Archive for August 2015

Summer Fun at Donner Lake, Truckee CA   Leave a comment

By Michelle Portesi


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Sunset at Donner Lake. Photo by Michelle Portesi


Let’s face it, the big blue, Lake Tahoe, tends to get most of the attention and press during our busy summer months. But right here in Truckee is Donner Lake, chock full of fun things to do in a much less busy environment.

I’ve lived here off and on for years, and what’s nice about the area is that when crazy holiday weekends descend, I don’t have to venture very far for food and fun. Instead of fighting the crowds, I can hoof it to most anything I might want to do, including finding basic sustenance.


Take a bike ride. The bike trails are well defined along Donner Pass Road and goes most of the way around the lake. You can continue on through the campgrounds at Donner Memorial State Park to get back to Donner Pass Road.

Go Fishing! There is a dedicated fishing pier and handicapped ramp about half way down Donner Pass Road along the lake. Or try your luck off of the many public piers. Make sure to pick up your California fishing license online.

Have a picnic. Near the Fishing pier is a picnic area right on the lake complete with picnic tables and grills. Picnic areas are also available at Donner Memorial State Park. Plan ahead and come early, these spots fill up fast.

Go for a swim. Dunking oneself  in Donner Lake during blistering hot days is a given, but many have been the evenings when the temperature doesn’t drop with the sun and my place still feels like a stuffy broiler. On those occasions, nothing is more refreshing than donning my bathing attire and taking a moonlight dip.


Kayaking at Donner Lake. Photo by Michelle Portesi

Kayaking at an inlet at Donner Lake. Photo by Michelle Portesi


Rent a kayak or paddle board at Donner Memorial State Park. The water in the mornings at Donner Lake are often a crystal clear glass calm. It’s the perfect time to ply the waters without fighting the waves whipped up by the winds, or even jet skis and boats.

Go for a boat ride. Donner Lake’s Marina is one of the few areas still deep enough in the Lake Tahoe basin despite the drought to launch your boat.  Or you can call ahead to rent a pontoon boat ride.

Go Camping. Donner Memorial Park’s campground is right near the lake and features pleasant campsites, bathrooms and actual showers! The campground also hosts many campground events during the summer. Visit for more info.


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Coldstream Canyon. Photo by Michelle Portesi


Go for a Hike. You can take a leisurely hike on the trails throughout Donner Memorial State Park, or for a little more effort, Coldstream Canyon starts at the east end of Donner Lake Campgound. Follow the creek over easy to moderate terrain to back country ponds and environmental reclamation sites. See Go Take a Hike # 4 for more info on this hike.


Sunset over Donner Lake. Photo by Michelle Portesi

Sunset over Donner Lake. Photo by Michelle Portesi


Get Yourself Some History. The new memorial museum at Donner State Park has reopened with new exhibits about the area’s history.

Just Hang Out. Read a book, sunbath, play fetch with your dog, have a glass of wine, watch the sun set. There are a wealth of public piers all along the north side of Donner Lake along Donner Pass Road just perfect for doing absolutely nothing.

If you’re a resident of Tahoe Donner, you can laze away the summer days at the Tahoe Donner Beach. There’s a snack bar and rental concessions for kayaks and paddle boats.


Dock at Tahoe Donner Beach area. Photo by Michelle Portesi

Dock at Tahoe Donner Beach area. Photo by Michelle Portesi


Don’t want to venture into town for food and/or a few items? Then you’ll be grateful for these businesses:

STICKS MARKET. Located about a mile from Donner Memorial Park is Sticks Market, featuring fresh made deli sandwiches, espresso drinks and a generous selection of wines, beer and other beverages along with the usual basic staples. They even have a fairly decent array of meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables if you just need a few items and don’t want to fight the crowds in town for them. For a small little market, they pack in quite a bit.

DONNER LAKE KITCHEN.  Known for serving breakfast and lunch, now during the summer, they are open Saturday evenings too. They will be featuring ‘Oysters on the Deck’ from 2-8 pm and also serving dinner, including steaks, burgers and sandwiches from 4-8 pm.

You’ll always find plenty to do at Donner Lake!


Seasoned Sage   Leave a comment


By Tim Hauserman

Lake Tahoe has bike riding, hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, wakeboarding, waterskiing, boating and yoga. Or you could just hang out and do nothing on the beach. But alas, eventually you have to feed yourself and that rowdy gang of friends and family that is hanging around your mountain cabin. There are plenty of nice restaurants in town, but wouldn’t it be nice to sit back and have someone bring you the food? And I’m not talking pizza, but real organic, healthy delicious lunches and dinners delivered to your door. With no buying, chopping or boiling required. Yep, somebody is doing that.

Priya Hutner moved to Truckee a few years ago with a desire to live in the mountains, a background in the food industry, and a love of turning people on to healthy food. She founded Seasoned Sage with the simple premise to bring delicious organic food to busy people.

She will deliver meals to your door, or prepare them for you in your kitchen. She uses all organic products, and focuses on the freshest and most local that she can find. Which means she heads to the farmers markets and buys boxes of produce from local farmers.

Purely in the interest of research of course, I agreed to sample some of Priya’s lunches. I especially enjoyed the Kahula pork on sweet potato with cabbage, beet and brussels saw. But I couldn’t stop there. I dove into a turkey wrap with veggies with a carrot ginger dressing, and then there was a spring chicken ragout with roasted chick peas, and then finally I had just enough room left to savor the Veggie Lasagna. All of it, very yummy.

Priya can also come to your house and be your personal chef. Wouldn’t if be nice if she was preparing your dinner while you are getting in that last paddleboard ride on Donner Lake? Or she could even put on a cooking class so once your vacation is complete, you can go home and cook the food you’ve been enjoying while you were in Truckee. Bon appetite.

For information go to






New Home Listing in Soda Springs!   Leave a comment


I’ve just listed this cute little cabin in Soda Springs. Give me a call to view your new home in the woods!



51164 Donner Pass Road, Soda Springs                                                                                                      Asking $199,950

1 Bedroom,

1 Bath

648 Square Feet






Cute Donner Summit cabin that was almost entirely renovated in 2004. Very energy efficient with increased
insulation, newer foundation, propane woodstove, dual pane windows and public sewer and water. Open floor
plan with knotty pine walls, spacious kitchen with Genesis counters and Kaars wood flooring. Lovely patio off
the dining area. You also have deeded access to the Yuba River through Taffy Lane.





Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee

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Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee


Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee

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