Peace & Autumn Love at Camp Lotus

Gilda arrives at Camp Lotus, Lotus, Ca.

Following Siri’s directions to Camp Lotus, I kept thinking the spot on a back road, Lotus, CA., was maybe something that came about during the back to the land movement of the Sixties. The word lotus to this post Sixties-California girl, relates to peace and love. I couldn’t connect the dots between the peace and love name, Lotus, to the locale of a once bustling and rowdy California gold rush region filled with Anglicized takes on native American names, ways of mining gold, and infamous 49er folks.

However, Wikipedia busted my love and peace bubble: “Lotus (formerly, Marshall and Uniontown) is an unincorporated community in El Dorado County, California.The settlement was established in 1849 and named for James W. Marshall, discoverer of gold. In 1850, the name was changed to Uniontown to commemorate California’s admission to the Union. The name was changed to Lotus with the arrival of the post office in 1881.”


Nonetheless, the area filled me with peace and love that went into full blossom at Camp Lotus where we parked Gilda for a few days, next to the South Fork of the American River. Thanks to the late conservationist Bill Center, a 25-acre park-like campgrounds is a source for reconnecting with nature’s magnificence.

This was my search for fall color in California. And I had forgotten about the sounds of fall until migrating Canada geese flew overhead with their distinctive honk that harmonized with the late afternoon fall air. But when one group decided to come in for a landing on the river, that was something I had never seen before (nor was I ready to capture that on Oly!).

Canada geese make a surprise landing on the American River next to our campsite.

Camp Lotus offers RV parking with water and power, cabins to rent, a tipi on the river to rent, tent camping, free showers, flush toilets (always a bonus), and a store with snacks, deli foods, and beverages.

This was a near off-season trip. The campgrounds was ours to roam. Fabulous. Just what the doctor ordered.

An October morning on the American River
Park-like grounds at Camp Lotus.
Nevada City red wine
Gold Rush country local wines are worthy, says this Central Coast wine diva.