This past weekend, we finally went to Pulga— the town we entirely take over for the annual Chairman Mom Flee—for the first time since the devastating Camp fire. In the wake of the fire—which started just outside Pulga’s borders—we decided to bet on the town rather than abandon it and deliver another economic blow to the area. But there was a lot of risk of landslides and further damage. 

To everyone’s shock, the fire mostly jumped over the town, only damaging 12 structures and some of the infrastructure. That’s not nothing. But they’ve been able to entirely rebuild in time for our event. 

I’d heard that the town was in tact, but this was the first time I was able to put actual eyes on it. It was stunning to see so many charred remains all around the area driving in, but see the same old Pulga nestled in between mountains and the rivers, mostly unscathed. 

Betsy Ann, the town’s owner, was also shocked to see the town intact once she was able to get back. But none of Pulga’s previous owners were. The town has—by miracle or geography—a history of devastating fires jumping over it.

Pulga also has a history of relaxing stressed out city folks. My kids were back for about five minutes, and Eli’s shoes were off, Evie found a guitar and led sing-a-longs, they clambered over rocks and swam in a fork of the Feather River, they ate fruit off trees and blackberries off bushes, and roamed around with a pack of dogs. 

If you’ve thought about attending the Flee, if you’ve been tempted, if you need another thing to push you over the edge, think of all that this area has lost in the last year. Because the ticket price supports the cost of the event, a very large portion of your $2,500 fee is going straight into the hands of survivors like Betsy Ann who’ve spent most of the last year rebuilding. Get your ticket here.

Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:

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