Thursday, May 18

Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac)

Colorado Gold Rush Unit
In the tiny town of Silver Plume, Colorado, we stumbled upon a wonderful family day trip!  We started the morning at the train station, and then took a long train ride through the mountains...
While waiting to board the train, we made commemorative pennies with some coins found between the tracks.  We also walked over and spent some time checking out the adjoining historical museum.
The initial train ride over to the old mining site was fairly lengthy, but that gave us plenty of time to take in the crisp, fresh mountain air and all of the beautiful scenery laid out before us!
Upon arrival at the mining site, we de-boarded the train, along with other families, and made our way over to the trails.  It was still cool way up here, and we had to keep the kids away from the edge of camp, as it immediately dropped off into a raging river.
It took a few minutes for the staff to get all of the passengers sorted into their various groups.  We opted for both a mine tour and panning for gold.  If you're going to take the day trip, go ahead and spring for the lunch.  It's not much, but it's all provided and you won't have to pack everything in and out of camp yourself.
There were so many picturesque scenes....every way that you turned!  We loved all of the trestle bridges built through the mountains and across the rivers.
Our group leader was incredibly perky...and she knew a lot about panning!  She helped everyone sort through their gold, and every single person in our group found gold, except for one.  I, naturally, came home with a vial of copper.  Go figure!
The mine tour was a great way for the kids to get hands-on with their history lesson for the day.  The staff turned the lights all the way out, discussed the various tools miners would use, and we even learned some chemistry lessons!
After finishing up our gold panning, mine tour, and lunch, we hopped back on the train for another gorgeous ride through the Rockies.
All in all, a beautiful, wonderful, memorable day!!

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