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.
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!
Multiple double rainbows graced the Coloma Valley over this past weekend. Double rainbows are not only beautiful but also have significant meaning.
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.
Coloma and Lotus are stretching their arms and coming alive after it’s annual winter slumber from November to March. Around mid-March the town starts to pick up the pace and by mid-April most seasonal business doors have opened and there is a buzz about town. Now is the best time to make a day or weekend trip with spring wildflowers covering the hillsides, the painting below shows a vision of the orange glow of poppies. Taste and see what the Coloma Valley has to offer and scout out a great campsite or luxury retreat, make reservations and visit again in the heart of summer.
Speaking of buzz…the Coloma Valley would like to welcome Will and Erica from The Bear & The Bee Farm. They are an independently-owned, small-scale organic farm located on Cold Springs Road on the historic Wakamatsu Farm. They grow over fifty varieties of certified organic fruits and vegetables and collect raw honey from their honeybee companions. They work hard to grow the most nutritionally-dense produce possible, while utilizing the most environmentally-friendly practices possible. You can find their products at their on-site farm stand, as well as through local farmers’ markets, natural grocers, and restaurants. Find more information the business directory.
An early Easter in 2016 marked an early kick-off to a great 2016 whitewater season. Coloma Valley has a lot going on during the off-season with restaurants, wineries and fun Marshall Gold Discovery Historic State Park celebrations but the first weekend in April historically kicks off the whitewater season with a large gathering benefiting American Whitewater at California Canoe and Kayak in beautiful downtown Lotus. This years event proved to be a success coupled with gorgeous weather!
Local residents begin to see a noticeable increase in traffic and on the streets and on the river this time of year. With this increased traffic brings increased activities provided by local businesses for your enjoyment. To keep up with all the wonderful activities for ages 1 to 100 follow this blog which posts weekly beginning in April through the beginning of October. See you around town!
The Sierra Foothills is the birthplace of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival hosted each year in January in Nevada City and Grass Valley. This film festival draws thousands of visitors and brings inspiring films to our region. In addition to this wonderful film festival, put on by South Yuba River Citizens League SYRCL (pronounced Circle) they offer a National On-Tour program. Coloma’s beloved non-profit for over 25 years, The American River Conservancy (ARC) secured a Patagonia Grant and with sponsorships from the Coloma-Lotus Chamber of Commerce, Gold Trail Grange #452 in Coloma, Everhart Cellars/Hart 2 Hart Vineyards and the Board President at ARC to bring 150 minutes of selected 2015 films to Coloma on Saturday January 30th and Sunday January 31st 2016 from noon-8pm each day. Please join our community in this 2nd annual event featuring an Ag in the Classroom kids films from local film-maker Jonah Matthewson, updates and forums on community projects, live local musicians, learn more about ARC partnerships with Trout Unlimited, Cosumnes Culture and Waterways, Ag in the Classroom, Sierra Nevada Alliance and more. Enjoy local wine from Everhart Cellars, Sierra Nevada Beer and food on-site from Home on the Grange Café or visit Lotus and Coloma eateries listed in our business directory. Visit www.arconservancy.org/wildandscenic for the schedule, films and to purchase tickets. Tickets may be purchased at the door based on availability.
This past week was a devastating blow to the Coloma-Lotus community with the loss by fire of the Sierra Nevada House. Fire may be able to destroy a structure but not the community in which it resides. There has been amazing outpouring of love and support for the SNH owners and employees. Join the efforts to help employees by attending a fantastic and fun New Years Eve benefit at the Coloma Grange. Click on the painting of the Sierrra Nevada House for details. If you are unable to attend the event you can purchase raffle tickets (need not be present to win) online or you can purchase raffle tickets locally at:
- Gold Rush Mercantile in Marshall Gold Discovery SHP
- Sierra Rizing Bakery in Lotus
- California Canoe & Kayak (CCK) in Rancho Cordova
- Take a Bite Deli inside the Chevron Gas Station in Lotus
- Argonaut Cafe in Marshall Gold Discovery SHP
You can purchase raffle tickets and make donations online at coloma.com/snh-benefit.
Note: All credit card fees are being donated, and all work for the benefit is being donated, so 100% of your contributions will go directly to SNH employees.
James Marshall’s cabin, Coloma, California
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you’ve probably seen REI’s new campaign #optoutside The Coloma Valley embraces this wholeheartedly. Here’s an idea, pack up your gear on Friday morning and #optoutside in Coloma. From Cronan Ranch and Magnolia Ranch for hiking, biking and horse-riding to a more leisurely stroll in the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park for the annual Holiday Houses Tour there is something for everyone. An even better idea is to stay at one of the many locations in Coloma from tent camping, bed and breakfasts and VRBO’s for the whole family! Spend your Saturday and #shoplocal at one the many fine retailers from winery boutiques, local hidden gems and the annual Coloma Grange Holiday Market with local handmade treasures. If shopping doesn’t suit your fancy spend another day outside. If you can brave the cold waters there are still guaranteed releases on the South Fork American River on saturdays!
Coloma has begun to downshift into the “slower” whitewater weekend mode but there are plenty of reasons to jump in your car after work Friday and enjoy the weekend at the river with guaranteed water flows Saturdays and Sundays after Labor Day. Coloma has a variety of places to stay from elegant bed and breakfasts to camping on the river and places for a 5 star dining experience to grabbing a burrito on the go. Join river lovers September 12th and 13th for the beloved Friends of the River Annual Gear Swap The next weekend Saturday the 19th partner with the American River Conservancy for the Great Sierra River Clean-up. After the River Clean-up head over the American River Music Festival September 19th-20th.
The downshift in the whitewater season means that the grape harvest in the valley is in full swing. Now is the time to check out the vineyards and wineries as they are bringing in grapes daily. The equipment is in full use and the smell of fermenting grapes is intoxicating. If you’re lucky, you can stop by one of the wineries and catch them in “crush” mode and you might get a chance to be part of the process. Cheers!
Click to read “Five Ways To White-Water In Coloma” article from SacTown Magazine
Summer is in full swing in Coloma. The bumper to bumper traffic on the river is the kind of traffic we enjoy around here. SacTown Magazine featured a great article “Five Ways to Whitewater in Coloma” The whitewater business is a mainstay in the Coloma Valley and is still providing excellent fun for all ages. The photo on the left was from a decade ago, proof that rafting rides the waves of time.
Harvest is also just around the corner. Wineries are not new to the region, however repeat visitors to the region are seeing more and more vineyards and wineries pop up as they travel the famous Highway 49 and its hidden roads leading to award winning wine. The wineries provide fun for visitors during the whitewater season and after. Mark your calendar and book a great B&B or riverfront campground and enjoy some river fun. Also squeeze in some visits to the local restaurants, ranging from casual to elegant and many featuring local musical talent. Be on the lookout for new blog updates every couple of weeks to keep up with Coloma News!