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Lunch at Rainbow Lodge
(Pictures taken and posted January 3, 2004)
2004  Herbert E. Lindberg

It's been raining off and on  in Lake Wildwood (mostly on) and snowing in the northern Sierras since before Christmas. Yesterday we had a break between storms, with no rain but no sun, either. Today we awoke to a beautiful sunny day. I rolled over in bed to look across the lake and the hillside was bright with sun. I immediately thought to myself, "This is the day. Everything is many feet deep with snow in the Sierras and the road crews have had two days to clear the roads. Let's drive up to Rainbow Lodge to see the snow and have a late Sunday brunch."

Because we've been fooled by the weather almost daily for the past two weeks, I kept my thoughts to myself as Mary and I had a light breakfast. By 10 o'clock it was clear the sun was out to stay so I shared my Rainbow Lodge thought with Mary. She said it was either that or drive to Yuba City to stock up at Sam's club. Not much of a decision there to my way of thinking. Mary went for a morning constitutional around the Warbler loop while I finished printing two weeks of email for her (one computer nut in the family is our quota -- Mary doesn't even want to read from a screen) and put a few things into the car for the trip.

We were on our way at noon and at the Lodge by 1 p.m. The drive up Route 20 out of Nevada City was indescribably beautiful. The trees were still completely covered in snow from top to bottom. The growing height of the snow banks along the road as we ascended to Route 80 were still white and gleaming and the snow plow cuts square and true. As we neared Route 80 snow capped mountains with dark blue sky above them appeared straight down Route 20. Life was good and we're blessed to live so close to heaven. Soon we were at the Lodge.

The snow around Rainbow Lodge was piled up to the second story windows.

We tried to eat lightly, but that's not possible with the inviting menu at the lodge. We both gravitated to French toast with ham and lots of hot coffee, mine with cream and sugar. They also had grilled salmon, which tempted me sorely. Then we walked outside and explored along the side of the lodge where their cabins are located. We took a few pictures there and then walked back to the road in front of the Lodge and out onto a bridge over the Yuba River.

This is me (Herb) standing near an almost-buried two-story cabin.

Partial view from the bridge looking back toward the cabin pictured above (at extreme right here).
The mound of snow in the foreground completely covers a structure whose tall chimney protrudes.

Rocks in the river on the other side of the bridge were also piled high with snow.

Mary is dwarfed by the snow
on the opposite side of the road from the Lodge.

Mary's smile says it all.

We walked past the Lodge again on our way back to our car.

The drive home was difficult into the setting sun, but it didn't matter because we were sated with good food and the beautiful mountain snow. We certainly recommend this as a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon (or day or week, if you bring along your skis). You can find more information about the Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort and Rainbow Lodge at Soda Springs by calling Toll Free: 800-500-3871  Phone: 530-426-3871, or visiting their Web site Royalgorge. 

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