Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Searching for Gold in California

Katie and her service dog Einstein are on the road this week in Nevada City. They wrote the following for me to share with you:

Here are some suggestions for gold panning with your service dog.First of all please note that all public sites are, well, public. EVERYBODY pans there, so if you come away with a couple of flakes consider yourself lucky. Even the fool's gold is heavily mined, so don't be hopeful for that either. Except for one or two sites none of the areas for public panning are accessible to wheelchairs. Panning takes place in well-bouldered creeks, so if you have mobility issues, bring at least one strong friend along to help you navigate the area. Also bring along plenty of water for yourself, at least one quart for every two hours. That is the minimum I recommend.

Now for the panning process( and maybe some gold). Once you are at the creek pick a spot and park yourself, one place is as good as another. Best time for panning: early spring after the runoff and after a heavy thunderstorm, the rapid flow flushes the gold down. The public panning areas do not allow anything but a pan or your hands, leave the shovel at home. Besides, the silly thing will get in the way while you are slowly making your way to the creek.So, there you are at the creek...preparing to make your fortune... with your ever-ready service dog in tow. Be prepared in advance by making sure your partner has tick repellent on and that you go panning toward the middle of the day, the snakes will be hiding from the heat of the sun. Panning is a wet business, especially if your service happens to like water! Einstein truly appreciated the pan full of water that he could drink out of after the dry, dusty walk up to the river bed. Mind you, he did not much care for the pebbles and sand in the bottom, he cared so little for the debris that he shoved that handy pan right back in the creek to show me how it should be filled for him. He also found it very funny that I should be digging around in the water and being a faithful, trusty, well-trained service dog he helped me dig. I could have sworn German Shepherds did not care for the water...You have options while you pan. Let your partner play in the creek on a long lead. The standard six foot or less leases can be cumbersome, as some of the boulders are two or three feet long and high.

Links about Gold Panning:

Califonia Historic Gold Panning Sites

Gold Panning from a Wheelchair

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