Photo by H.S. Cooper ©

Photo by H.S. Cooper ©
Smoky haze over the American River at Coloma (CA)

Looking back…

In 2008, we spent most of the summer  in California Gold Country. At that time there were fires burning throughout most of the region and the lack of rain coupled with a heat wave didn’t help the situation. I remember days where temps reached near 100°F and despite the heat, you still had to wear a mask because the smoky haze made it difficult to breathe.

But we didn’t let Mother Nature stop us from exploring beautiful California or go panning for gold. I took the photo above near the Marshall Gold Discovery SHP, just off Highway 49. Just across the bridge is a pull-off and a place to pan (“pans and hands” only) for gold. It was almost 100°F that day and it felt good to take off our shoes and step into the rocky river to pan.

So if you find yourself in that area, take a break from the curvy highway and try your hand at panning. And if seeking the shiny stuff isn’t your thing, there is a rafting outfitter nearby and you can take a cool trip down the American River.