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Life and Times of an itinerant slacker in Sacramento. Thrills, Spills Galore coming soon. Not to mention lots of opinions.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007


Kathleen and I started the morning with a short walk in a nature preserve by the American River. We saw the normal assortment of unidentifiable birds, mule deer, jackrabbits, rattlers (since moving here I have put behind me the urge to pick up every snake I see), frogs and turkeys (avian and mammal variety). We enjoyed the crisp and cool weather this morning.

History buffs may recognize the American River as the sight of John Sutter’s gold discovery that changed the course of history by bringing over 30,000 lightly armed Americans to Alta California in 1849. Although Sutter’s Mill is near Coloma, several miles uphill from Sacramento, some of the same rocks rolled down to the Sacramento Valley over the millennia.

What, might you ask, does this 19th century history review have to do with a walk in the riparian wilderness?

When walking near the river, I occasionally break a fist – sized quartz rock, to see what’s inside. Proving that even a stopped clock is right once in a while, I immediately saw yellow reflections of sunlight when I smashed a rock today. Very small glints of mineral sunshine scattered through the fracture . . . this . . . means . . . GOLD!

I carefully slipped the fractured rock into my pocket, mildly reminiscent of Virginia Woolf. However, I stayed on dry land. After all these years here, I finally feel connected with California’s cultural history of get-rich-quick schemes. Maybe next time I’ll find a floodplain real estate development. Who can tell, in this land of golden opportunity?

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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