Day-to-day living in the camp started with beans with

Day-to-day living in the camp started with beans with salt pork, bread, and coffee. How good it smelled in the open air! Lunch was quick as to not take away time from work. Supper was about the same as breakfast, with maybe deer meat or fish. Cooking was basic because hunting for gold was more important.  Food supplies came by wagon trains or muleback. This was expensive way to bring goods. Cash or gold dust had to be paid at once. “Come down with the dust,” was the rule. A pinch of gold was $1, an ounce was $16, a small glass was $100 and a large glass $1000. Merchants were known to cheat miners, by weighing short or charging too much. They often made the most money.   There was little to no shelter for the miners. Most men lived outside or in tents. Because there was no rain from May to October, and they didn’t stay in one spot for very long, they didn’t need it. They slept easily on a mountainside or a little canyon. Bears and coyotes were all around, but they were too tired to fear them. Some miners told stories around the campfire.    Sunday was their day of rest. Not from all work, just from the mines. Few women were at the camps so men had to take care of their clothes and food. It was a day for washing, mending,making next week’s bread, fixing tools and boots. Wood had to be chopped too.    Camp stores opened at 10 o’clock on Sundays. Food for the week had to be bought. Some went to the nearest town for entertainment. Some miners went to gamble at horse races and dog fights. For those too lazy to hunt for their own gold, they would try to win the miners’ gold away from them. “Step up, step right up, here’s a game you’ll win every time!” Some people won, but most miners came away with little or nothing.       As you can see, life in the Gold Rush years was tiring and risky. It is clear that, the miners had to be smart with the merchants, work long hours hunting for gold, and careful not to lose their gold to gambling. Without a doubt, it was dangerous. Clearly, it was not easy. Certainly, it was an uncertain way to make a living.