Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gold Diggers!

It's been on my list for a while now and when I went to bed last night I randomly decided that today would be the day. Ready or not, here we come Reeds Gold Mine!
Grady Lee raced down the stairs this morning: "Daddy! We're going to dig for gold under the ground today!" He dressed and ate in mere minutes because he was so excited for our field trip.
Micah groggily came down the stairs a while later and was less than amused about quickly eating so we could head out the door. "I just want to watch Cat & The Hat, Mom. You know that's my favorite."
I packed lunches, stashed snacks, grabbed the Baby Bjorn, and we headed off for our morning adventure "digging for gold."

The boys were too young to care much about the museum exhibits. Because after all, if you can't climb on it, jump off of it, or crawl through it, what really is the point? Listening to me read historical tid-bits about the gold mine didn't fall in the "this is fun and interesting" category.
But when we made our way toward the mine, you can sure bet both boys flashed huge grins, took the map-reading responsibilities seriously, and led the way toward the tunnels.
Grady Lee held the map the entire time. No really, the entire time. He wanted to be sure we didn't get "lost in the tunnels because we don't have any flashlights or band aids with us." 
I parked the stroller outside the mine entrance, slid Annalyse into the Baby Bjorn, and followed my leaders into the mine.

"It's cold in here!" "I see lots of spider webs!" "Where is the gold?" "How come the ceiling is wet?"
Every turn in the tunnel was a new adventure. Mind you, Mr. Map Reader Himself insisted on being the leader at all times and his sidekick happily obliged since it was pretty dark.
After wandering the mine, we exited and explored some other mine artifacts and displays. Since it wasn't underground and wasn't dark and wasn't "making drippy sounds," the boys convinced me to go back into the mine for another run-through. With, of course, the map fully opened and followed at all times.
An hour later we arrived at a gold panning station. The boys learned how to sift stones and gravel and sand to look for gold. Since playing in mud and water is second-nature for them, it was no big deal.
It was no big deal until... will you look at that?! Look closer. Closer. Nope, closer still. See it now? That teeny-tiny flake on the side of the pan is indeed gold. Grady Lee immediately asked if it was enough to make another ring for me. How thoughtful.
He has carried this vial of water with his speck of gold around with him all day. He is prouder than proud. I hope my husband reads this before he gets home because he needs to be prepared for the rush of excitement that will meet him at the door when he gets home this evening.
The weather was beautiful - breezy and low 80's - so we enjoyed a picnic lunch. Micah collected pine cones as he munched on pretzels; Annalyse dumped more cheese and crackers on the ground than she actually ate; and Grady Lee sat in complete and total silence just looking at his gold speck.
We got home and the boys flipped on a cartoon while I unpacked the car and got Annalyse down for a nap. I came inside and found Micah asleep. I guess gold digging takes a lot out of a guy!


  1. What a cool adventure! I love the couldn't-keep-myself-up-a-minute-longer sleeping position, too...those are always precious.

  2. That pic of Micah asleep says it all, what a FUN outing! I haven't been there in years, but it has been on my wanting to do list for quite some time now! I remember having a similar vial of water with a flake of gold floating inside when I was a girl. I have no idea what happened to it, wish it had been enough for a ring!