Don’t forget that Motherlode does have a camp store! For all of you off river / on river needs and accessories.
Forget some sunscreen or chums (aka those spiffy things that keep the river gods from obtaining your sunglasses)? Need a cap to keep that sun off your youthful, beautiful face? Fret no more! At the Motherlode camp store, we shall provide!
So Next time you come to visit us, don’t forget to ask our staff about our stylish hats and T-shirts that you want to obtain and show off in front of your friends and family. They are in fact, all the rage!
How can we preserve the beauty of our county? How can we salvage our limping economy? How can we encourage responsible and creative stewardship of our natural resources? On July 15th, Mother Lode welcomed business owners, community planners and concerned citizens to discuss these questions in a workshop on geo-tourism. The workshop was facilitated by Peter Brumis of Geo Sierra and other experts on geo-tourism from the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce.
According to National Geographic, geo-tourism is tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place – its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and well-being of its residents. All over the world, unchecked tourism stimulates economies while overwhelming, polluting or otherwise compromising the integrity of locale after locale. Geo-tourism aims to buck this trend by incorporating stewardship of resources into the visitor’s experience. The income that tourism generates may then be re-invested into the preservation of the place and the sustenance of the community.
The workshop organizers praised Mother Lode as a prime example of a geo-tourism destination. Our vision for “healthy people, living in equitable and sustainable societies, in balance with the natural world” aligns with the principles of geo-tourism. Our sustainable practices – from our solar heating systems to our waste vegetable oil vehicles to our permaculture garden – not only reduce our guests’ environmental footprints while they are here, but also serve as models for them to replicate at home.
During the workshop, we all had a chance to brainstorm other geo-tourism assets of El Dorado County. On giant maps of the region, we pointed out our favorite wineries, swimming holes, nature centers, trails and climbing spots. The facilitators explained that we can nominate sites as geo-tourism assets to qualify them for promotion by the El Dorado Geo-Tourism Project. The project will assess the viability of each nominee, evaluating the potential benefits and drawbacks to promoting it as a tourist destination. Selected nominations will be eligible for grant money from the project.
To nominate your favorite geo-tourism destination in El Dorado County, go to geosierra.org
At the beginning of the week, some of us wouldn’t have known a wave train if it pulled into the station. Others could already j-stroke in their sleep. But all of us left guide school looking at the river differently. The dazzlingly skilled instructors let us learn a lot by keeping their mouths shut and (painful though it was) resisting the temptation to throw in strokes. The way I see it, every rock I get perched on is a rock I (probably) won’t get cozy with again. We practiced reading the water ahead of us, learning to recognize pour-overs, holes, pillows, standing waves, and – most elusive – the current. We all grew into our guide voices about as smoothly as thirteen year old boys shifting octaves. And, more importantly, we figured out how to muscle our way back into the boat after going for a little swim.
Off the water, we tested our culinary mettle on such meals as “Marinated Tri-Tip” and “The Destroyer.” We rigged and de-rigged, safety-talked and boat-on-heads-walked. And deep in the night Austin fell off a rock.
I still had a lot left to learn at the end of guide school – how to feel confident behind the stick, how to manage a crew of weaker paddlers, how not to run Double Trouble. Luckily, I’ve had plenty of time these past months and generous teachers at Ma Lode to help me work on all those things. What I did grab a hold of during that first week was a love for the river and for the folks that guide it. I don’t plan on letting go any time soon!