Wednesday, July 9, 2014

South Dakota: Day 4- Panning for Gold and Train Rides

Daddy flew out to the East Coast this morning, but GranMama and GranPapa picked up right where he left off, and helped me entertain the children for a day of unforgettable activities.
Alex learned how to pan for gold at Wade's Gold Mill.  Unlike the more 'commercial' mines, this authentic family-owned operation was all about teaching you HOW to pan successfully.  (See my review here if you're in the market for a gold panning lesson in the Black Hills!)  Alex got some great one-on-one attention, and found bags full of garnets and quartz crystals from the mine dirt she panned, as well as the gold flakes from her 'sample' tube.

Justin got a little bored with the whole process (which took a solid hour and a half), so he and GranPapa took a walking tour of the old mining machinery.

 Shortly afterwards, we hopped on the 1880 Train for a great ride behind a steam engine (review here).  Justin was very excited, and spent the entire ride with his head out the window.

We ended our day with some relaxing playtime at 'home'.  Alex and Justin panned for gold from the little creek that ran through the yard, with Kolachi ever on duty.

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