Winter Trek 4 even better than before

Each day, before heading out to volunteer, I check the Heavenly Lift Status online. Today is shaping up to be another amazing day on the mountain. Today we will have highs in the upper 40s and sunny blue skies, with the most amazing views in Tahoe. Our groomers worked hard overnight to provide you smooth fresh corduroy and it awaits you this morning! This report couldn't have been more accurate!

I get to do this every Thursday!
So wild...Coyote tracks criss-cross the mountain with our snowshoe tracks.
It was just us two mighty rangers leading a very cooperative and appreciative group.  I continue to delight while sharing.
When this is my view and I have the opportunities I've been given, I can't help but proclaim, "I live here!"  It's a common saying heard amongst the 'locals'.  Still loving it.

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Fondue with Friends...


A dish in which small pieces of food are dipped into a hot sauce or a hot cooking medium such as oil or broth: "a Swiss cheese fondue".

More like fun·due because Dick and Joan are the hosts with the mosts.

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Desolation Wilderness...

Steve and I went to the Placerville Library for a meeting and presentation.  The speaker, Bill Finch, is a US Forest Service Volunteer Backcountry Wilderness Ranger for Desolation Wilderness.  Desolation Wilderness is 63,960 acres of sub-alpine and alpine forest, granite peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes, land which is part of the Lake Tahoe Forest Reserve, established in 1899.

Bill's knowledge of the area, his enthusiam for its beauty and the slideshow of his hiking adventures made us want to get out in it and explore.
Needless-to-say, since it looks like this currently, we will have to wait.
Last May, we barely entered the Wilderness.  As winter ends, hiking here is on our list of "must do".  As seasons change, we can only imagine hiking amongst vibrant spring colors in the Sierra Nevada. With over 120,000 visitors a year, Desolation is the most used Wilderness for its size in the nation.  Hearing Bill's presentation, we now know why!

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Surfing Lake Tahoe...

When thinking of winter sports here, high in the Sierras, surfing would probably not be top on your list. And while we haven't seen this phenomenon personally, I'm intrigued because there has been much discussion about it lately due to the wind which howled this week.

A local 'surfer' said, "People take pictures in disbelief, but it's true: Many people surf Lake Tahoe."  Many?  This I've got to see...

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Carson for history & beer...

Carson City is an opportunity to catch a glimpse of Nevada’s rich and colorful history. The city’s origins are closely linked to the creation of the state of Nevada. In 1861, when the Nevada Territory was established, Carson City was named the capital of the territorial government. Three years later, when statehood was bestowed, Carson City was designated the official state capital. Carson City is so rich in history, repeat visits are necessary.  Today, we focused on a walking tour of its neighborhoods.

Bob, Jenny, Steve and I grabbed a map and hit the Kit Carson Trail, a walking path through Carson City's residential homes district. A painted blue line and bronze medallions along the sidewalk mark the route, which features stops at landmarks, including 1800s-era Victorian-style homes, museums and churches. More than 60 landmarks are featured along this tree lined trail.
Krebs-Peterson House (1914) is the location of where many scenes from The Shootist were filmed.   This 1976 movie was John Wayne's last.  More about that after we see it.  That said, Dr. Krebs developed an influenza treatment with local interesting man.
Governor’s Mansion (1907) Nevada didn’t have a home for its governors during the first four decades of statehood.  Each street held a different treasure and we barely scratched the surface on this interesting town.  We'll return.
We had come here here on serious business.  Carson City had homebrewers come out of their basements and garages to enter the Thirsty Boy Homebrew Competition and Bob had entered his Honey Porter into the mix.  Judging was serious.
While Bob did not win, he learned a great deal and we all had fun rooting him on.
Carson has an extremely rich beer history.  Nevada's longest-operating brewery was established here by John Wagner in 1860 during the rush to Virginia City.
In 1910, brewmaster Fritz Hagmeyer persuaded his brother-in-law, Max Stenz, to purchase the operation. Stenz converted from steam beer to lager in 1913, and labeled his new product Tahoe Beer, "Famous as the Lake." After 88 years of continuous operation, the company was liquidated in 1948, thus ending the longest-running brewery in the state and one of Nevada's oldest businesses... And our tour of Carson City... for today!

