Panning For Gold in Big Sky Country
After we left Idaho we traveled to the metropolis of Ennis Montana. It’s a quaint, tiny, old west type town that had an RV park (the most crowded we had been to yet), and it is centrally located to some cool places to visit. Montana is a beautiful state and I had many chances to travel through it when I used to commute from Idaho to North Dakota during my college years. I swear my blood pressure goes down ten points when I see the beautiful vistas and flowing rivers in western Montana. One of the first things we did was visit Virginia City and Nevada City and panned for gold.
Speaking of gold did you know that gold miners in the old west used to call bacon “sow’s bosom?” There isn’t a lot to improve on with bacon but I think I am going to start adding this slang into my daily conversations about bacon……..yes, I have discussions about bacon daily. Don’t you?
Any how, I was going to try to write an article written entirely in gold miner talk but there was a problem. Here is an excerpt of my original article. “Avast ye scurvy dogs, there be gold in them thar hills. Me scallywags and I panned for that there gold. Arghhh! Do you see the problem. I don’t know how gold miners talk, I only know how pirates talked. That being the case, the rest of this article will be written in my normal 5th grade level vocabulary.
Virginia City and Nevada city were awesome and we had a lot of fun there. Mainly because of some new friends we made and the uniqueness of our day. We took a train ride from Virginia City to Nevada City and part of the fare was the opportunity to pan for gold. I thought my kids would think it was cheesy but it actually kept us enthralled for 2 hours. We found quite a few small pieces of garnet and some amethyst as well. Marisa was the only one to find a tiny speck of gold which was verified as genuine by the lady that taught us how to pan. To our horror, Marisa put it in a vial, I then looked at the vial and set it back down in a different spot, and then Marisa knocked the vial over into the dirt. Here is a picture of her trying to find our fortune. Alas, we were unable to recover our lost treasure. Our future generations will certainly rue the day that our infinite wealth disappeared into the dirt like a sow bosom, lettuce, and tomato sandwich disappears into my gullet.