Gold Rush territory, also known as Gold Country, is actually a region of California East of Sacramento in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Gold Country lies spans several Counties that lie along Highway 49 (yes, they named it after the famous 49ers - those men who came to California in 1849 seeking gold).

So if I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, which sits on the Pacific Ocean, then why am I greeting you from Gold Country? Because I found abandoned gold mines in my neighborhood!

Last summer I learned about these abandoned gold mines in my neighborhood while doing research on my neighborhood, which is called Santa Venetia. Santa Venetia is a nice little quiet neighborhood in North San Rafael which is the capital of Marin County, CA.

I posted these brief infos about the abandoned mines on our local watershed council website.

Then I went looking for the mines. Over several days I studied the available information and the local terrain. Every evening after work I would go hiking in the hills looking for the mines. It took me 3 days and just before sunset I found one!

That's right, I found a gold mine in my neighborhood! Was there any gold you ask? Lets just say these mines were abandoned for a good reason.

The mines are located in the foothills of San Pedro ridge on a trail that starts just behind the local 7-11 convenience store.

One mine is quite easy to spot and you can even venture into it when it is not waterlogged. The entrance is not very big, you have to slide down into the mine. Spooky!

On the following day I took a neighbor to see my discovery, and together we spotted the second mine.

Now does anybody want to bring some shovels and a pick and go check this out? C'mon, don't let Indiana Jones have all the fun!

P.S. Did you know there is a REAL ghost town nearby? I swear! But that's another story for another blog entry. Out here in the Wild West you never know what you will find...