Just before you drive down into Rancho Murieta, on highway 16, in the California Foothills, you can see the landscape change. The hills look different.
But the miners made a terrible mess of the area because they didn't have good mining practices back then. Because they wanted to get more of the gold out of the ground they turned to larger mining practices, using water to break down the material. They called it hydraulicking. It was a form of mining using high-pressure jets of water to dislodge rock material and move sediment. The water-sediment slurry was then run through sluice boxes to remove the gold. The hydraulic mining left scars on the land that, to this day, are still visible.
But Mother Nature has worked some magic and healed most of her wounds. When Spring comes and the wildflowers bloom, this area is just about as beautiful as it gets around here.
If you turn around and look south, you can see the strange shape of hills that were created by huge hydraulic water guns..
Today the land looks beautiful, with some slightly funny looking hills and a few red dirt remnants left to tell the tail.
We need to be more careful. We don't want to damage this beautiful world beyond its ability to repair itself or we will find ourselves without a world at all and my grandchildren need a place to live.