The Stephanie Way Flood 3/23

11 Mar
Snow began to fall New Year’s Eve, 2022, and has continued off and on since then. This is my backyard filled with snow, broken limbs, sagging bushes and a gorgeous sunrise. The Pine Nuts Range is visible in the distant background. This is what January 2 looked like. Remember: This snow all has to go someplace.
January 17, 2023. Lake Stephanie has begun to form. We call it that because Stephanie Way (to the left out of the photo) is one of the main streets to get into the Johnson Lane area. It is created each year we have run off from the Pine Nuts. Interestingly enough, there are no snow telemetry instruments in the Pine Nuts. Ergo, we do not know how much snow is in the mountain range. We are concerned as we know there is too much snow to be totally absorbed into the ground.
It has begun. Warm rains have melted a lot of snow and Lake Stephanie has begun to breach its bank (Stephanie Way). There is no way to control it, save a million sandbags.
I turned around from the previous photo to watch a torrent of water rush into a gated community that is a mere 250 yards from my house.
This is usually an area where people walk on a paved path that circumvents the gated community. I am positive those houses beyond the second fence were flooded to some degree.
This is Heybourne Road, normally a dirt road that connects Stephanie Way to Johnson Lane. I am pretty sure this water is at least 12 to 18″ deep as this is the western side of Lake Stephanie. All of this is a natural drainage path from the Pine Nuts that would naturally drain to the Carson River. But streets, a railroad bed, sometimes willy-nilly construction have all contributed to the natural drainage being dammed. Meetings have been held, solutions discussed and few actual projects have actually been accomplished.
At least we do not have to worry about this much snow and runoff. This is down south near Mammoth that has also had near record or record snow. I’m very glad I don’t have to shovel that snow! As I look at these pictures and marvel at nature and its power, I wonder what my uncle, the flood control expert, would have said and done about our situation.


9 Jan
After a snow storm I can look out my kitchen window and see icicles forming on my neighbor’s eaves. I get a kick out of watching them grow to extraordinary lengths. Don’t forget that you can click on a photo to enlarge it.
Icicles, generally speaking, don’t form on my house because of my rain gutters being in the way. This last storm disproved that theory. There was a lot roof top snow that also filled the gutters, thus giving the icicles a way to form.  This was fun to watch because some of them even bent to conform to the gutter’s shape. My longest ‘sicle was 29”
The longest icicle was in back of the house where a drainpipe was overworked. The ice stretched all the way to the ground. Is that really an icicle? I’m not sure.
Even a drainpipe had a few icicles.
I began to notice icicles all around my property. Here is one under one of my birdbaths.
Tiny icicles on a bird feeder.
They were in trees. This one reminds me of an oil can spout that railroaders used to use with steam engines.
There was even a frozen bee in front of the house.
The chimney was not to be left out.

All this beauty and looking for fun things in the snow must come to an end sooner or later.  We have a relatively warm rain today that is quickly melting the snow.  Most of you know an “atmospheric river” hit the West Coast and California’s Central Valley very hard yesterday.  It’s now in our area.  We are also concerned for floods as this melted snow must find its way to the Carson River and other waterways in Western Nevada.  So right now, at this minute, I’m hoping the forecasters are right in saying we will have snow on the valley floors tonight, thus saving some of the area from flooding.

Check the photos below. You are able to use the arrows to wipe back and forth to contrast the photos of basically the same area.

Here is a contrast of right after our last storm and today as of 9:57 am. Yes, it looks as though there is still a lot of snow on the ground. That’s true, but there was a lot more yesterday. It also looks like a lot because I had to pile up snow to make a driveway for a vehicle.

This is what I call Lake Stephanie that is no more than 200 yards from my house as the crow flies. It’s created by drainage from the Pine Nuts range you see off in the distance. This water will sit here for months or until it dries up or eventually seeps over to the Carson River. Normally it is very as a bone. It’s here again and looks just like this except it was ice yesterday. (Taken in 2017)
This is also from 2017 but shows you what floods can do to our Carson Valley. Taken from Kingsbury Grade on the way up to Lake Tahoe. The Pine Nuts are in the horizon.