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Himmel Haus with friends...

We had been wanting to dine at this German restaurant, since its summer opening.  Himmel Haus (Sky House) is located at the base of Heavenly and is the former Christiana Inn, opened in the mid-1960s and most likely the city's oldest bar.  Tahoe history abounds.

One of the busboys at the Christiana was John Clendenin, the two-time World Freestyle Champion (1973 and 1974). After skiing all day, Clendenin and the boys would knock back beers and cause a good ruckus at the Christiana.

The song, Sara, was written by Jefferson Starship's Mickey Thomas about his wife, whom he met at the Christiana Inn.

The Christiana Inn was where the band, Tower of Power, discovered its keyboard player Roger Smith.  And even more importantly, it was also the place where our dining companions, Dick and Joan, spent some time during their visits to Lake Tahoe in the 60s.

It is always fun to revisit history over beer and good company.  Zum Wohl!

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Get Out of My Crotch! ... a book

Our friend, Kim Wyatt, owns Bona Fide Books, an independent press here in town.  She branched out with a new imprint Cherry Bomb Books.  Tonight's book launch was Get Out of My Crotch! Twenty-One Writers Respond to America's War on Women's Rights and Reproductive Health.
In this collection, twenty-one fearless writers examine reproductive rights, access to health care, violence against women, and the rise of rape apologists in the twenty-first-century United States. Illuminating intersections of gender, class, and race, these stories speak to the challenges women routinely face, the attempts to undermine their rights, and the deliberate, systemic erosion of their agency and existence as equals.

It's time to revisit what's at stake, what could still be lost, and why we must continually fight for equality and freedom for all.

Three of the 21, writers read aloud about their experiences with women's issues, each different yet poignant.  The room was quiet, each person there absorbing the information, heads nodding in agreement, heads shaking in disgust.

This book, launched for the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade, may not be for everyone but its writers have shared their truths that needed to be heard.

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Winter Trek 3... whee

Just when I thought I had said all I wanted to say about Winter Trek, a day like today occurs.

Taking the gondola up, above the cloud line, was amazing.
I was given the opportunity to lead one of the lessons.  I still don't think I'm smarter than a 5th grader, but it was a spectacular classroom in which to teach.
Rangers Tami and Tim made the day fun.  We're a pretty good team.
A peanut butter and jelly sandwich tastes exceptional at 9,000 feet above sea level.  Especially when it's snowing.
I asked the students, on the ride down the hill, "What was the best part of today?"  A unanimous answer was expressed... "EVERYTHING!"  And I have to agree.  Wow.

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Minden for Memories...

Dangberg has been a name that has been mentioned quite a bit since moving to Tahoe.  Today, the beautiful weather was the catalyst for us to take a drive 'off the hill' and we found ourselves in the delightful Nevada town that Mr. Dangberg built- Minden.

We learned a great deal  from Discover Minden:  A Walking Tour.  In 1905, H. F. (Henry Fred) Dangberg, Jr.,  began to cultivate his vision for a new town—a planned community in the heart of the valley, just north of the established town of Gardnerville.  Fred and his three brothers, John, George, and Clarence, had created the H. F. Dangberg Land and Livestock Company with their father before his death in 1904.
Clarence eventually sold his interest back to the company and established the C. O. D. (Clarence Oliver Dangberg) Garage, one of Minden’s earliest businesses and the one that made us feel as if time stood still (1911).
Built in 1908, the original Minden Butter Manufacturing Company building was made of wood.  Cream from local farms was brought here and placed in one of two 600-gallon vats, then processed into butter.  By 1915, the facility was producing 3,000 pounds of butter a day.  The larger brick facility was built in 1916 to accommodate the new pasteurization process that was mandated by California law.  This is one of my favorite buildings in town.  There is something about the permanency of the name in the brickwork.
One could spend an entire day here due to the fact that most of the homes and buildings have historical plaques describing them.  A.F. Neidt (1911) build this mostly cement house which made perfect sense being as he was the town's cement contractor.  Most of the early sidewalks are his as well.
The Minden Flour Milling Company sits right on 395 and every time we drive by, I'm in awe!  Built for the Dangberg company, the mill consists of two sections: a three-story brick mill building with a gable roof and stepped parapet gable end walls and a cluster of four 45-foot-high steel silos covered by a sheet-metal gable roof. A three-and-one-half-story corrugated sheet-metal enclosure connects the silos to the mill building. One-story additions on the south and east sides of the brick structure were completed in 1908. Despite its utilitarian style, the mill has refined touches, including pilaster strips separating the walls into bays.

