It’s Still Summer

California whitewater rafting on the American River

Don’t let kids heading back to school fool you…it is still summer in the Coloma Valley!  The Whitewater Industry is still hopping with boats that are filled with people enjoying the water in the triple digit weather.  Enjoying the water whether in a boat, float, wading or just enjoying the scenery is fun for everyone.  While you are in town to cool down, make sure and stop to check out Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, MGDSHP, which is gearing up for the World Gold Panning Championship held at the Placerville September 11-18th.  Although the actual competition takes place at the fairgrounds in Placerville, you can be sure that the site in Coloma where gold was first discovered and triggered the Gold Rush will be a hotbed of activity.  Once you visit the Sutters Mill monument in the State Park, stop by one of the wineries, another hotbed of activity as Crush is beginning and you may catch the winemakers in action harvesting grapes.  Agriculture is the Coloma Valleys true Gold and new on the block, the American River Wine and Ag Trail is telling that history.  In a new partnership with the Gold Discovery Park Association, GDPA and the  MGDSHP, there will be an inaugural long table farm dinner on October 1st 2016 in front the newly redesigned Sutters Mill replica overlooking the South Fork American River.  Join in on the Golden Harvest for a 5 course meal with local products and wine.

gold panning at Marshall Park in Coloma

Coloma Valley Ag…the other gold in the hills

While Coloma is known for it’s history of Gold Discovery and that is a significant and defining period of history for this magnificent region, agriculture has been a constant presence and is the Coloma Valley’s true gold.  Yes, the Gold Rush brought a plethora of people to the region and along with that brought an increased need for farming, but as gold discovery waned, agriculture boomed.

nate farmer

Future 2nd Generation Farmer on the Old Tractor at the Wakamatsu Community Farm

Agriculture: the practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.  That is what the Coloma Valley has embodied for more than a century.  Whether you are a fifth generation farmer or a first generation farmer there is a place for ag of all types. On any given day you can drive the figure 8 loop starting at Lotus and Gold Hill Road and find honor system roadside stands with sunflowers, tomatoes, blackberries, peaches, cucumbers and so much more.  Come take a drive on parts of the historic Highway 49 and taste the bounty of the region.

Family Floats

Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream.  This is the song my 4 year old son sang as he rowed with his dad on a Fathers Day private trip from Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park North Beach Put-In to the beautiful Camp Lotus Take Out.  This 3 mile stretch of mild class II rapids (can you even call it a rapid, I’m not sure) was enough to let our kids get “splashed” and enjoy a day on the river.

California whitewater rafting on the American River

The South Fork American River is one of the most popular rafting destinations in the West and that includes kids.  Whether you are a private group or choose from one of many family friendly commercial floats in rafts and inflatable kayaks (IK’s) there is fun to be had by all ages.   As we floated along we ran into neighbors, friendly faces and lots of “out of towners”.

IMG_5091

Did you know that you can purchase an annual pass at these favorite put-in’s and take-outs? State Park, Hennigson-Lotus Park (If you go more than twice in a year you pay for your pass) and Camp Lotus.  These parks can not only be used for put-ins and take-outs but for all types of activities. This is a small price to pay for big fun!  If you don’t know the in’s and out’s of a private trip, contact one of many family friendly commercial whitewater companies.  Look in the business directory listings for companies offering trips for all ages.  See you on the river!

30 degrees

The recurring theme this year for the Coloma Valley has been unpredictable and unusual weather patterns.  Based on the upcoming weather forecast there will be a 30 degree temperature difference between Wednesday 15th and Wednesday the 22nd.  Almost unbelievable difference, 71 degrees as the high in mid-June, we’ll take it!  Make your plans this week to come and enjoy the cooler weather.  With cooler temperatures on the horizon it s a great time to hike the many trails, from novice to advanced.  After a great hike, enjoy the nice weather and stop by one of many local restaurants with outdoor seating and grab a bite to eat.   After Fathers Day its 100+ degrees all week, get online and book your whitewater trip for the triple digit weather now!  Or visit one of the wineries and cool off in the cellar!  Take your pick or do both.  See you around town.

hiking through spring poppies on the American River

Welcome Summer

DSC_3506

Wine taste and Farm hop in this historical agricultural district

Memorial weekend has come and gone and welcomed summer in the Coloma Valley.  Soaring temperatures over the coming weeks beckons locals and visitors to all forks of the American River.  Memorial weekend is  historically a kickoff to the “busy season”  for the whitewater industry, particularly the South Fork American River, one of the most heavily rafted sections of river in the West.