Still, this area has a special hold over me and my psyche. As I’ve said before, I love this place with all its quirks. It keeps me going.

Twelve Inches of Sierra Cement

1 Jan
Last Friday was a beautiful, wonderful day. Some rain and a gorgeous double rainbow. I don’t think anyone was griping about the rain as we need the precipitation so much. It was still raining Saturday morning (New Year’s Eve) and there was some minor flooding in my backyard. The newly reconstructed drainage system was on overload. Not to worry. I knew everything would be ok. The double rainbow was a good omen. 
 Quail and white crowned sparrows in the rain. 


About mid-morning, as I was typing a long email, I looked up and the rain had turned to huge, fluffy snowflakes. No big deal, I thought, because it was 40º outside and the snow wasn’t sticking to the ground. Then, right before my eyes, the temp began to drop and the snow began to stick. It was the beginning of the biggest snowstorm since I’ve lived in Minden…almost 10 years.
This is what the backyard looked like a couple hours later. The birds look for seed and suet no matter the weather. Please note the big bush in front of the Christmas tree. It does not look like that New Year’s Day.
New Year’s Eve looking toward the neighbors and where the rainbow was. Needless to say, I did not go anywhere that night.
New Year’s Day has dawned bright and cheery, giving all of us here in the Carson Valley a fine view of the Sierra Nevada. Here are the views from my front porch.
Looking toward my neighbor’s house with the Sierra Nevada in the background.
Twelve inches of Sierra Cement
You might be wondering about the term “Sierra Cement”. It means the snow has a high water content and is very heavy when it piles up. You can see evidence of that cement effect on the bush directly in front of the Christmas tree. The snow has weighted down the limbs to flatten it some. You can’t see it but there is a pile of snow in the center of the bush, covering one of the birds’ water dishes. A limb has broken from the tree into the bush on the left. I couldn’t find the second water dish and had to get another one for the birds. Those lumps beyond the fence are snow covered sage brush and other native plants. The Pine Nuts are under the clouds in the back.
More Sierra Cement effect. If you remember the last Buzzard Notes, there was a photo of quail feeding in front of where that hole in the snow is. That was a tall lilac bush with a butterfly bush nearest the camera.
Inside looking out early New Year’s Day. I love this place…with its beauty, weather drama, temperature extremes, nature, and lots more.

Beautiful Hunter and Prey

23 Dec

Quail were crossing the neighbor’s driveway into my yard as I pulled into the driveway and into my garage.  I knew those puffed up (from the cold) little bodies were on their way to my backyard where they would enjoy their daily repast along with other feathered friends.  I hurried into the house and to my kitchen window because I like to look down and watch them scurry by the house.  They are so cute with their little feet churning as fast as they can.  It seems to me that quail seldom walk.  BUT, they never came by the window.  I decided something must have scared them and they were hiding under a juniper in the front yard.  

This handsome Cooper’s Hawk was the culprit. He was sitting on the fence about 15 feet from my kitchen window. Quail are one of his favorite meals and I’ll bet he was very hungry because hunting has been difficult with it being so cold.
He became frustrated with me taking his portrait and flew to this pine tree also in my front yard. The quail generally pass right under where he was sitting. He perched there for quite a while until his patience waned.
Hours later, I finally glimpsed the quail emerging from their hiding places and zooming toward the side of the house. I went to the kitchen window to see if they would stop for a bite of seed that I had put down about 6 am that day. As you can see, they did stop for a minute or two. Twelve total stopped for a bite and then hurried on to the backyard area. If you count, you won’t see 12 birds because they might feed together but they don’t scurry together. It is generally a single file type of procession. Perhaps it is a survival technique.
This photo was not taken the day of seeing the Cooper’s Hawk, but a few days earlier when there was more snow. You get the general idea, though. The quail like to arrive from the sage brush beyond the fence you can see in the back and also from a neighbor’s house that has a juniper hedge and also a huge blue spruce that is ideal for hiding. There have been days when I have counted more than 50 feeding at the same time. There are so many that it looks as if the ground is roiling with them in constant motion. These little dramas are another reason why I love living here in Nevada. They give me joy.

