Louie and Belinda Dewey own and operate Cave Springs Resort, Motel, Historic Cabins, and Vacation Rentals in Dunsmuir, California.

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I checked it out. I was going to write about all the Spring stuff that is going to happen: sun, flowers, painting, picnics, etc. Then I walked outside and went back in the house to check the calendar. Sure ‘nuff. This is the “First day of spring”. It is official. The fact that there is 8 – 10 inches of snow in the driveway and more rain and snow on the way just makes it feel like the first day of winter instead. It is still beautiful although unseasonable. Ski season could last till June easily with all of the snow at the Ski Park. However they are going to close on the 17th of April so don’t miss an opportunity to board or ski on some of the best snow of the season. And there may even be some spring skiing before they close if the weather normalizes.

One really great aspect of all of this precipitation is that we have an abundance of water. Shasta Lake is almost full, 11 feet from the top, and the melt runoff hasn’t even started. It is just amazingly beautiful to see so much water in the lake. The real beauty of this large quantity of water is that it has happened without any flooding or even just close to flooding. River levels have been bank to bank full but not to the point where rocks start to roll. When rocks don’t roll, fish find food. They just get fatter all winter long. Catching should be really good this year just for that one simple fact. More about catching (trout) later.



The players: Shannamar is our Daughter. Darin is the boyfriend. Giancarlo is our nephew. 27 for Thanksgiving Dinner, but some play harder than others!  To see more photos, click here...

Thanksgiving Guest Blog by Shannamar Dewey:  How can one beat the feeling of floating on fresh powder while the crisp air polishes your cheeks Christmas-red as your snow-board faithfully glides you down the mountain called home? The only way to make that experience more perfect is the knowing that it's happening at an unexpected and perfect time.

Following a Thanksgiving day full of nearly 30 Dewey's and friends giving the ovens at Cave Springs a thorough work-out, Darin and I chose to take advantage of the cold weather. Dunsmuir was dressed in a layer of snow characteristic of deep winter as we headed out with left-overs from 10lbs of sweet potatoes, a 30lb Turkey and other dishes that survived the Thanksgiving feast. With turkey sandwiches and a thermos of brandy-spiked hot chocolate, Darin and I set off to earn and burn some serious potential energy. In the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, we got fresh lines for three days. We lapped the Ceicilville summit in the back of the pickup with some local Scott Valley boys (whose native dialect Darin was qualified to translate for my cousin Giancarlos and I.) This slope and the corresponding switchback in the road makes a perfect spot to be dropped above and picked up below...we rode till our legs started seizing up and our driver was nearly out of gas.

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Scouted for The Christmas Tree couple of days ago. “Need” a Red Fir, Shastanza ?Manifica to be precise, and they grow at a high elevation. The family will all go Christmas Tree hunting together at Thanksgiving time. I just like to get a head start before the snow flies. Moby, the dog, and I drove up the back side of Mt Eddy and found all kinds of trees. Beautiful trees. Just not the perfect one. So we headed home and found the perfect sunset instead.


Thought I’d drive out by continuing down the road to where it meets the paved road near Gumboot Lake, about 10 miles. Eight miles later I jammed on my brakes and skidded to a stop just a few feet away from a large Doug Fir that had recently fallen and bridged the entire roadway. The mountain was straight up on one side of the road and straight down on the other. Definitely time to back up and turn around. As I was retracing my steps in the now pitch black of early nightfall, I had time to reflect . . .Oh, on many things, but mostly on how bald my tires were, how I should really have taken care of that mysterious oil leak, and about the fact that, come to think of it, I hadn’t seen a soul or passed a car in the five hours since I left Stewart Mineral Springs. Moby didn’t worry about anything except being late for dinner. And what is it about driving out into the forest with your dog in the seat next to you and feeling like you are not alone?! Very real feeling. Pretty stupid too. I thought about how Moby was going to call for help on my cell phone if something bad happened. Then I realized . . . he couldn’t. We hadn’t had cell service in five hours either.

About the snow picture? That is what it looked like out the front door of CAVE SPRINGS this morning. First real snow of the season proving, once again, that yes we can have snow at Thanksgiving time. It just doesn’t happen often. And that's why I scouted trees early. Won’t have a chance to see that sunset view again until end of next spring.

There have been years when it started freezing hard at the end of October.  We would put off closing the cabins for the season until at least Halloween or the day after if it was a weekend.  Often, I would procrastinate thinking, or rather wishing, it would not really freeze.  Then about 10 or 11 pm, and once at midnight, I would get nervous, check the temperature, and face the facts.  Freezing is freezing and old pipes and antique sinks and toilets do not like freezing! So I trudged myself out of bed, grabbed a flashlight, donned the winter woolens, and visited each cabin making sure the faucets were open to drain, refrigerators unplugged, the gas valves were shut off, and there was salt or marine antifreeze in all of the plumbing traps.  Moving all the refrigerators off the back porches and into the cabins could wait for daylight.  And thus, another summer would be over at CAVE SPRINGS.  We have done it so often that it is kind of a ceremony more than a task.  Which is why this is a special day for me.  It is half a month later than tradition would dictate and the weather is still balmy.  I mean a seriously balmy 60 degrees - not November temps!  So this is just an arbitrary date coinciding with the last day of the "Hook and Cook" season. ( If you wanted to keep a fish for dinner, today is the last day of this year to do it on the Sacramento River.  Your next opportunity will be the last Saturday of April 2011.)  So today, we will be conducting the Closing of Thee Cabins Ceremony.  But it is special because our nephew, Giancarlo, is working here part time while attending college in Weed.  So “we” is him this year, and he will probably just consider it work!  But for his grandparents, Bob and Lois, and his Uncle Louie and Aunt Belinda, it is a sentimentally gratifying occasion to have one more generation perform the "ceremony".

Now we get to get on with decorating the rooms and putting lights on the cabins that are open for the Winter!  Think Snow!!!!

The pumpkins came and went and still the leaves stayed green. I tell people every year that if you want to catch the peak color of our five seasons, show up at Halloween. Never fails . . . except it failed this year. And where were those October Caddis hatches? We had a couple of Caddis visit our carport lights, but the October Caddis hatch is all about having to bat them out of the way because they are so thick you can’t walk through the parking lot without them flying in your face. Saturday, both the autumn color and the Caddis hatch appeared in full force . . . in November. And it was glorious. The forest is still evergreen but spots of brilliant orange, yellow and red crop everywhere. In some places your whole field of vision is just saturated with fiery colors. Can you smell the chimney smoke and hot soup on the stove? Walking along a river trail, the flashes of brightly colored leaves in the water are hiding what you just know are gigantic trout feasting on November Caddis and getting even fatter. Autumn is really its own season. Fall may not be far away, but right now it is still autumn, our fifth season. Yes, this may be my favorite time of year.

4727 Dunsmuir Avenue | Dunsmuir, CA 96025 | (530) 235-2721 | Toll Free (888) 235-2721 | Belinda and Louie Dewey, Hosts

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