The oldest and most prominent of the three structures in the complex, the mill has a striking appearance, towering over U.S. 395. During the first decade of Minden's existence, it was the tallest building in town. It is now the only remaining flour mill of five that were built in the Carson Valley from 1854 to 1906. These structures played an important role in early Nevada, not only providing flour for emigrants heading west but also helping settlers to establish a local milling industry.
  -Julie Nicoletta
We continue to delight in all there is to learn and see.

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Winter Olympics at Squaw 1960...

When the sun is gleefully present and warm.  When you have a published Squaw Olympic expert willing to spend the day sharing his knowledge freely with you.  When you have two friends who are up for pretty much anything and you throw in Walt Disney- 
You have the makings of an extremely awesome day.

When Alexander Cushing put forward Squaw Valley's bid to the International Olympic Committee in 1955, the resort did not even exist! He was the only inhabitant and homeowner in the whole place.  We learned how much work went into getting the bid.  So very interesting!
David Antonucci's two-hour tour took us on a walking exploration of various Olympic venues and sites in the base area of Squaw Valley. We visited the Olympic Village Lodge (athlete's housing), California and Nevada Welcome Centers, as well as race courses, the site of Blyth Arena, ski jump hill remnants, IBM computer building (first time using computers to tabulate), media center, and other historic sites. David recounted incredibly interesting stories of the epic competition at the athletic venues.
As we strolled the village, we kept feeling like we were in an adult Disneyland.  It had this magical aura to it and we were so happy to just be there.
So the biggest surprise was that it really was Disneyland.  In 1959, Walt Disney was asked to chair the Pageantry Committee for these Olympics, creating the opening and closing ceremonies that broke the mold—and set the gold standard for Olympic Games to come.
A reporter wrote, “The opening ceremony was the most remarkable thing I ever saw. No matter how much credit you give Walt Disney and his organization, it isn’t really enough."
It stands to reason that a production spearheaded by Walt and his team would make an impression—but Walt’s reach during the 1960 Winter Games didn’t stop at the ceremonies. Walt entertained athletes with the first film festival during an Olympics… and Art Linkletter brought in live performers for the first time in Olympics history. The legendary Danny Kaye even traveled to Squaw Valley to make an appearance.

Walt even had a hand in decorating the Olympic Village which is why it still feels "Disney-like" to us, 53 years later.
This was an Olympic event of FIRSTS.  This was the first time there was ever a bidding war for television rights.  CBS won with a bid of $50,000.  The first instant replay happened when officials became unsure as to whether a skier had missed a gate in the men's slalom and they asked CBS-TV if they could review a videotape of the race. This gave CBS the idea of inventing the now ubiquitous "instant replay".

Men's biathlon and women's speed skating made their Olympic debuts. Frenchman Jean Vuarnet (sunglasses fame) became the first skier to win a medal on composite skis, instead of the traditional wooden ones.  Here is a great video overview of the actual event.
After filling our heads with interesting knowledge, we decided to sit, gazing at the slopes, and fill our stomachs as well.  The information was almost overwhelming... in a good way!
There were sweet sights to be seen throughout the village.
The Olympics are a wonderful metaphor for world cooperation,
the kind of international competition that's wholesome and healthy,
an interplay between countries that represents the best in all of us.
~John Williams

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