A Never-ending Saga

30 Nov

It begins in the spring with beautiful blossoms on the non-fruit bearing pear tree. I love this tree. So pretty and so well shaped even if the trunk is slanted due to strong winds.

It is very green in the summer and provides a lot of shade…then fall arrives with the changing of colors.  Still, it is a beautiful tree, still providing shade.

Frosts happen and then 40 to 60 mph winds blast the poor tree, causing it to lose many of its leaves.  A thick carpet of leaves coats the lawn to the point of not being able to see the lawn.  Finally, it was warm enough to get out to begin the raking.

Yes, it’s been down to single digits, causing the birdbaths and water tins to freeze solid. It was warm enough yesterday to extract these disks. I like it when the leaves get frozen in the disks and add a bit of artistic value to the disks. 

It becomes imperative to rake the leaves because with the ice, snow and maybe some rain, the leaves spoil and hurt the lawn. It did this around the edges before I could get out to rake.  Yes, I know many little bugs and other creatures live in the leaves.  But there are still many leaves in the rocks under which they can live.

Two and 3/4 trash bags stomped on and crushed to make more room in the bags.  The trash barrel was filled as I went around the corner where more leaves had secreted themselves.

All done in the yard. No, it is not spotless. Note the leaves still on the tree. I know strong breezes will hit us again today and more leaves will fall, thus creating another raking job. The pear tree is very reluctant to let go of the remaining leaves as if it knows it will be bare soon and doesn’t want to be totally naked in the coming very cold weather. But it will lose its battle against Mother Nature.

Leaves are falling again, but they are not apparent in this photo.  You can see the beginning of the lawn being covered once again, thus continuing the raking saga that occurs every fall.

Boston & Environs – Sister Trip Minus 1 Sister

24 Oct
Here we are looking for Jerri and wondering where she is. Actually, this is a put-up photo. Jerri got sick the day before we were to leave and it turned out that she had covid for the second time (It was a blessing in disguise that she got sick before we left). The building in the background is Salem’s Old Town Hall. The gilded frame was there for all to take photos.
Jolee posing in the JFK Library. It is quite an education to visit the library and interact with some of the exhibits.
The Mayflower II was our next destination. We enjoyed that tour and were glad we weren’t among the Pilgrims looking for a new place to live and worship. 102 Pilgrims lived for three months plus crammed into the “tween deck”, seldom getting to go up to the main deck for fresh air.
Burial Hill, resting place for many of the early Pilgrims.
The Plimouth Plantation, a living history museum that brings to life Wampanoag and Pilgrim stories through the 17th century English Village and Wampanoag Homesite.  I just happened to catch a view when no one was in the main path.  We met characters living the part of settlers and the Wampanoag.  Working gardens, livestock and crafts are created and used in this depiction.
Fall River, MA: Lizzie Borden house where the famous murders were committed. We took the house tour and were glad we didn’t have reservations to spend the night in the house. TOOOO creepy! Did Lizzie Borden commit her father’s & step-mother’s murders? We think not. We think the uncle did it in cahoots with the maid (who disappeared shortly after the trial and turned up later with quite a bit of money and a ranch in Montana). Sorry about the photo. We failed to take a picture of the house
What an enjoyable dinner we had at the Tipsy Toboggan, on the Fall River waterfront.
Ready for Halloween at the Tipsy Toboggan!
From Fall River, we headed north and visited Lexington, where the first shots of the American Revolution were fired.
The image I have when I think of Walden Pond and Henry David Thoreau.
Fooling around at Walden Pond. This would be a lake in Nevada!

