My Fourth Grade Trip to Columbia

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Hi, Y'all! Macaria here to give you a story. This isn't fiction because this is real. Really real. To continue, just read the intro.

Submitted: November 09, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 09, 2017



Hi, Y'all! Macaria here to give you a story. This isn't fiction because this is real. Really real. What is written is an essay I wrote, so yeah. I can't believe I found this essay just stacked up, so I decided to let Y'all see it. Go on, read!


My Columbia Trip

By Jillian Walker


On April 12, 2016, I went on a field trip to Columbia, the last working gold rush boom town in California. First, I woke up at 5:00. I was very excited, sleepy, and rushed to school. My mom was a chaperone for the class. At about 6:15, everyone arrived at school, more cheerful than ever. After waiting for a few minutes, the giant bus doors opened, and we hopped on to find our seats. Anica was my bus buddy, and we worked on the first activity in our field trip packet. We all had so much fun on the bus, we laughed, we watched a movie, and we worked on mad libs stories to make them gross and funny. During the ride, we had delicious snacks such as yogurt and muffins. The ride was about 3 hours long.


Finally, we arrived at Columbia! First, we went to the bathroom. The bathroom was very shiny, and there wasn’t any dirt on the floor! When everyone finished using the bathroom, Mrs Shaw told us to go hike on a trail that was in between trees. There were lots of mossy rocks and blooming plants and flowers. As we went farther up, we saw a hill we had to climb. When we reached the top, most of us fourth graders had not run out of breath. The parents surely ran out of it. On top of the hill was a church, not just any church, Saint Anne’s Church.


The church was very simple. It had a few statues, and the church has only one source of heat. Saint Anne’s Church was very different from Saint Edward’s Church because the windows have only the colours of the liturgical year, red, purple, green, and gold, while Saint Edward’s windows have pictures of saints. While we were at the church, we learned about its history. At the end, we had a chance to ring the heavy church bell! Next, we went to the town of Columbia and met Ranger Debbie Fitzgerald. She gave us a tour of Columbia and told us a bit of its history. After the awesome tour, we went to the schoolhouse. It was a very long hike up the tall hill. This part was my favourite part of the field trip: We met a man who we called schoolmaster. He called all of us Jack. He told us about a man named John Walker. John Walker was a man who found out about gold being found in the American River. We then went inside the schoolhouse and we became the students of the past for about 40 minutes. The schoolmaster had a bad temper, and he was a tiny bit mean, but I still liked him.


After learning about the schoolhouse history, we climbed down the hill and went back into the boom town. My class went to the Jack Douglass Saloon for lunch. I had a yummy peanut butter and jelly sandwich and tried Sasparilla. Sasparilla is a drink that the miners drank during the gold rush. It tasted a bit minty when I first drank it. The lunch seemed like it was transporting me to 1849, especially with the Sasparilla and the piano music. When everyone was finished with the amazing meal, we went to the blacksmith. I smelled the fire’s smoke when we were in the blacksmith’s workshop. We all learned about the history of the blacksmith, and how the blacksmith can make a horseshoe into a heart. The blacksmith gave us a gift of horseshoes with our names on it! Next, the teacher divided us into two groups, one group went to go dip candles and the other got to ride a carriage. When I rode the carriage, we had to stop because a bandit came and tried to rob us, but I knew he was fake. The reason I know is that he said: “I’ll get ya next time then.” It was fun hearing the horses’ hooves galloping.  After the carriage ride, the 2 groups switched. During candle dipping, I chose the heart candle and mixed colours. I was finished early, so my mom took me to the candy store and the ice cream store. At the candy store, I got Swedish fish and my mom got my sister a giant chocolate coin. I got cookies and cream flavoured ice cream at the ice cream parlour too!


Soon, the group that was riding came, and we were lined up shortest to tallest for the old-fashioned picture. We all dressed up in costumes, and time travelled to the past. When we finished the picture, we took off our costumes and … we panned for gold! A man taught us all the steps of gold panning. Then, he gave us a quiz to make sure we knew what to do. I couldn’t find one gold nugget, even with my mom’s help. Suddenly, my mom went to the gift shop. I didn’t notice since I was panning for gold. After a few minutes, panning for gold time was over. I ran to the gift shop to buy a few memories, like rocks in a bottle. Later, I was finished with buying items, so I ran to my waiting mom at the dusty road. She showed me what she bought. It was a necklace, with a bottle of real gold tied around it. Then, we ran to the bathrooms before we got onto the bus. We gave the bus driver, Tony, a good greeting when we hopped on.


 By about 5:00, some of us were tired, some of us were restless, but all of us were hungry. So we stopped at Round Table! We had so many pizzas and they were so good. When some of us were finished, we got some prizes. I got two earpieces and a pair of stick-on earrings. Then, we were on our way back to school. We watched the hilarious movie Minions during the ride. By about 7:30, we got back at school. The sky looked exactly like how the sky looked like during the last time we were at school. Before we left, my teacher gave us a bottle of 24-carat gold. We all thanked her and we got into our cars and rode home.


 My experience of going to Columbia was very exciting and educational. I hope I can return to that place. I can imagine my family and I enjoying Columbia. Columbia is a place that can take you back in time to the gold rush time, 1848-1855. This is a place for many people to learn about the gold rush and to feel like you are at that time.


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