This updated, live-action re-creation of life and conditions in early America includes maps and period graphics to give the geographical and historical importance of placer gold in United States history. Following the Lewis and Clark Expedition and subsequent explorations by the mountain men, the nation extended to the Pacific coast. The discovery of gold in 1848 led to the Gold Rush of 1849 and drew tens of thousands to what would become the state of California. Gold that has weathered free from the rock and lies loose among the dirt and gravel of river beds is known as placer gold. The process for mining this gold with pan, rocker, and sluice box is explained. The search for gold and wealth led to the rapid settlement of the west and left an enduring legacy in American history and culture.