Archive for May 2013

Royal Gorge-Planning for the summer!   Leave a comment

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In December 2012, after an extensive fund raising effort, the Truckee Donner Land Trust and several other organizations purchased the 3000 acres of Donner Summit lands where  the Royal Gorge Cross-Country Ski Area are located. Sugar Bowl, which sits adjacent to Royal Gorge, assumed management of the ski area last winter, and Royal Gorge operated successfully. Although a longer winter would have been nice. 

While those 3000 acres are known for their prime cross-country skiing terrain, underneath all that snow are sparkling alpine lakes, craggy ridgelines and views into deep canyons. Now the next step for the Truckee Donner Land Trust is to gather input as to what should be done with that spectacular terrain during the summer. Towards that end the TDLT will be holding a series of public meetings, focus groups, property tours and even one on one meetings throughout the summer. The goal? To get as much input as possible to make sure what they do with the property is in the best interest of the community.  This information gathering effort will be led by Truckee Donner Land Trust Project Manager John Svahn.

 The Land Trust based their fund raising efforts to purchase the property on these primary goals for the property:

 Keeping the ski area open

Making the property a summer recreational destination

Helping the Donner Summit area create a sustainable economy

And where needed, restore and enhance the properties natural resources.

 To find out more or to get involved, go to http://www.royalgorgeoutreach.org

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Gardening at Tahoe/Truckee   Leave a comment

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TTC flowers fall

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Spring has sprung in the Tahoe basin…or what passes for it in the High Sierra.  We’ve been unseasonably warm for this time of year, which gets many of us itching to be out in our yards and dreaming of seed packets and gardening. Those of us who have lived here for any length of time know better. It’s not uncommon to have a substantial snowstorm in May, thus destroying all our best laid plans for flower beds.

That being said, it’s never too early to start picking up winter’s debris in anticipation. Raking up the deep carpet of pine needles, miscellaneous trash that mysteriously seems to appear once the snow drift dissipates (now how did THAT get here?) and the ever copious pine cones is never a bad idea. Nor is amending the soil to make ready for a bountiful harvest of blooms.

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Villager Nursery 2

The Villager Nursery, Truckee, CA

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Towards those ends, the local nurseries have opened early to take advantage of the unseasonably warm temperatures. For Truckee residences, there is the Villager Nursery, where in addition to plants, you can also find hydroponic and composting supplies. Visit their website for many informative articles on High Sierra Gardening and events happening at the Villager Nursery in Truckee.

http://www.villagernursery.com/

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In Tahoe City, there is The Tahoe Tree Company dba McBrides Nursery. The large log building has a gift shop in addition to garden supplies and seeds. Set on 10 acres, they also grow many native plants on site in addition to their property in Loomis.

Follow them on Facebook for all the upcoming events they have planned for this summer.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tahoe-Tree-Company-dba-Mcbrides-Nursery/119035988121811

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Memorial Day Weekend, (Friday through Monday) they will be having John’s Truckload Sale.  25% off selected shrubs!

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Tahoe Tree Company

Tahoe Tree Company, Tahoe City, CA

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Did you know that  The Tahoe Tree Company also has a secret garden that they host weddings and parties at, in addition to a special events coordinator? Check out their website for more information on this wonderful venue for your Garden Tahoe Wedding.

http://tahoetreecompanyweddings.com/.

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TTC secret garden

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The building is also home to Mountain Magic Catering to feed all your hungry party guests. Now that is one stop shopping!

http://www.mountainmagiccatering.com/tahoe-tree-company-gallery.htm

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Also, Dave’s Garden Website is a great resource if  you need help looking up plant information or need advice on gardening tips.

http://davesgarden.com/

Donner Summit…center of California history.   Leave a comment

Castle Peak at Donner Summit

Castle Peak at Donner Summit

 

 The history of Donner Summit is about much more than the horrible struggle of one party of California bound travelers that gave the area it’s name. Donner Summit is a center of California history because unbelievably it was one of the easiest ways to get over the Sierra, but as we all know, it can be an incredibly challenging passage, especially if you try to do it in a snowstorm.

 The first wagon train to reach California was the Stephens Murphy Townshend Party in 1844, which traveled over Donner Pass two years before the ill-fated Donner Party. They stopped on their journey at Big Bend long enough for the first European baby to be born in California, Elizabeth Yuba Murphy. One member of the party was Moses Schallenberger who spent the winter at Donner Lake, and later had the ridge above the lake named after him. Other party members went on to start the cities of Sunnyvale, Murphy’s and Stockton.

 The Railroad was completed in 1869, but to get over Donner Summit required fifteen massive tunnels, including Tunnel 6, which was over 1500 feet long and blasted through solid granite by crews of Chinese workers. Some of the rock removed from the tunnels was used to construct the still visible China wall, which was built without the use of mortar.

Serene Lakes

Serene Lakes

 

Without refrigeration, ice was a necessary commodity in the west in the mid 1800s, but it was transported all the way from Boston or Alaska at great expense. So when the railroad opened, entrepreneurs saw opportunity in our cold climes.  The Summit Ice Company began operation in 1868 at what were then known as the Ice Lakes, later the Serene Lakes. But the operation only lasted four years before Donner Summit’s heavy snows made nearby Prosser Lake, which had even colder temperatures, but little snow, a more attractive alternative.

 The three Serene Lakes, were turned into present day Serena and Dulzura with the raising of the water behind a dam in 1941. The construction of a new road into the lakes in 1959, issued a development opportunity, leading to the creation of eight separate subdivisions at the lakes, and over 600 homes as well as Royal Gorge Cross-Country, and the Ice Lakes Lodge.

 

 

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