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.
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”.
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!
Wine taste and Farm hop in this historic 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.
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.
Enjoy scrumptious food
This year three weekends of scheduled releases on the Slab Creek Run provided excellent fun for boaters looking for a little more action than the South Fork has to offer. With the Slab Creek Run closed for the 2016 season there are two scheduled releases for Ice House for the weekends of June 18th and 19th and June 25th and 26th. Get in on the action and check out the Coloma Shuttle for more details and to reserve your seat!
The Slab Creek and Ice House runs are recommended for boaters with a strong class IV+ boating skills. When running these sections you should always boat with other class IV+ boaters. Remember safety first and boat within your skill set.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
This continuous week of rain is an unexpected present to those who like to be on the river, rain or shine. Enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with friends and family and then head to river on Saturday for whitewater fun. Forecasts are calling for rain all week and a nice weekend to follow. Whether you are an adventure junkie or just love nature, the South Fork American river in the winter, as pictured above, is dramatic and beautiful. A hike at the family friendly one mile loop Dave Moore Nature Area is lush and beautiful after rain with amazing mushrooms to observe around every corner.
September’s heat wave has us all heading straight to the river! At least the rivers that have water, the South Fork American River has guaranteed flows Saturday and Sundays after Labor Day and Saturdays beginning in October. Gather your river gear or call your favorite outfitter and get on the water. After you are off the river stop by your favorite eatery or winery for delicious food and drink. There are several activities in and on the river in September. Saturday September 12th and 13th join Friends of the River for the annual Gear Swap at Henningsen-Lotus Park. Saturday September 19th partner with the American River Conservancy for the Great Sierra River Clean up. September 19th and 20th enjoy the Annual American River Music Festival.
The Placer County Water Agency (PWCA) plans to release boatable flows from Oxbow Reservoir at least on Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. There will likely be some weekday releases as well, but further details won’t be available at least until May.
Between now and May 23 (Saturday of Memorial Day weekend), we are looking at maintenance flows only, which are currently 200 cfs.
Thanks to Nate Rangel, head of rafting outfitter Adventure Connection, for providing this information. It came from a meeting that PCWA held this week with Nate and two other outfitters, plus a representative from California State Parks.