December 1, 2023

In the Footsteps of the Forty-Niners

Some people come to the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, about 80 miles from Los Angeles, to trade the snarl of the freeway for the sound of a running stream. Others get down to business — bringing shovels, buckets and pans to prospect for gold. Some of the searchers are from the Los Angeles area; others are tourists. “It’s all about chasing the gold,” says John Estrada, a frequent visitor who has a collection of small gold pebbles and flakes at home that he plans to give to his children. He is following a dream that has captivated people since the 19th century. And with gold around $1,700 an ounce, more people are catching the fever in the 21st.

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