Ropes House, built in 1727 in Salem, MA, that was used in the Hocus Pocus movie
A very tasteful tribute to the “witches” killed in 1692.
Part of a memorial for the 19 killed for being witches in 1692
House of Seven Gables was the model for Hawthorne’s book of the same name. The tour was interesting and we even got to enter the secret room.
Playpen in Hawthorne’s birth home across the way from the 7 Gables house. Whoever used it must have felt like he was in prison!
My future home? The Home for Aged Women presented by Robert Brookhouse, 1861. Somehow this doesn’t fit with the witchy décor in other parts of downtown Salem
Part of the purpose of this trip was to see the vivid fall colors in New England. It turns out that we were about 10 days ahead of the spectacular display. This is Lake Winnepesaukee, a charming lake, but little to no color.
Merry Meeting Marsh in New Hampshire. The best we could do with the colors
A delightful sculpture in a public park in Kennebunkport, NH.
Part of the Kennebunkport marina.
It wasn’t really very cold in Kennebunkport, but Jolee and I were not used to the damp cold. I needed to get a heavy sweatshirt!
Jolee spotted this interesting item while we were walking early one morning after breakfast. We were wondering if it was testing the weather, asking for help or just sayin’ “What’s up, Dude?”
Waiting for the T. This is the greatest thing and the best way (in my opinion) to get around Boston. No muss, no fuss and no looking and paying for parking. We did get our steps in every day we used it though.
Us at Bunker Hill Monument. We were bummed that it wasn’t open. It turns out that U.S. Government run sites weren’t (at that time) open on Monday and Tuesday. Just our luck. We had looked forward to climbing to the top.
Jolee taking a photo of the entire Bunker Hill obelisk
Jolee’s photo
Cemetery near Bunker Hill and the Old North Church (which we did not visit because we were too cheap to pay a fee just to sit in the pew
For those of you wondering, we did walk the Freedom Trail and the Black Heritage Trail (14 historic sites that are former residences, schools, businesses, churches of this thriving black community as well as several stations on the Underground Railroad, along which escaped slaves fled from the South to freedom in the North and in Canada). This is the home of Lewis Hayden –a fugitive slave and leading abolitionist among other life highlights. His home was also a station of the Underground Railroad.
We also rode the Boston Red Trolley (hop on and hop off tour) and learned of more places.  We visited the USS Constitution museum (the actual ship was closed for tour because it also was closed) We were disappointed but enjoyed the museum and also some fascinating artwork
Our last day in Boston found us doing a bit more touring and then visiting the “Eleanor,” a ship that was loaded with tea in 1773. This was a time when the Colonists were upset with the taxes levied by the British to help pay for the French and Indian War. The Sons of Liberty protested and were leaders of the “tea party.” We got to participate in the tea party by participating in a town hall meeting and then going to the “Eleanor” to toss the tea into the harbor.
Jolee is doing her share to help the Sons of Liberty.
All in all, 342 chests of tea were tossed into the harbor. That is about 92,000 pounds of tea… worth in about $1.7 million in today’s money.
The view from our room looking out on Quincy Bay, south of Boston proper.  (We found out Quincy is pronounced Quin-zee, not Quin-cee)  Learn something new every day.
We were sorry to leave that hotel… nice room, good pub, and extremely courteous, helpful staff.

Prime Time in the Allison House: Manitou Springs, CO – 2022

13 Aug

It has been three long years, but the Orange High group was finally able to get together this year in Manitou Springs, Colorado.  Diana and Shoo found a wonderful house (named the Allison House after the man who restored it) and we really enjoyed its accommodations.

For those of you not familiar with Manitou Springs, here is Google’s short description of this pretty town.  Manitou Springs is a resort city in Colorado, just outside Colorado Springs. It’s known for its mineral springs and mountain landscapes, dominated by soaring Pikes Peak. The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are a group of reassembled ancient cliff structures. Hundreds of steps lead up a steep slope on the Manitou Incline Trail. Manitou Avenue is home to art galleries and specialty boutiques. All of this is true, but I found the charm of the people and area to be most captivating.  “Manitou” is from the Algonquian language meaning “great spirits.”

