Literally 2 minutes from home is a state forest with a creek running through it. it was area that was mined in the gold rush and there are still shafts and tunnels in the area. the forest is a place i never think of when finding something to do on the weekends, but John was on it today and thought that we should go gold panning. the boys (and I) were excited. we met up with friends there and set to it. no luck but lots of fun.
we then decided to explore the forest. there is an old tunnel that you can still walk some of the way in, and lots of mine shafts (boarded up) to look at. the boys were in heaven, running in the forest exploring, hiding, building cubbies and having a great time. we found mushrooms, moss and wild flowers. the boys enjoyed taking us in the forest. ( a dear friend of ours picks the boys up from school on a Wednesday and he will often take them into the forest for a picnic or to find fossils, kangaroos, wildflowers and mushrooms. they have a forest book that they draw and write in, so they really enjoyed sharing some of their knowledge with us today).
once we arrived back at the creek a quick drive to the local fish and chip shop for fish and chips by the creek ended a great day. and then a quick wet drive home after "falling" in the creek and mud for a nice warm shower.