Sunday, October 16, 2011

Not a Bucket List

Yesterday, I posted about our camping trip to Brown County, Indiana and said that my husband and I had a reason other than vacation for our trip. I wouldn't exactly call it a bucket list, but we have decided to try to do at least one thing each year that we have never done. The first thing we chose to do was pan for gold.

I know what you're thinking, gold in Indiana? Why yes, there is gold in them there hills, but not the kind of gold found in California in the Gold Rush Days. Millions of years ago, glaciers from Canada slowly moved south as far as Indiana and those glaciers moved a lot of the earth, including gold, along with them. This is why it's so flat in northern Indiana. The glaciers stopped at what is now Brown County and why there is gold in some of the streams there and a few other places in Indiana.

We made our decision to pan for gold at a bad time of the year. It's the end of the season for a few reasons, one it's getting cold and it's no fun getting wet in the creeks in the cold. I can attest to that from having wet feet due to the rain on our trip. Another is lack of rain. Yeah, I know it poured on us, but that was the first rain we've had in two weeks. Spring rains wash the sediment around in the creek beds and brings more of it from the hills, hence bringing more gold down, too.

In Indiana, to pan for gold requires a permit from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. These permits are free, good for one year, and are renewable.

Just so you know, you probably aren't going to get rich by panning for gold in Indiana. It's more of a hobby, although there are organizations that meet in Indiana. Other than gold, if you're lucky, you might be able to find some gems brought down by the glaciers. My husband knows of a gentleman that found enough garnets to make a ring.

As for our trip, we didn't find any gold, but it was such wet weather that we really didn't pan very much. The only thing we did come up with was a small geode. However, we're already planning a trip back next spring. I might just have to figure out how to work this into one of my books.

Now, we need to come up with our next new thing to try.


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