Shaking for Gold
Marshall Gold Discovery
State Historic Park
February 18 and March 10, 2018
Our initial visit (2/18/18) to the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park where James W. Marshall first discovered gold on the South Fork of the American River back in 1848 was a little disappointing. We wanted to start our visit with a nice little picnic before exploring the park. For a variety of reasons, we left later than planned and by the time we arrived at the park there was less than an hour remaining before the park closed.
We decided to skip the picnic so we could walk through the museum (and gift store) before they closed. Unfortunately, we missed our chance to pan for gold due to our late arrival. As the sun was fading, we did enjoy a few short trails through the little village and along the river. Everyone was a little hungry and not at our best during this visit, so we ended up having our picnic lunch at home for dinner. Thankfully, the park is less than an hour from our home.
Almost a month passed since that visit and out of the blue, Laurel asked, "Can I have a do over? I'd like to go to that park to go shaking for gold so we can become rich"?
We were thinking about going to the movies, but decided to plan another trip to the Marshall Gold Discovery Historic Park. Laurel even asked if we could have a picnic. I offered to buy Subway and bring it to the park, but Laurel was disappointed. Lisa thought we had everything needed for a picnic and she was right. Although, we did stop along our drive to get a bag of Fritos to complement our turkey and cheese sandwiches.
As soon as we arrived at the park, a picnic table down by the river caught Laurel's attention. She asked if I thought I could get Kellisa down to it and if not, we could eat at one closer to the parking lot. I didn't have Kellisa's off-road chair, so I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it down to the river until we tried. The ground was solid enough and the only obstacles were a few roots and some goose droppings.
A couple of geese came close and Laurel enjoyed feeding them little pieces of bread. After we ate and explored the river area a little, we walked over to the gold panning area where Laurel spent 45 minutes looking for gold. She found 6 "flakes" with an estimated street value of $1.50 and she was more than ready to cash it in and head to Target or Walmart for a shopping spree. Kellisa mostly enjoyed watching Laurel and the other kids at the trough. Kellisa did try herself, but didn't really like the little pieces of gravel that stuck to her fingers. Our tripped ended with another tour of the museum where we watched a short film about riding a stage coach from Placerville to Sacramento back in the 1800s.
Our second trip was a far more pleasant experience and I'm sure we will be back to hike more trails and try our luck again by shaking for gold at this beautiful park so close to home.
Pictures from February 18, 2018:
Pictures from March 10, 2018: