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Dave Wyman | profile | all galleries >> California's Gold Rush Country tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

California's Gold Rush Country

As we have for the past few years, Ken Rockwell and I led a group of photographers along the backroads of California. This year, we explored the northern reaches of California's historic Gold Rush country. Our circular route led us north and east from Sacramento, the state capitol, to the quintessential gold rush towns of Nevada City and Downieville, down the Feather River Canyon to the town of Chico, and back to Sacramento. In between we photographed old mines, ghost towns, local citizens, ourselves, and the sublime scenery of the Northern California.

The Gold Rush began in 1848, with the discovery of flakes of gold at the bottom of a creek flowing through a lumber mill. People are still looking for gold, and still finding it, in one form or another.

Though California's image of late seems tarnished, gold can still be found, and not just in miners' pans or under the ground. More transitory yet recurrent forms of gold can be found in fields of golden flowers, and not infrequently at sunrise and sunset, when golden light fills the sky. And the Golden State is still a land of golden opportunities, drawing now, as it did more than a century and a half ago, people from around the world. In this sense, surely Gold Rush country is as much as state of mind as it is a place fixed by geography.

My photographic approach saw me as often as not restricting my field of view. I attempted to master methods of photographing visual fragments, rather than the entirety of what I saw. In so doing, I hoped to create my own encompassing vision of Gold Rush country.
Gold is Where You Find It: Upper Bidwell Park, above Chico, California
Gold is Where You Find It: Upper Bidwell Park, above Chico, California
Candle and Candle Holder on Our Dinner Table, Sacramento, California
Candle and Candle Holder on Our Dinner Table, Sacramento, California
Delta Queen's Paddle Wheel and Sacramento's Tower Bridge
Delta Queen's Paddle Wheel and Sacramento's Tower Bridge
Pier Pilings, Sacramento, California
Pier Pilings, Sacramento, California
State Capitol at 10 P.M.
State Capitol at 10 P.M.
View over the Gold Hill Winery
View over the Gold Hill Winery
On the Deck Overlooking the Gold Hill Winery
On the Deck Overlooking the Gold Hill Winery
Reflections in the Window at the Gold Hill Winery
Reflections in the Window at the Gold Hill Winery
Frog in the Pond at the Gold Hill Winery
Frog in the Pond at the Gold Hill Winery
In the Wine Cave, Gold Hill Winery
In the Wine Cave, Gold Hill Winery
Ken Rockwell at Work Above Gold (or is it Green?) Country
Ken Rockwell at Work Above Gold (or is it Green?) Country
Cowgirls at the Marshall Gold Discovery Park
Cowgirls at the Marshall Gold Discovery Park
Lupines
Lupines
Pioneer Cemetery, Rough and Ready, California
Pioneer Cemetery, Rough and Ready, California
Pioneer Cemetery at Rough and Ready
Pioneer Cemetery at Rough and Ready
Pioneer Cemetery Marker, Rough and Ready
Pioneer Cemetery Marker, Rough and Ready
Lake Wildwood Reservoir Spillway
Lake Wildwood Reservoir Spillway
Spillway, Lake Wildwood Reservoir
Spillway, Lake Wildwood Reservoir
Bridgeport Bridge on the South Fork of the Yuba River
Bridgeport Bridge on the South Fork of the Yuba River
Bridgeport Bridge Detail
Bridgeport Bridge Detail
Gold Country Squirrel
Gold Country Squirrel
Reflections on the Edge of the Yuba River
Reflections on the Edge of the Yuba River
Tempted by an Apple
Tempted by an Apple
End of the Road
End of the Road
Nevada City Reflection
Nevada City Reflection
Fence Posts, Nevada City
Fence Posts, Nevada City
Dawn over Nevada City and Gold Rush County
Dawn over Nevada City and Gold Rush County
Nevada City Reflection
Nevada City Reflection
Main Street Hasn't Changed Much Over the Years
Main Street Hasn't Changed Much Over the Years
The Buddha Reflects over Nevada City
The Buddha Reflects over Nevada City
