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It’s probably strange for pretty much everybody to think about how different this year’s Easter celebration is from previous years. Last year my two sons and I closed down Northstar on Easter, skiing quite literally up to the last minute, and talking excitedly on the way home about moving on to a great season of mountain biking. 

This year, the Tahoe ski resorts all closed in mid-March and the Lost and Found gravel grinder bike race in Portola, which I was training for diligently at this time last year, has been cancelled.

We’re celebrating Easter 2020 in a much different way, but we are celebrating nonetheless. This time of year, which is indelibly attached to a sense of hope and renewal, is living up to its reputation in the Lost Sierra, as the mammoth snowfall that March brought is quickly melting away into a beautiful spring. 

To say that we find ourselves in an ideal spot for when the world has gotten weird is an understatement. “Thankful” doesn’t adequately describe the feeling, it’s more like “amazed by our luck, in awe of the vast beauty around us, and self-conscious about the people who are suffering from this illness and the painful consequences it has brought with it.”

While large Easter gatherings are out of the picture this year, the Nakoma family has found a way for us to celebrate together. Brooke Miller, our Food and Beverage director, is sweating away in the kitchen as I write this, preparing free three-course, world-class Easter-meals-to-go for all Nakoma employees, whether they’re currently working or not (I’m pretty sure her virtual Easter party is up to over 80 attendees).

Personally, what I’ve found over the last few weeks is that a lot of us are digging a lot deeper into the great things in our immediate environment: spending more time with family, getting out into nature more -snowshoeing in the Lakes Basin, going for a hike on some the lesser-used trails in or neighborhood. 

For me, finding myself suddenly relieved of the sense of burden in training for the Lost and Found bike race, I’ve started going on gravel rides that are less “workout” and more “adventure” — unplanned, no particular pace or route, just getting out there and riding. Rather than hustling kids, skis and jackets into a car to get a family on the slopes, time with family has meant exploring some of the many nooks of Plumas County that we’ve been neglecting, like the North Fork of the Feather River Canyon, where we spent an afternoon catching California newts, spotting bald eagles (well, one bald eagle), and gawking at lush waterfalls.

We hope our friends outside the Lost Sierra are managing to find the things that are rewarding for them and making the best of the time with family. We sincerely wish you all a Happy Easter and hope that the somber nature of the times doesn’t keep you from enjoying the holiday and being hopeful about the days to come. 

Dan Gallagher is Vice President of Development at Nakoma Resort. Along with being a husband and father, Dan loves everything outdoors. Thanks to field studies in pursuit of his degree in biology and forestry from U.C. Berkeley and several years of wildland firefighting on the Plumas National Forest, Dan knows the Lost Sierra like the back of his hand.