Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Home Schooling - Field Trip - Sutter Gold Mine

Song:  Stones

Artist:  Neil Diamond

At the gift shop prior to our tour of the 
Sutter Gold Mine.

Sutter Creek was where the California Gold Rush (the 49ers)

The Sutter Gold Mine is still an active mine...
they are going to start actual gold mining operations
one week after our visit here.

The tours will stop for the foreseeable future.

We were lucky to have gone there in time.
We hadn't learned of this until after we had arrived.

Alex got to pick out a Quartz Geode to have
broken open and keep.

His Geode was filled with Quartz Crystals.

We were taken on a tram down into the mine
where we had seen olden mining methods.

We were led into the safe room...
a room dug out of the strongest rock...
a place of refuge in case of cave in.

It had pipes for air and water...
as well as multiple communication lines.

The tour guide had done a good job of explaining
the various jobs involved in the mining operations
and what each had entailed.

We than walked up through various shafts.

Alex near a small vein of Gold bearing Quartz.
Just above our heads...
the tour guide had pointed out some gold in the Quartz.

A pneumatic drill used to make the blast holes
(still used in modern times).

A void left from the extraction of a Quartz vein.

A pulley and bucket system used to transport the ore
to a drop hole...where it is loaded onto ore trucks.

The mine from the outside.

In a week, they will be setting up an ore processing plant nearby.

Alex had really enjoyed this very informative
and historical place.

He learned of the mining techniques of old...
the equipment and jobs...
everything from powder monkeys 
(usually children placing charges and running)
to canaries used to detect a lack of Oxygen...
the old type of explosives used and the new.

He had seen the actual road used by the 49ers in and out of the mine.

I was glad to have been able to show him this
valuable part of the history of California.

Nothing beats actually experiencing the location...
feeling the conditions underground...
the working conditions and equipment used...
to bring alive the subject in his mind as he reads
more in depth about it in the future.

We shall be visiting Lake Alpine in a few days.

I shall be covering basic Cosmology with him
as we will be going to a star gazing event 
near Lake Alpine.

Afterward, we will camp out and row the lake the next day.

He is very excited about this event.

I am excited for him...
and at having the opportunity to explain to him
the basics of the cosmos.


  1. Very cool tour! Like you say, nothing beats actually experiencing a place. Glad you were able to go there before the tours ended.

  2. Yes...Alex loves field trips. I thought it weird though, that not a mention of their closure was in their web site.


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