The Allison House with its entrance bridge over Fountain Creek
Fountain Cree runs through Manitou and ends up being in confluence with the Arkansas River.
The locked mystery door in the retaining wall in back of the house. There is a small mountain directly in back of and above the wall, so the door must lead into a storeroom of some sort. Storage for roots, canned goods, guns, people, loot from robberies??? We had many scenarios.
Our dinner guest
We were within walking distance of the main street where many cool shops are, and these are just a couple of them. So many things to take home.
Lynda discovered this little coffee shop
Elizabeth and I joined her one afternoon and enjoyed the Appalachian music playing in the background
Lynda in front of an old engine on the Cog Railway. Cogs had to be used to help the engine take passengers up to the summit of Pikes Peak (14,115’), the highest of any cog railway in the world. Some of the grades were 25%. The steepest cog railway is the Pilatus in Switzerland at 48%! A regular train’s maximum grade is 2.2%.
The funny looking thing between the tracks is the cog.  (Click on the photo to see them better).  This is at the summit of Pikes Peak (Since 1890 Pikes Peak has officially been spelled without the possessive apostrophe. The U.S. Board of Geographic Names has removed nearly all apostrophes from place names for uniformity and ease of signage.).  The red things at the end are the new cog railway engines/passenger cars.
Elizabeth had never been to the Garden of the Gods and we definitely had to remedy that.
Pikes Peak in the far background. That faint line going diagonally up a nearer mountain is the mile-long Manitou Incline, a series of steps going up a VERY steep incline. People run up this trail. We didn’t. 🙂
Checking out the Balanced Rock along with many other people. Parking was hard to find.
One wonders how it has stayed balanced for so many years.

After Garden of the Gods, we drove to downtown Manitou and walked to The Loop, a nice Mexican food place. We all ate too much but we can’t prove it because none of us took pictures to document this event. We got to talking and somehow everything was gone before it entered our minds.

Wednesday, we had our Zoom call with those who were not able to join us.  That was quite a feat to get the room dark enough for the almost right ambiance.  Thank goodness Alan was there to help.  The ladder was in the background so as to hang a comforter over the window so that we wouldn’t be silhouetted by the sun.
The Zoomers
The Manitou Springs attendees
The afternoon following the Zoom, we went to a tea party…except no tea was served. Our friend, Connie, had prepared an exquisite repast of meatballs, salmon, salad, shrimp cocktail, other tasty treats and last, but certainly not least, wine. Again, we were all having so much fun with many conversations going that we have no photos of said party. Maybe that’s good? No, I’m sorry we have none as it certainly was fun. Adding to the excitement was a nearby thunder storm that not only displayed some vibrant lightning but several sharp claps that were a bit nerve wracking. This photo displays some of Connie’s enthusiasm on a hike a couple of years ago.

Lynda needed to leave the day after the Zoom to return to Denver for a family gathering…a birthday celebration!

Elizabeth, Diana, Shoo and I went to the Broadmoor, a destination resort for lunch and to walk around the grounds. It is fun to walk in the buildings and see a lot of art and some local history. Lunch at Cafè Julie’s.
Founder Spencer Penrose’s wife, Julie, and an early Broadmoor painting.
One of the Broadmoor’s wings beside the lake. We saw some good sized fish in this small lake
That evening, Alan and Jack joined us for our last night’s dinner. Alan helped prepare dinner.
Elizabeth prepared condiments and her daily avocados.
While having hors d’oeuvres on the back deck, it began to rain and poor Jack cooked the burgers while it was pouring. We enjoyed our repast inside and had some wonderful little cakes Jack had picked up at the local bakery.

Our time at the Allison House ended much too quickly and I’m sure we didn’t have enough time to chat about everything we wanted to.  We especially missed those of you who were not able to join us.  We hope it will work out for next year.

Some good advice from a tree in our front yard.

Eagles & Ag – Our Style 1/2022

16 Jan

Eagles & Ag – Our Style


Douglas County Chamber of Commerce holds this event each January to celebrate agriculture and the eagles that return each year to feed on the after birth of the cows, which traditionally bear their calves in this month.  It’s a great event and brings many people to the community to see the eagles and tour ranches.

