Since we weren't able to make it to the Boy Scout camp out last weekend (due to illnesses which have persisted, unfortunately), son number two INSISTED on going fishing at our favorite spot.
We drive out into the foothills around Sonora (well, actually before you get to Sonora) at a place called Knight's Ferry. The oldest covered bridge on the west coast still sits there (repaired and replaced several times after flooding, but still old), the Stanislaus River runs under the bridge, and there are walking trails and spots to do fun things like swim and FISH!
We headed out as usual, fishing pole, tackle box, food and sundries in hand to the easy fishing spot. We had been there about ten minutes when a lady and her dog, Zoe, wandered up. The lady was looking for a spot to do a bit of gold panning (as I saw another person carrying gold panning gear as well -- it's the lure of $1500.00 an ounce for gold right now) so we shared a quiet, warm spot.
Son number two tired of fishing early on in exchange for helping with the gold panning. (She was a very nice lady who had grand children, so knew just how to deal with a curious helper). The best part though, was her dog. Zoe, the dog, decided that watching out for son number two was her job, which meant following son number two around, sitting on his lap (they're about the same size, really) and playing in the bushes. As we have no dogs, it was lots of fun.
The thing is, fishing is a WET business (if you're son number two) and by the time I finished getting the fishing pole untangled for the third time, his shirt was soaked, so I gave him my extra to wear. (Yes, he does have shorts on underneath).
By the end of the day, we had learned lots about gold panning we hadn't known (and that son number two wants to get a gold pan of his own to try out -- either that or a metal detector), got to play with a cool dog, and had a great afternoon.