I chose this episode of California’s Gold in honor of the people of Paradise and Magalia, towns which have been devastated by a fast-moving wildfire that started near Camp Creek Road last Thursday. The town of Paradise is said to be 80% destroyed, and many people lost their lives in the first few chaotic hours of evacuation. I wanted to share a look at the “normal” side of life in these small towns; although most of Huell’s visit focuses on the history of a famous gold nugget, I really love seeing the spirit of the people as they enjoy the festivities of Gold Nugget Days and take pride in their community. If you would like to help the fire victims, please consider a donation through the Salvation Army, who are doing wonderful work in the area.
Huell and cameraman Luis Fuerte travel to the town of Paradise, just down the road from Dogtown in Butte County, for the annual Gold Nugget Days Celebration, complete with a parade and all sorts of community festivities. The local citizens also take him to the actual area where the huge nugget was found – an area where modern-day miners are still searching for gold. There’s also an E Clampus Vitus Donkey Derby and a visit to the Gold Nugget Museum included in this adventure. An adventure in search of an honest-to-goodness big piece of California’s Gold.