Gold Country Mannequin
Gold Country Mannequin
Union Hotel, Nevada City
Union Hotel, Nevada City
Old Timer in Nevada City
Old Timer in Nevada City
Empire Mine in Reflection
Empire Mine in Reflection
The Bourne Cottage at the Empire MIne
The Bourne Cottage at the Empire MIne
Bourne Cottage, Empire Mine
Bourne Cottage, Empire Mine
Mine Shaft, Empire Mine
Mine Shaft, Empire Mine
Blacksmith's Forge Fire, Empire Mine
Blacksmith's Forge Fire, Empire Mine
Rivet Covers, Empire Mine
Rivet Covers, Empire Mine
Roofs at trhe Empire Mine
Roofs at trhe Empire Mine
Old Gas Pump, Empire Mine
Old Gas Pump, Empire Mine
Unnamed Creek Near Edwards Crossing Bridge
Unnamed Creek Near Edwards Crossing Bridge
Edwards Crossing Bridge Over the South Fork of the Yuba River
Edwards Crossing Bridge Over the South Fork of the Yuba River
Richard Explores the Edge of the Yuba River
Richard Explores the Edge of the Yuba River
We Meet New Friends
We Meet New Friends
At Malakoff Diggins State Park
At Malakoff Diggins State Park
A Monitor (Water Canon) at Malikoff Diggings State Park
A Monitor (Water Canon) at Malikoff Diggings State Park
Cherokee Hydraulic Mining Site
Cherokee Hydraulic Mining Site
Downieville, California
Downieville, California
Motorcyclist in Downieville
Motorcyclist in Downieville
Motorcyclists in Downieville
Motorcyclists in Downieville
The Office of the Sixteen to One Mine, Downieville
The Office of the Sixteen to One Mine, Downieville
Bridge over the Yuba River, Downieville
Bridge over the Yuba River, Downieville
Lampshade, Sierra City
Lampshade, Sierra City
Camera Collection, Taylorsville Museum
Camera Collection, Taylorsville Museum
Dandelions and Barn, Taylorsville, California
Dandelions and Barn, Taylorsville, California
Girl and her Lamb, Taylorsville
Girl and her Lamb, Taylorsville
At the Handly Ranch, Taylorsville
At the Handly Ranch, Taylorsville
The Auto and Train Bridges at Pulga, Along the Feather River Canyon
The Auto and Train Bridges at Pulga, Along the Feather River Canyon
Old Building, Pulga
Old Building, Pulga
Old Building at Pulga
Old Building at Pulga
Falling-Down Building, Pulga
Falling-Down Building, Pulga
Fireweed at Pulga
Fireweed at Pulga
Leaf and Walkway, Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park
Leaf and Walkway, Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park
Bidwell Mansion, Reflected in a Puddle of Rain
Bidwell Mansion, Reflected in a Puddle of Rain
Almonds in Jar, Bidwell Mansion
Almonds in Jar, Bidwell Mansion
Piano - Bidwell Mansion
Piano - Bidwell Mansion
Detail of Table Decoration, Bidwell Mansion
Detail of Table Decoration, Bidwell Mansion
Annie Bidwell's Egg Beater
Annie Bidwell's Egg Beater
Washing Board, Bidwell Mansion
Washing Board, Bidwell Mansion
Detail, Wall Lamp Fixture, Bidwell Mansion
Detail, Wall Lamp Fixture, Bidwell Mansion
Bidwell Mansion in the Reflection of Our Van Window
Bidwell Mansion in the Reflection of Our Van Window
Rose, Chico State Campus
Rose, Chico State Campus
Wet Rose at Chico State
Wet Rose at Chico State
My Reflection at the Sierra Nevada Brewery
My Reflection at the Sierra Nevada Brewery
Self Portrait, Sierra Nevada Brewery
Self Portrait, Sierra Nevada Brewery
Honey Run Road Covered Bridge
Honey Run Road Covered Bridge
Cherokee - Former Gold Rush Town
Cherokee - Former Gold Rush Town
Oregon City Covered Bridge
Oregon City Covered Bridge
Creek and Wildflowers, Oregon City
Creek and Wildflowers, Oregon City
Field of Lupines, Table Mountain (Above the Town of Oroville)
Field of Lupines, Table Mountain (Above the Town of Oroville)
Steve at the Honey Run Covered Bridge
Steve at the Honey Run Covered Bridge
Bidwell Park Ranger Shane Romane
Bidwell Park Ranger Shane Romane
Wildflower in Bloom, Upper Bidwell Park
Wildflower in Bloom, Upper Bidwell Park
Wildflowers in Upper Bidwell Park
Wildflowers in Upper Bidwell Park
Chuck Photographs BIg Chico Creek Canyon
Chuck Photographs BIg Chico Creek Canyon
Overlooking Upper Bidwell Park
Overlooking Upper Bidwell Park
There is Still Gold in Gold Rush Country
There is Still Gold in Gold Rush Country