There be gold in them hills!

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Justin M. searching for the glitter of gold.

The amazing power of humans, the effect we can make on our natural environment can be extraordinary … unfortunately most of the greatest achievements of our history involves the mass destruction of our natural world.. one of the greatest examples of this we can find in our own backyard of the American west.  humans, with the use of simple machines, moved mountains and changed the surface of this earth all for a dream of wealth.  the american gold rush

Fortunately the times have changed and now we can participate in the act of mining with very minimal impact. and what a way to spend the day! I traveled with my good friend Justin M. down to the town of Washington CA and the foothills of the Sierras to try our luck and find what thousands of people may have missed. gold!

the route over the hills to Washington Ca was actually very easy. I have driven through these parts many times but have never been to the end of the road! well that is exactly where this little town lays, at the very end of everyone’s journey so it seems. Washington today has a very small population, but what it lacks in population it makes up with very large history, one especially important to the cultural background of our home country and the expansion of the western states.

Yuba county

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Justin M. on the south face of the Yuba river

“hands or pans” is the term now used for prospecting on national land

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the california foothills

looking out my back door. we stayed for 4 days in the California foothills. we actually stayed in one spot the entire time! down a nice little winding road alongside the yuba river in Washington ca.

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Justin M. cooking up some delicious dinner after a long day on the Yuba.

the befits of camping in style!

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Glitter

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the overlook, beyond is the remains of a large ridge destroyed by Omega Hydro mining around 1850. this is a premier example of the destructive power of humans to their natural surroundings.

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aqueduct , still in use today, built circa 1850

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here is a panoramic of the hydro mining aftermath… all the workers are dead and gone but their work will remain for centuries more… it may be a lesson for the future of sustainability ,

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