Saturday, February 25, 2012


We finally finished Story of the World Volume 3.  The last chapter is about the California gold rush.  Growing up in California, I spent way too much time learning about the gold rush.  We only spent a week on it.

I added some library books to supplement SOTW...a few easy non-fiction reads and a novel I found called Hard Gold.

The highlight of the week, though, was panning for gold.  Mika and Sam have both panned for gold in an Oregon river with my dad.  Unfortunately, they didn't find anything.  I decided to take the easy way out, a way that was guaranteed they would get the experience of finding gold.  I ordered a kit.

First we found a "river" and filled it with water.  Then we dumped our gravel into our pan.  Mika demonstrated how to swirl the water.  I read the directions and improved on the technique.  Modern pans have ridges that are very helpful.

Josh even took a turn trying to swirl the water.

When the amount of gravel got low enough we found some of the flecks of gold.  We noticed that when we swirled the water, the gravel lifted and floated away while the gold stayed nicely tucked in corner.  You didn't even have to be all that carefully with your swirling.

Here's a close up of the gold we found.  The picture shows it much bigger than it is in real life.  These flecks look a lot like glitter.   It wasn't much, but it definitely made the panning more exciting than not finding anything in a real river.

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