Category Archives: High Sierra

Success: Opportunity meets preparedness 

This is what the start of winter looks like in the Sierras near Lake Tahoe.

Plus it’s very cold so the resorts are making snow.  The two resorts will be able to open for the huge Thanksgiving holiday week, which is this week. Their work prepared them for the opportunity of early snowfall and cold temperatures, and now there is a huge economic benefit, not just for the resort owners, but for all the employees who rely on the season for their livelihoods. Extending the season in the spring and fall helps stabilize the economy up here. I grew up here and it’s nice to see the doldrums of shoulder seasons shrinking. Nice to see people working.

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows prepared over the last years and especially last summer to be ready for snow making. The temperature has to be cold enough to make snow and you have to have a lot of infrastructure to be able to do it. We passed by an installation of electrical lines on the mountain side when we were hiking in Alpine Meadows a month or two ago. 


Alpine Meadows ski resort

Alpine Meadows ski resort during a storm

The only huge problem is lack of housing. Somehow economic growth always seems to leave out adequate housing. Hopefully the expansion and development and Squaw Valley will include employee housing. I’m not sure if it does or not. In California we need 3.5 million more homes.

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Lake Tahoe

We had a chance to try kayaking on Lake Tahoe. We didn’t get too far before the wind that was forecasted came up. Boy, the waves were pretty big, at least from the perspective of a kayak, but our guide told us how to deal with them, and I had a lot of fun paddling into them.

Unfortunately we weren’t allowed back out on the water after lunch because the Coast Guard was sending kayakers to shore. But this is something I want to take up. I really like it. It’s kind of low tech. You put on a life vest, climb in a boat, and paddle. There’s a technique for paddling that I didn’t know the last two times I did it, and that really helped me keep from getting tired really fast. I had to concentrate to do it, but that’s a  good thing.

I didn’t take the camera with me, a very fortunate thing since a wave sloshed over my boat. I took some shots at the beach after the tour, and here they are.

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Tahoe Vista

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Sand Canyon

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Dredger

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Bananas? No, boats.

 

Photos from the mountains

Well I don’t know about you, but I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning, with the weight of all the families suffering from this week’s murders, here and abroad, hanging over me. However, I did get out of bed and worked on the garden, which cheered me up. After being informed and figuring out a constructive way forward, it is good to work on beauty.

I also have developed some images from our hike last week. These are from the top of Squaw Valley.

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Squaw Valley July 2016-16

I believe there is hope for positive change in the world, and that’s what I’m focusing on. There is a time of introspection and awareness, and then a positive constructive action will present itself.

May you have a hopeful, peaceful and safe weekend.

Sparks Nevada

Sparks is very pretty, and a lot of people have figured that out. As the city quickly grew, developers factored in bike lanes, large sidewalks, and shopping, making it very livable. With modern homes and gorgeous views, it’s a popular place for families and retirees alike. I always enjoy my visits there and find it hard not to snap photos. Here are a few from my last visit.

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A few phone shots from the mountains

Yesterday we drove to Reno to see Al Stewart in concert. There were a lot of baby boomers in the audience and one teenager. I exaggerate but not much. I still listen to his album Year of the Cat when I’m writing. I first heard it around the same time I was reading one of my favorite novels, and the story and imagery of that song are forever linked in my mind with that book. I wrote a novel based on the idea from that book and look forward to getting back to it. I needed to mature a lot more as a writer to pull it off. I hope I do someday because I think you’d like it.

The drive to Reno is pretty.  I wanted to share it with you even though the phone shots out the window of a speeding car are a bit chaotic. (Don’t worry, I was in the passenger seat.)

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Interstate 80 follows the Truckee River gorge. The views open up so you can see the transition from the west to the east side of the Sierra Nevada. I’ve always found the drive exciting. The change is dramatic. Once you’re in Reno you can look up and see stunning long vistas of the mountains.

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Farad is a very little town along the way, still in California.

Sunset was spectacular today. The storm was breaking up, leaving puffy cotton clouds painted glowing orange. I couldn’t take pictures of sunset because I was driving, but twilight was also pretty.

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