So Its Saturday afternoon, your too lazy to clean the house or cut the grass but to energized to lay on the couch and watch a movie. Your thinking what can I do? Its not pay week and my bank account is 10$ away from changing colors. Well its time to get creative my friend.
You can try some home craft projects but lets face it, we both know how it will turn out. Instead why not check out some of the hidden gems only minutes away from charlotte NC. You may be thinking, WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT? Well worry not, I have an entire guide to help you make the most of that 9.99 remaining in the bank account.
I took the liberty of checking out the small town of Locust, NC. Locust is only 26 miles from charlotte and offers a nice retreat from the loud hustle and bustle of city life. Within this little city, you can find one of the most important historic sites in the entire United States. Have I sparked your curiosity?
The Historic site I am talking about is called REEDS GOLD MINE. This gold mine is the FIRST documented gold mine found in the entire United States. This means it even preceded the massive gold rush that took place in California. But enough about the history, lets take a look at what this historic site has to offer.
Reed gold mine Offers what I consider 3 very unique aspects. These include 1, panning for gold, 2 visiting the mine and 3 the museum. Lets begin with what I consider to be the best part. This of course is the gold panning. Panning for gold is a much harder process than Hollywood depicts. This process is extremely tiring and gives your forearms one hell of a workout.
Swiveling a pan filled with 2lbs or so of dirt while searching for small shiny metals takes a lot more upper body strength and concentration than originally anticipated. But if you work hard at it, like several things in life, you have a…….. 50/50 chance of being successful. Unfortunately not every single bucket is a winner. Some find gold others do not. It really comes down to luck of the draw. This is the only PAID PORTION OF THE TRIP. Panning for gold costs approximately 3.50$, so feel free to splurge a bit and get 2 buckets for a grand total of 7$.
The next event I would recommend proceeding to is the mine tour. This tour is completely self guided and allows visitors to view the ACTUAL GOLD MINE dug by miners in the 1800s. A small pamphlet is given to you upon entering the mine and allows you to read about the various stations set throughout the mine. Visitors can see the methods, technology and even processing processes the miners used. The mines are much deeper than you perceive. I am not exactly sure how deep the mines go but certain portions are stated as being more than 30 feet underground.
The gold mine also hosts several other sites surrounding the mine which give you an idea of exactly how miners lived and processed the gold they discovered. The most unique of these sites is certainly the stamping mill. This mill , without all of the technical backing, basically crushes large rocks into smaller rocks and extracts gold in the process. I definitely recommend you check out this awesome piece of history if you visit Reed Gold Mine.
Finally, users may return to the visitor center to check out the museum. The museum like most museums, contains information relevant to the life and machinery of the mine. It also contains information regarding the owners and complete history of the mine. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the various methods and technology used in the 1800’s, hopefully you will also.
I hope you enjoyed this brief optional WEEKEND ADVENTURE. Just in case you were wondering, dogs are allowed on the grounds but not within the mines or museum. We tried to get our dog to help with the gold panning but he didn’t seem to care for it. If you take a trip to Reed Gold mine feel free to let me know what you think below. I would love to know. Until next time, stay BOUNDLESS.
Reed Gold Mine Gallery