I am a big believer in doing activities with my kids instead of buying them stuff. Whenever I buy them stuff, they never play with it, and if I vacuumed, it would likely get stuck in the motor and burn up the house. Which is why I don’t vacuum. I leave that to the experts. (Why are there 2 u’s in vacuum anyway?)
Children remember doing things, and having experiences. Not stuff. Because that’s all it is. Stuff. (I was suckered into the whole Rainbow loom thing…but that’s an activity, right?)
One thing on our bucket list was to go to Reed Gold MIne. I remember going in elementary school as a class field trip a couple of times, and loving it. My kids loved hearing the stories of when I was little, and how when I was panning, I struck gold!
It is in Midland, and I remember it taking forever to get there. I guess because I was 8 years old and on a slow school bus. But, it really took only about 20 minutes to get there. Plenty of time for Icana Pop to play on the radio 47 times. I don’t care. I love it.
Admission is free, and panning for gold is $3. Cheap memories are my favorite to create. You do have to be at least 8 years old to pan, so my 6-year-old and I shared. We walked through the museum section, then walked through the grounds on a self-guided tour. Actually, a son-guided tour. I was amazed at how well he read the facts at all the stops and how interested he was in the history. I could tell my daughter was a little bored. Like me. I’m not really into history. But of course, I acted super enthusiastic, because we are building memories, right?
My 3 hIstory take aways: Reed Gold mine is the first documented gold find in the US. A 12-year-old, found a huge nugget, like 28 pounds, and they used it as a doorstop for years. Price of gold was $1, 544.
The scenery is beautiful, and it is nice to hike with your kids in nature. And get them off the Xbox/TV/computer. (and me too.) As we got closer to the part when you go underground, I could feel the cold air on my legs, and I stopped to ask them if they felt it. They were jumping up and down, so excited that it was so cold and we were going underground. It was so sweet to see them so happy about simple things. (Then I had a flashback of elementary school, and I imagined my poor teacher as she lined up 20something kids with us all shouting, “oh my gosh, it is soooo cold.” “I’m freezing!” “Why is it so cold?” ha ha ha. CMS does not budget for Reed Gold mine anymore. The teachers probably complained about the kids being annoying.)
My son and I found no gold. My daughter did. With the price of gold where it is today, her flake could possibly be worth a dollar.