After moving to Downieville in May, 2019 for a summer position, we absolutely fell in love with the area and knew that we were meant to live here. We quickly learned that this canyon has much more to offer than one summer’s worth of exploration…it would take decades to explore all of its wonders and historical secrets.
When we became members of the Lure team in August, 2019, we solidified the fact that we would be living in Downieville year-round. Many warned us about the intense, dark, and lonely winters in this canyon, however most of the locals said we would be just fine as long as we enjoy the quiet. Coming from New Jersey, weren’t afraid of the weather since we were used to 50+ mph winds regularly and snow and rain would commonly fall sideways for days creating state of emergency conditions. We also really enjoy each other’s company which we have been told many times is very important here!
We were well-prepared this winter season thanks to the work that everyone put in last year (thank you Kurt, Evan, etc.!). So much so that we decided to stay open for the winter for anyone wanting to enjoy the Sierra winter wonderland. Our first snow storm was over Thanksgiving when we had a full campground with a foot and a half of snow and we felt perfectly comfortable despite losing power before the holiday. The snow blower and ATV with a plow attached to the front have done a great job clearing the property and the drainage ditches have held up well from last year. Winter is project season, so we have been busy working on interior and exterior projects on the property to prepare it for next summer and many more years to come. From removing an old barn and fencing to repainting and deep cleaning cabins, we are elated with every step we take towards the future of the Lure.
Our biggest annoyance this winter has been the power outages. Fire season brought Public Safety Power Shutoffs by PG&E and we were some of the last customers to have our power turned back on due to our remote location. Snow/rain has caused a few more outages but it luckily hasn’t affected our ability to run the resort. Our cabins have propane fireplaces and stoves so guests are able to cook and stay warm, and we are hoping to have a generator power the whole property in the near future. We appreciate everyone who has embraced the outages by getting outside more, playing cards, hanging by the campfire, etc…it is important to totally disconnect at least every once in a while!
Experiencing the change of the seasons in Downieville is something incredibly special. The end of a bustling summer brings an initial lull to the community when most vacationers have children back in school and only visit on the weekends. The deciduous leaves start to turn and the bicycle community hangs around until after the first rain and snow starts to fall on higher elevations. Then suddenly all that’s left are the ones who call this small town home. Everyone takes a deep breath and begins planning for next summer. Coming from the Jersey Shore we are used to this flux, but in our opinion, Downieville should have a lot more people here in the wintertime. There is so much exploring to offer here year-round and we are so happy to keep the Lure open for those who want to enjoy the off-season fun. The residents of Downieville have opened their hearts to us and we couldn’t feel more at home during these quiet months. The winter here highlights the importance of community and encourages you to appreciate the small things in life, which is exactly what we’ve been looking for in a hometown.
At this point, our only wish is that we had more snow. If it’s anything like last year I’m sure we won’t be feeling the same in a few months, but nearly all of our guests this winter have wanted to see snow on the property and we are prepared for it. We are happy for the mild winter because it means more traffic through the area and less unsafe driving conditions, but a dusting every now and then to make the place look like a snow globe would be sweet!
Kelly & Nick