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From Redding, CA I drove down to Sacramento on I-5, then took Route 50 east to Placerville, CA where I spent the night. The next day I stopped in old Placerville to buy a gold pan at the hardware store. The hardware store has been around a long time. I could just imagine all those gold prospectors shopping here for their supplies! Here the owner's son shows me where he fell through the ceiling doing repairs upstairs. Rather than fix the hole, someone had the great idea of hanging a pantleg with boot from the hole! Here is a view down the sidewalk from the hardware in Placerville. After buying my gold pan, I drove a few miles up Route 49 to Coloma, CA. Here on January 24, 1848, James Marshall discovered gold in the sluice of the sawmill, Sutter's Mill (John Sutter was his partner). This started the California gold rush! The town of Coloma is a great place to visit! Most of the town is part of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park. The brochure for the park can be viewed by clicking here Site of the original mill where gold was discovered. Plaque commemorating the discovery. I drove across the bridge by the mill. This is the south fork of the American river. The river was really flowing fast, and high. This is actually a good opportunity to find gold flakes since new material is uncovered in rough water. My first try was right near the bridge. A light rain was also falling. That place was a bust. I may go home broke! I tried further down the river, almost opposite the Sutter Mill site across the river! Aha! Success! Gold flakes in the pan get the gold fever going! Can you see the gold in the bottom of the pan? The big pine in the background drops huge, solid cones like the one I am holding. A local said they can kill you if they hit you. I believe it! Return to previous page