Pizza & Old Friends...

My friend, Keri, and her family (along with two friends) spent the weekend in Tahoe. They are SoCal friends who migrated north to Folsom. We dined with them at our favorite spot, Base Camp Pizza, while reminiscing a bit. It was way too short but always fun.

Keri and I were very involved in Temecula's Sister City Association. This is a photo of the two of us from 2005. We've followed each other around a bit. I'm glad she's a NorCal girl now, too.

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Van Sickle Hike #2

Wanting to shake off sitting for almost 1,000 miles, we headed out early this morning for our new in-town favorite hike... the Van Sickle Bi-State Park.

Since we wanted this to be a power hike, I was not allowed to bring my camera (these images are from Steve's phone). This allowed me to make my best time, hiking this trail, yet. In two hours, I had hiked the 3.6 miles it took to get to the 7,777 ft. elevation marker which indicates the start of the Tahoe Rim Trail (and the place from where I head back down).
With a 1,500 ft elevation change, going up is always slower but I made up for it going down. In 1.5 hours we were done and heading home for more of our fun day. There is always a sense of accomplishment when hiking for me. I am not a natural but I do love it so.
Finding this heart-shaped chewed insect damage was a pretty nice addition to a very nice morning in South Lake Tahoe.

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Road Trip Stats: 949 miles in 31 hours

After only three hours of sleep, I'm pretty beat but I had to share our adventure. We had an errand to run which involved renting a trailer and hauling buns to Temecula (our old hometown). It's madness, madness I tell you!

We even received a history lesson when we paused at a plaque discussing the Pine Creek Mine. We have passed this area for decades and have never stopped until today. The inscription reads, "West of this spot, gold was discovered in the Pine Creek drainage by Civil War veterans. It was not until April, 1916, when tungsten was discovered by four men: O. E. Vaughn, A. E. & C. C. Beauregard, and James Sproul, on their claims, Blizzard 1, 2, 3, and 4, high on the mountain. Years of development and production went by and the mine was acquired by U. S. Vanadium, a division of Union Carbide Corp., on May 14, 1936. After more development, this mine became the world's largest tungsten mine and is now known as The Mine in the Sky."
Interestingly, in the years leading up to and during World War II, tungsten once again gained strategic importance. The Pine Creek tungsten mine was a major contributor to the economy of the Eastern Sierra for nearly 54 years, before being mothballed in 2001, due to the availability of low-cost imports from China. Cool stop on our very long drive.

Dinner was on the front porch of our Temecula home (I'll discuss this in detail in a future blog post).
And this was our view this morning. It made it worth getting up at 2:30 AM. Wow. It is rare that I capture a sunrise. This was truly spectacular.
 “Life. This morning the sun made me adore it.
It had, behind the dripping pine trees, the oriental brightness,
orange and crimson, of a living being, a rose and an apple,
in the physical and ideal fusion of a true and daily paradise.”
-Juan Ramón Jiménez, Time and Space: A Poetic Autobiography

Some say you can't look back, but sometimes where you've been is as pretty as where you're going. I love this image captured in the truck's wing mirror.

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Music on the Beach @ Lakeshore Lodge

Tahoe, in summer, is an embarrassment of riches regarding the plethora of choices to be entertained. Tonight we chose to stroll to Lakeshore Lodge's private beach. Every Thursday evening (around 7 PM), in July and August, this hotel hosts fabulous music and colorful sunsets over our beautiful Lake Tahoe.

The talent for the kick off beach concert was the Wesley Orsolic Band, an original band from South Lake Tahoe. "Wesley’s musical upbringing contains a large amount of Funk/Jazz and Blues. His unique playing style reflects his ability to successfully combine the elements of all these styles. From New York to Hawaii, as a player , songwriter or producer, Wesley always leaves a lasting impression. Wesley moved from L.A. to Las Vegas to San Francisco and finally settled down in Lake Tahoe. Living at the Lake Tahoe seems to provide him with the kind of radiating energy that inspires creativity. The band includes Wesley’s long time music partner drummer/extraordinaire Liz Broscoe, Reuben Thompson on bass, and Lowell Wilson on keys."
 There were all sorts of people in the water, enjoying the show!