California whitewater rafting on the American River

Not just the whitewater industry is busy, the whole community is too.  Those enjoying the communities beloved river need to eat and recreate.  After getting off the river grab a bite at one of many local eateries, from quick and easy take out to fine dining there is something for everyone.  While you wait for your whitewater photos grab a treat and take a hike on one of the many trails along Highway 49.  Love wine and food, stop by one of the local wineries or farms to take home goodies  to enjoy.  The Coloma Valley has something for everyone.

fresh salad at Café Mahjaic

Enjoy scrumptious food

 

 

 

 

Rain or Shine…Now open!

South Fork American River from Bassi Road

Rain in Mid-May we haven’t seen this in years!


This weekend the Coloma Valley was full of rain and thunderstorms but that didn’t slow the flow of traffic to enjoy all the area has to offer.  The Coloma Valley has several new food venues that have opened in the past week or will be opening soon to the public.  The forecast is low 80s with sunny skies this upcoming weekend so it’s a great opportunity to visit these gems.  Take advantage of the perfect weather and visit Sierra Rizing, a long time local favorite for coffee, pastries and great lunches.  Sierra Rizing  is now open for dinner on the weekends.  The Bear and the Bee made their debut on Saturday with amazing organic produce, open currently on Saturdays and will increase days as produce kicks into action.  Squallys on the River, although there isn’t a set date for opening the outdoor area is shaping up and looks like the kickoff will be soon.  Each venue has something different to offer so hit up all three and enjoy!

Fun Runs

Are you an outdoor Enthusiast?  The Coloma Valley has two fun runs this weekend May 14th and 15th for both the expert and the novice.  The first run is for the experts and puts you on the water.  Slab Creek, a class IV+ scheduled water release kayak run has the last of its three weekend scheduled releases for 2016 on Saturday and Sunday.  Please visit colomashuttle.com for your shuttle needs.

kayaker competing at American River Festival

The next fun run actually involves running and has something for both the novice and the expert.  Coloma River Races and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) have teamed up to offer a challenging and unique trail race experience. Check out this hidden gem as you explore adventurous terrain and breathtaking views, all in Sacramento’s backyard.

 Whether you’re looking to introduce your family to trail racing or an experienced trail runner seeking a challenge, this race offers distances for all levels of runners (and walkers). The Coloma River Run is a 5K, 10K and 10-mile race that starts in the Magnolia Ranch Trail Head parking lot across from Everhart Cellars/Hart 2 Hart Vineyards. All three races start at 8AM and head West for about a quarter of a mile. The 5K turns left and follows the Gerly Loop with glimpses of the South Fork before it wraps back around to the finish line. While the 10K and 10Mile races head up the connector trail after crossing two small creeks. After climbing the connector trail the race hits the down and up, both distances ascend the down and up trail with a 22% grade. These distances are mapped out on a beautiful but challenging course. After taking several trails with views of the river the runners wrap around Cronan Ranch and come back onto the connector trail to the finish line.

Come join us for a run!

Fantastic Storms

Toto, were not in Kansas anymore!  If you live in the Coloma Valley or visited this past week you were treated to several beautiful lightening shows.

lightning

Torrential rains, hail, thunder and lightening have graced the Coloma Valley over the past couple weeks bringing to life the saying that April Showers bring May flowers.  After many drought years the rain is a welcome visitor.  The South Fork American River, the lifeblood of the Coloma Valley and it’s commerce, is reaping the benefits of this gift of water.  Come and enjoy!

Double Rainbows

Multiple double rainbows graced the Coloma Valley over this past weekend.  Double rainbows are not only beautiful but also have significant meaning.

double rainbow

Photo Credit: GTUSD PTO Fundraiser at Everhart Cellars/Hart 2 Hart Vineyards

A double rainbow is considered a symbol of transformation and is a sign of good fortune in eastern cultures. The first arc represents the material world, and the second arc signifies the spiritual realm. A double rainbow forms due to an optical illusion when sunlight enters a raindrop and creates two internal reflections before the rays exit the droplet.

According to ask.com, in a single rainbow, sunlight spreads into a spectrum of colors from red to violet. But in a double rainbow, the colors are inverted, with red appearing on the inside and violet on the outside. According to Chinese mythology, red represents the feet, and violet symbolizes the head. Therefore, a single rainbow signifies a human descending from heaven to earth. A double rainbow, due to its reversal of colors, represents the movement from earth to heaven and is considered to be a sign of future success. Rainbows are used symbolically in mythology, religion and the arts. It is said that the Irish leprechaun hid his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and in Genesis 9, a rainbow is part of Noah’s story in which God promises never to create another destructive global flood. Rainbow flags have been used to symbolize hope and social change and are a symbol of gay pride.

Despite differences in opinion as to what the double rainbow means, we can all say that is truly a remarkable experience to view such splendor.