Jerri and I have been on the tours and thoroughly enjoyed them.  But, now we “know” where the eagles will be and are able to zoom out to do our own tour.  Following, are some of the photos we took while out and about.  We definitely love our area and feel blessed that we can get out to enjoy it.  (Please click on a photo if you wish to enlarge it)

This little one was about a day old when he notified his mom to get ready for lunch
A bald eagle and a moocher crow
Bald eagle having lunch
While on our customized tour, we noticed other critters and pastoral scenes such as these. A hawk watching for any chance to get a meal.
Canada geese by the Carson River
Our beautiful Carson Range just in front of the Sierra. There are two Canada geese in the center of the pasture. They look like bumps in the grass.
Curiosity seekers
Nevada is noted for its wild horses and we found two herds by Washoe Lake (technically in Washoe Valley and the the Carson Valley…although there are herds in the Pine Nuts on the east side of the Carson Valley
Two adolescent horses were playing and chasing each other with one literally kicking up his heels.

While we didn’t get to see as many eagles as we wanted, nor did we get the photos we wanted. We did have a good time and look forward to going out again to try to espy more of the enthralling critters here in our area.  If you’d like to see some professional shots of the critters, please click on the following link and then scroll down to the photog section and you’ll have a treat. 

The Sea Ranch Adventure – Sister Trip 12 – October 2021

9 Nov
The twelfth annual Sister Trip (and second Sister Trip + 1) happened this year at The Sea Ranch, an idyllic location on the Pacific Coast about 2 ½ to 3 hours north of San Francisco.  It’s a super place to kick back, relax, and enjoy the breathtaking beaches, spectacularly rugged coastline, birds, critters and great sunsets.  It is a tiny, environmentally-planned private community stretching for 10 miles along Highway 1 at the northern end of the Sonoma County coast.
Our house was located under tall trees that made it look dark. But it really wasn’t. Please click on a photo if you wish to enlarge it.
  The back side of the house opened up to face the 5th green of the TSR (The Sea Ranch) golf course.
We visited Fort Ross, a Russian settlement established in 1812 by Russian explorers, Alaskan Aleut and traders. The last time Jerri and I visited it was when Hwy. 1 went right through the fort. Today, the highway passes by it, thus making it a more authentic place to visit and learn about this segment of California history.
California’s first windmill that ground wheat and barley into flour. Docents were tuning it up so they could demonstrate its workings.
The little bay at Fort Ross. I think Jerri and Jolee are looking for otters and/or seals.
We did find a Pacific harbor seal in another inlet. He was quite far away and that is why he is a bit blurry.
Our lunch spot after visiting Ft. Ross. Originally part of a ranch in the mid-1800s, the community became an important part of California’s timber industry, shipping ports, railroads, lumber mills, and railroad tie camps operated out of the settlement.
Jolee and Jerri “on the rocks” at TSR Shell Beach
A very unique design for TSR non-denominational chapel. It’s small but very serene inside.
One of several unique stained-glass windows in the chapel.
Of course, TSR has California seagulls. They love to strut on the sand pretending they are just moseying along, when in reality, they’re always on the lookout for a tasty morsel to swipe from another bird or critter.
We had never seen sea palms, a type of kelp, before. Here they are on the TSR coast.
The deer love TSR. They politely pose for you and then go about their business. They don’t seem at all afraid of humans.
A tree tunnel on the Bluff Trail at Sea Ranch. It’s quite fun to walk in.
A pretty sunset in Gualala (pronounced Wa-la-la, but becomes Guadelajara on spellcheck).
Point Arena lighthouse, the nearest place on the west coast to Hawaii. It was a welcome guide for safe navigation along the rugged Mendocino Coast. It was built in 1870 but destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. It was rebuilt two years later.
Pelicans were abundant right next to the lighthouse. I love to watch them fly…especially gliding over wave tops.
Arena Mina, Point Arena lighthouse cat
Jolee and Jerri fooling around after trying to play with the cat.
Buzzards (technically vultures) were everywhere. It seemed like everywhere we looked, we’d see them gliding and soaring in the wind (also sitting on a fence).
Manchester State Beach, a few miles north of the lighthouse. We loved the clouds, but a very strong wind was heralding a rapid change in the weather. It was pouring rain when we visited Fort Bragg, just a few miles up the road. What a difference a day makes in terms of weather and color. This was taken one day later than the lighthouse picture
Queenie at Queenie’s Roadhouse in Elk, CA, a few miles north of the lighthouse
Ice cream at The Cowlick in Ft. Bragg.
Mendocino (aka Cabot Cove, Maine)
Mendocino sports many water towers that I found intriguing. Apparently, some are still in use and others have been turned into tourist spots.
A sea cave at Mendocino.
The Gleesome Threesome with a normal pose.
The weather turned very rainy (picture atmospheric river). But wouldn’t you know it? Two intrepid golfers were playing through the rain. A storm doesn’t daunt dedicated golfers.
We, on the other hand, stayed in our cozy casa and built a fire…which, of course, Jerri hogged because that’s been her M.O. since she was little. LOL