The real star of the show was the sunset. Wow!

Summer is alive and well in South Lake Tahoe and we're loving it all.

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Author M.C. Behm at the SLT Library

How cool was tonight's Friends of the Library Presentation? (answer: very!)

M.C. spent the evening sharing his debut novel, The Elixir of Yosemite, in which he takes readers up and down the vertical world of Yosemite National Park. The premise is a unique one... a misfit Park Ranger and a South Lake Tahoe teenager try to stop a mercenary from unleashing havoc on America's first protected land. Mr. Behm is a former deep-rural and inner-city schoolteacher, who writes the "Tahoe Dad" column for the Reno Gazette Journal and Tahoe Mountain News. He stated, "he rock climbs with a zeal bordering on fanatical".
The pen-name M.C. Behm is an homage to the author's late grandmother, Marian Coggen Behm, with whom he lived during his first years teaching high school. Despite being diagnosed with Polio at age 3, and being told that she would never marry, never have children, and never amount to much, she defied all of those expectations by getting a Doctorate from Columbia University, marrying an Olympic athlete, becoming the first school psychologist in the state of Delaware, having 4 children and living to the ripe old age of 89. She always wanted to add "novelist" to her list of accolades, so perhaps having her grandson do it for her is the next best thing.

M.C.'s presentation was unique, intriguing and even made me want to climb the mountains of Yosemite... a little bit. The novel is going to be a page-turner. I can't wait to read it. I love the diversity of programming at our South Lake Tahoe Library.

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Scenes from a Volunteer in Emerald Bay

I am greatly rewarded by helping to make Emerald Bay accessible to disabled visitors. I love sharing my 'happy place'.

"For people who have a valid ADA placard, special arrangements are necessary to reach the Vikingsholm area which is located down a very steep gravel road that is not open to private vehicles. Call (530) 525-7232 to check on the availability of shuttle service to escort people with mobility disabilities into Emerald Bay. Reservations for this service must be made at least 24 hours in advance. This service is offered during Vikingsholm tour season: Memorial Day weekend - September."
After getting my guests safely lake side, and answering many questions, I like to meander about. Delighting in all the beauty the Bay offers.

It's wildflower season here in Tahoe. Spectacular blooms abound.

I was excited to see this beautiful butterfly until I saw the disgusting spider eating it from the bottom up. Can you see it under the flower? Wild nature stuff happening. Yikes.

Vikingsholm Castle is such a cool place to spend an afternoon. I am so fortunate I get to be here pretty much any time I can fit it into my schedule. I am one lucky girl.

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Jan's Birthday on Their Landing

What an idyllic spot to turn another year older.

A fabulous Lake Tahoe sunset was the perfect dessert.
"Most of us can remember a time when a birthday,
especially if it was one's own,
brightened the world as if a second sun has risen."
-Thomas Moore

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Broadway in Blue: A Musical Revue

For our first volunteerism for the Valhalla Art, Music & Theatre Festival, we ushered for this very fun evening of music.

How can we not love this? "An intimate revue features songs from classic and contemporary Broadway shows and features the talents of performers in the South Lake Tahoe community and surrounding region. The simple yet elegant presentation and splashy musical numbers transform the beautiful Valhalla Boathouse Theatre into a cabaret for an evening of musical theatre fun."

Twenty one songs that made toes tap and, at times, eyes water. This was an enjoyable evening of music in one of our most favorite venues.
And the show that nature provided, when we headed back to our car, was pretty spectacular, too. Oh what a night!

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Hiking the Van Sickle Trail [7.2 miles]

John Muir was so right when he said, “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”.

In addition to exceptional views, we glimpsed critters of all kinds.

This has to be one of the coolest web designs I have ever seen.
This trail is also for mountain bikes which keeps you on your toes.

All the waterfalls were on full display. Since it was a pretty hot day, they provided welcomed relief.
This was the farthest I've ever hiked on the Van Sickle trail. I was pretty happy with myself.

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