negative. Hubby actually got me very nice earrings for my birthday last month and we’re trying to save up as much as we can for our next trip so we decided to just give to others rather than to receive from each other this year.

Now if you haven’t received any gold, don’t despair. You can dig for your own gold!

One pleasant fall day, Hubby and I drove up to the South Yuba River with the lofty goal of bringing home some gold. I must confess, it wasn’t my idea to spend the day sitting on hard rocks bent over a cold river. Hubby’s inspiration was Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush Alaska. Like so many other men, he looked at what was happening on TV and thought “I could do that.”

At the very least, gold panning requires a pan with riffles and a vial to hold whatever gold you find. Unless you’re the sort to like extra labor, a screen to filter out large rocks and a pippette to suck up the gold from your pan are highly. Pioneer Mining Supplies, located in one of California’s classic Gold Rush towns, has everything you need. The store personnel immediately asked us if we were gold panning newbies. Something about the odd way in which we were staring at all the gold panning paraphernalia must have set off the alarm. She very patiently advised us what we needed. In hindsight, I wish we would’ve asked her to show us how to actually pan for gold.

The South Yuba River State Park spans 20 miles. We parked the car near the old Highway 49 and walked along the river bank until we found a spot that we thought was promising. As you can see from the pics above, the river banks are filled with large granite rocks. They’re so smooth and numerous that you can easily hop from one to the next and find one to lay on and sunbathe. Sometimes, the rocks form a swimming hole, which I’m sure is very popular during hot summer days. For such a beautiful locale with numerous hiking trails and swimming available, the South Yuba River is very underrated. The benefit of course is that you can enjoy its beauty in peace and quiet.

With the exception of one other couple who hiked past us, we didn’t run across anyone else during the two hours we panned for gold. Hubby eventually got tired of me yelling “Is this gold?!?” over and over again. I won’t even show you the vial of gold, what I presume is gold anyways, that we got since it’s so pitiful. While we spent more money on the trip than we made, it was certainly a fun experience. I certainly look at my gold jewelry with renewed appreciation.


Read more: My short Trazzler piece on gold panning in South Yuba River State Park.


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