TSR buzzard in flight
The iguana rock
Offshore winds used to be so fun to boogie board in because the spray would blow in your face and sometimes that helped to make the ride better.
Since the storm was going to move eastward toward the Sierra Nevada, we elected to go home a day early because of possible problems getting over the mountains and home safely. We spotted this rainbow about an hour south of TSR. It turned out that we did the right thing as the storm hit the Sierra Nevada just about when we would have been going over the mountains.
on the way home, we stopped by an old school near Bodega Bay that was the house where the movie, “The Birds” was filmed. We checked it out but couldn’t go inside as it is now a person’s residence.
The trip was really fun and we were glad we visited TSR and would like to visit it again some day.

Caldor & Dixie > Apocalypse – Aug. 2021

18 Aug

The scene we woke up to yesterday was smoky but not bad. This meant we could see the mountains and the phone app indicated the air wasn’t hazardous. Jerri and I hemmed and hawed and finally decided to make a run up to our “private” lake that we have enjoyed on my birthday last week. We got in one good kayak ride and were lounging on the beach when we noticed smoke pouring in from the west. This was our first indicator that we probably made an error in judgement. A disclaimer here…I did not take most of these photos. Jerri took some and Facebook had some posted.

The Caldor fire, south of Pollock Pines and US Hwy. 50 exploded overnight and began sending smoke eastward due high gusting winds.
A view of the smoke from just above Kirkwood Lake
Kirkwood Lake as we watched the smoke drift over us. Kirkwood Ski Resort is over and behind the ridge we are looking at.
It’s difficult to put into words how the sky darkened and became eerie and spooky. As we packed up our things and drove out to Hwy. 88, the automatic headlights came on night mode and actually made a difference in visibility. That’s how dark it was.
This is a Facebook picture of Lake Tahoe. I apologize for not writing down the photographer’s name. (We did not drive by Lake Tahoe on the trip home)
Photo near Hope Valley as we descended back into Carson Valley. The Tamarack fire burned thousands of acres on the other side of these mountains last month.
Smoke plume – Facebook photo by Randy Robbins.
Gardnerville, south of Minden in the late afternoon. Photo by Sharyn Dennison

Photos from the Dixie fire equal these if not surpass them as it is now the largest fire burning in the western states. I believe the Dixie fire was begun by lightning but the Caldor fire was begun by someone’s stupidity, an illegal bonfire and wind. I do think of an apocalypse when I see these pictures and having seen the glow, eeriness and sun disappearing on a daily basis.

My family and I are very blessed not to have lost anything due to these devastating fires and we grieve for those who have been injured or killed. We thank all those brave firefighters who put their lives on the line to help stamp out the conflagrations. Jerri’s son, Scott, is one of those firefighters who works long, difficult hours for weeks at a time. We hold our collective breaths when we know he’s out on a fire.