Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fishing and gem mining at Grandfather's

This past weekend we took a 3 1/2 hour drive to Blowing Rock, NC. While back at home temperatures were climbing to over 100 degrees, we were enjoying the comfortable mountain weather in the 80's.

On our first full day in the mountains, we drove to Grandfather's Trout Fishing farm where the kids were able to check out the trout fishing and also pan for gems.

We purchased a bucket of rocks that the kids shared. After scooping out a few rocks and placing them in your rock panning screen, you can wash them off in the water and try and identify small pieces of gems.

We were able to find rubies, quartz, emeralds, etc. which the kids then placed in their own bags. They did have a gem specialist on site who identified a number of the rocks for us and explained that for a mere $40-$50 he could smooth the stone out so that it could be set in a jewelry setting at a later date. We opted out of spending more money at that point.

While the girls played in a hilly and grown over miniature golf area, Michael and Ryan got busy with the trout fishing.

After several failed attempts using corn as bait, Michael switched to worms and it made all the difference in the world. It didn't take long before he snagged a trout and Ryan got in the action netting the fish and dragging it to shore.

The girls took turns baby sitting the fish. They enjoyed just watching the fish in the bucket. After catch number 2, we decided to call it a day.

The trout farm supplied all fishing supplies for free - fishing poles, bait, net, bucket, etc. - and you only pay for what you catch. They quickly filleted the two rainbow trout for us and put them on ice.

We brought the fish home after vacation on ice and grilled them for dinner last night. Both Michael and I agreed - they were delicious. Of course the girls were a little confused about the fish we were eating, however, both of them tasted the fish and seemed to like it.

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