Monday, April 28, 2014

“There’s (still) gold in them thar hills!”

Yes, there is!  I had no idea…the California Gold Rush began in 1849 for heavens sake! After one hundred-sixty plus years I thought for sure the gold had all been taken from California Gold Country.

“The blacksmith dropped his hammer, the carpenter his plane, the mason his trowel, the farmer his sickle, the baker his loaf, and the tapster his bottle. All were off for the mines, some on horses, some on carts, and some on crutches, and one went in a litter.”  (On the reaction in California to the discovery of gold at Coloma, January 1848)

Our younger son Gary has been a gold panning enthusiast for awhile so when the opportunity presented itself to actually run a gold panning operation California Gold Panning he and his Vivian jumped at it.  He said sayonara to his job in Monterey and they moved lock, stock and barrel up to gold country. . .and they are having a ball.


GET and I stopped for a couple of days in Jackson on the way back from Lake Tahoe and were soon learning new terms like sluicing and classifiers.

Getting “booted up” is the first order of business.  Even with boots on, mucking around in the running creek, you will most likely end up with wet feet!DSCN0230

GET contemplating whether or not he is going to get “booted up” and start panning.  (This day he was content to observe.)


Because of the rain the creek was running pretty fast.


First comes classifying which is digging from the bottom or edge of the creek and “straining off” the big stuff.  Then pouring the excess water out of the bucket:  (looks like a colander to me)


Then the remaining stuff in the bucket which looks like a bunch of dirt is fed into the sluicer which is set up in the running creek, in this case Woods Creek.


Finally what remains in the sluicer gets panned! Hopefully there is gold in the pan and at Woods Creek you most likely will be successful. . .no not that big nugget but real gold!  Lots of hard work but fun.DSCN0245

Disclaimer:  This is a very elementary description of the process and not to be taken as gospel or complete since I wasn’t paying real close attention.  I was wandering around in the rain taking pictures!!

Can’t get enough of our Spring California Poppies!


In the rain the boulders and moss were shiny.


Tried to get a clear photo of the rain dripping from the twigs but wasn’t too successful.


Gnarly tree trunk!


Pretty cool retaining wall.  I wonder how long it has been there?  Maybe since gold rush days?


I wonder if these boulders are as distinctive when they’re dry.


The grass seems to like growing in the running water.


Enough wandering around by Woods Creek and back to the subject of gold panning!  Grubstake Gary (he really prefers just plain ol’ Gary) thinks EVERYONE should come up and take panning lessons at California Gold Panning. . .not a tourist attraction of panning in a trough like this:

gold panning in trough

Gold Panning. . .a good thing!DSCN0223

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blessings and Happy Easter

Today I am trying something new (for me anyway.) I am not at my computer so thought I would attempt to do a post from my Samsung Galaxy Mini phone. I downloaded the Blogger app from Play Store and here I go. . .I hope.
I took these photos here at Laguna Seca Recreation Area. The orange flowers are California's state flower, the California Poppy. They are a special treat when they bloom each Spring.
Some of you will say that the blue flowers are Texas Bluebonnets but they are Lupine out here in California.  They do grow in huge areas like their relative the Texas Bluebonnet.
Hope you are having a HAPPY EASTER. . . BLESSINGS TOO.

P.S. I'm curious to view this Blog entry on my laptop!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Livin’ and lovin’ the life…

We became lasting friends with fellow full time RVers Gina and Harold whom we met, interestingly enough, in our home base Monterey, California.  We are all Californians and throughout our full timing years the four of us have regularly returned to host at Laguna Seca in Monterey.  And, while on the road, we’ve even met up for a meal or so as our paths crossed as we crisscrossed the country.

When Harold posted this on Facebook a few days ago he struck a nerve with us about how their love of full time RVing parallels ours so closely. None of us can imagine not having a home that moves. And I’m guessing that there are many of you who feel the same about this lifestyle.  So I asked him if I could share his post as a “guest blogger” on Journeyin’. . .living & traveling in a RV.”


My comment on Facebook: “You’re ahead of us by five months and 28 days!  And we agree with everything you said…and you said it beautifully.  We are so fortunate to count you as good friends!  (BUT, we have you beat in the states-we’ve done all 50, 49 in our rig-hard to drive a RV to Hawaii!)”  

In return Harold said:  ”Our book when we write it is going to be called, “No, we haven’t done Alaska yet.”

Gina and Harold are avid cyclists and also hikers.  GET and I are not!  The bikes we toted on the back of our fifth wheel finally rusted from so little use.Harold Gina bikesThey live and travel in a motorhome with a little red car in tow while our home is a fifth wheel which we tow with a 3/4 ton diesel truck. Harold Gina mhHere, we are set up in a RV park in Simsboro, Louisiana. We even had a deck!DSCN2031

Is one better than the other?  No, I don’t think so, just a matter of personal choice. We chose a fifth wheel because we only have one engine to content with and maybe a little more living space but could have just as easily chose a motorhome.  Coincidentally, their motorhome is a 2007 model as is our 5th wheel!

They have seen their family grow during their 20 years on the road with the birth of two beautiful granddaughters.

Harold and Gina granddaughters

While we have welcomed a granddaughter, Mary and two grandsons, Stanley and Will whom we call the Little Ones. Grandson Jorden was born not too long before we took to the road.DSCN9932

No, we will be not be one of those epitaph states “Wish I could have worked longer!”

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” Lucille Ball