July 13, 2013
< < previous
| next > >
The docent at the visitor center did his best to discourage
any romantic image around the gold digs along the American
River in the 1850s: miners rolling gold dust in balls of
mercury, machines hammering so loudly that the men working them
went deaf in a matter of weeks, water cannons turning the Sierra
slopes into a muddy slough.
We listened as long as our stomachs could take it and then
backed away, outside into the heat, to see the rebuilt
structure where it all started, California's first gold rush.