So, over the years my dad has had different interests but they always seem to have one common thread ~ being out in nature. He loves biking, hiking, outdoor photography and in the past year he has taken up a fascination with gold panning. I believe all those shows on TV have spiked his interest, especially the show called “Gold Fever”. Have you seen it?
After years of watching shows about rock and mineral hunting, he finally got his feet wet! Literally!
It was August of last summer and after obtaining all his beginning gold panning equipment, having all the legal documents necessary and finding a place he could actually pan that didn’t have a claim, off we all went with him on his first gold panning expedition. He happened to pick a place that he has spent camping and hiking at since he was a teenager and invited my mom, our dogs and me to come along to make it a family day. Our destination was the Buck Creek Recreation area on the White River; it is on the road to Mt. Rainier and Crystal Mountain Ski area.
So the three of us, my dad, mom and I and two of our dogs, Sophie and my Sadie, trekked down the bank to the fast running, beautiful, but cold White River.
As you can see in the photo, the river water is actually white.
My dad first had to dig up some material of rocks and dirt to start his panning.
Then it was off to the sluice box and his pan to discover our fortunes!
OK, so we didn’t get our fortune on his first try. He said it was his first try and really just wanted to try out his new equipment and see if he could figure out how it all works. But it was still a fun day out in the great out of doors and the Pacific Northwest. The dogs had a great time, even though my mom freaked out a couple times she thought the river would sweep them away.
It seemed to be a little back breaking for my dad ~ haha ~
But the rest of us had a fun and relaxing time, enjoying the scenery. We found some bear tracks and were on the lookout for a while, until we realized it may have just been our dogs tracks. Still not sure what to think of these though! hmmmm
So, after a couple hours, we headed back to the car and thus ended my dad’s very first gold panning expedition. He has been on another since, with some people from the group he joined, and he actually came home with some gold sparkles! May they be the first of billions of those little sparkles, and maybe a big old chunk of gold.