Heading North on Hwy 99 through central California was a nice drive. We left the Sequoia trees behind and made a few stops on our way to the Ponderosa Resort, a Thousand Trails park. We were excited to learn about the local history, and try to make some history of our own in the area. The views from the resort of the American River are spectacular, we were even greeted by a rainbow the morning after we arrived. The sunlight peaking through the clouds seemed to make the green mountains glow with color.
The resort is just a couple miles down river from the 1848 Gold Discovery Site of Sutters Mill, and home of the Marshall Gold Discovery Park. The park is full of information about the famous gold discovery that marked the start of the 1849 California Gold Rush. We arrived at the park later in the day on a Saturday, so most of the exhibits and Docent’s (actors that are dressed in period clothing and filled with period information) were being packed away for the day. We walked around through the park and read the signs on the equipment, and learned a little about the events that led to the gold rush. They offer gold panning classes, but we had our own equipment to use at the campground.
I did manage to catch one of the Docents in action, so here is a brief video of him entertaining and educating the kids. He was very informative, and kept the kids on their toes the whole time.
We spent two weeks at this resort, I had to get in some gold prospecting under my belt while we were here. We ate well when I happened to be in the mood to fire up the grill too, the weather was great the whole time we were here, reaching close to 85 degrees a couple days. Since we were in an area with a long history of gold and treasure, I decided to get out with the metal detector for a little while. I didn’t find much, but had fun getting more familiar with my detector.
The next post will be about our gold prospecting adventures on the American River. You will have to come check it out to see if we struck it rich…