Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's in your backyard?

Hi everyone!! I'm still insanely busy with work, home and projects!!

Ruby was nice enough to stop by with a special guest post about seeking adventures in your own "backyard"

If you've been following along for any length of time, you know that my eh hum budget has changed drastically over the last several years.

My last post of  2009 titled Wipe the Slate Clean you'll see that I realized that not all the changes we lived through were bad.

In fact, thanks to Ruby I realized the great adventures we could have in our own town.

 Places I've lived close to for over, well let's just say a veerrrry long time .
I'd never thought to check them out!

Anyhow, a big thank you to....


 for dropping by today with one of her adventures!!

Hello, My name is Ruby from Ruby's Musings. I am quite honored to be asked to be a guest blogger. My blog covers many aspects of my life. One of which is searching out adventures in my own back yard so to say , and do show that one can have a day trip out on a small budget and still have a wonderful time. This is one of my posts from our last adventure. I hope you like it

Hubby got what is known in car sales as a "spiff" , so instead of being forced to sit home for two weeks in a row we were able to set out on another adventure. Keeping in the exploration of back country roads and local attractions, we spent Monday night going through pamphlets and maps. It was decided we would go to Sutter Creek's Gold Mine. It was out of our normal 20.00 and under plus gas budget, but hey the spiff would take care of it , so it was time to splurge. Gas tank filled, snacks and water packed in the ice chest and the GPS unit clued in , we headed out.

Sutter Creek is in Amador County , in the Gold Country , off Historic HWY 49 , and South East of where we live. We seem to always be on HWY 49, it just has all the best towns located on it ! It is a lovely drive, and I, having grown up on a small farm ( very small , 5 acres to be exact) love being out in the middle of the country. It is one of the most pleasant things I know of. Anyway, we drove just around an hour through back roads, and country towns ....tiny places with name like Sloughhouse and Drytown . We even drove through the town of Amador. It is a VERY small town, even if the county is named after it...Just gotta love the stop signs! Plus the entire town is antique shops! Wish we did not always go on adventures on Mondays and Tuesdays cause many things are closed!

Soon we arrived at the entrance to the park....

Drove down the long winding road and pulled into the small parking lot. 


Inside there was a great gift shop, historical photos of local miners from years past, a movie theater with a movie about mining, miners and the California Gold Rush. Then there was the maps of all the places , from all over the world , have visited ....we are one of the many push pins now .

We stepped outside once the movie was over ,  and waited for the tour jeep to arrive and took the chance to snap a few pics.....
Pan for gold anyone?? You really can, just buy a bag of silt, and go out and have a go!

Pardon the frown, the bench was hot, the sun bright...

Here it comes....

Looks like everyone got back safe, time to grab the hard hats, red for adults, and white for children.

We loaded up, our tour guide checking us in on the board...16 of us.
      Then we were off.....  
 Down the steep, bumpy, dirt hill.....

 And into the mine......LAST CHANCE....(only kidding)
Now I took a load of pics inside, and do you know not too many of them actually turned out, between the bumpy ride and the dim lighting, photo, after photo, blurry, streaky, and just too dim to tell what it was. We only took the jeep half way, then it was on foot, via stairs and walk ways. We stopped off in the Safety Room to be told about how miners operated and tried to stay safe and well to sit in total , pitch black darkness...never been in such a dark space ! You could not see your hand in front of your face. 

We looked at veins of quartz , that is where the gold lies . We find out the mine is a modern mine, 1989 and only operated till the early 90's , but may open again next year. There is a lot of gold in this mine to be had! We see equipment old and new, and get history lessons about how miners used to operate and how it is in modern times. It was all very fascinating! The photos that did turn out where nothing much more than pics of rock and earth, but this one is nifty as it is what is left over from the bottom of the ocean! I am not kidding!
Soon our tour ends, at 550 feet below the surface, we get back in the jeeps and before you know it , we see the light at the end of the tunnel ....YES!! it does exist !
  Be sure to check out the official site , and there is a couple videos if you are interested in seeing more . There is also a hint on this page of where we will be exploring next! I am super excited, I will tell you that...more hard hats and pearls for sure in my future. 

After we left the mine, and ate our snacks we had packed for lunch, we headed into the actual town of Sutter's Creek. It is a charming town of gift shops, antiques, places to eat and old historic homes...of course we found the wine shop! You can sample the wines from various wineries in the area for free, as many as you like! I decided on Champagnes...well sparkling wine since it comes from California. Then we also found an import cheese shop , and sampled an array of yumminess, and even came home with a French cows milk cheese, by the name of Mimolette Cheese. It looks like Cantaloupe...the color, the outer rind. It comes from Lille France, and was a favored cheese by King Louis XIV ...tastes a bit like Parmesan . 

So that was our adventure of the Hard Hat and Pearls....
  I hope it inspires you to have your own adventure and hit the road , no matter your budget, there is always new places to explore !

Thanks again Ruby!!!

Now get out there and see what your town has to offer but, before you go, don't forget to stop by Ruby's blog !!!


Debbie said...

We love to explore our area and have many times hopped in the car and found something cool. Looks like a really neat place.

Ruby@Ruby'sMusings said...

Honored that I could have that kind of influence ...makes all the hours and sore bum it takes to seek these places out worth it! Thanks for having me as a guest!

The Urban Cowboy said...

I also like to go out for weekend explorations. Looks like you had quite an awesome time!

Bringing Pretty Back said...

This is exactly what we did this weekend!
Have a pretty day!

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

I feel inspired now. I almost never think of fun things to do in my own area!

scrapwordsmom said...

What a fun trip, Ruby!! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us...the hat is so You, btw...;)