Archive for the ‘Fall Recreation’ Category

Stateline Lookout: What a difference a year makes   Leave a comment

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By Tim Hauserman

In the fall of 2015, I made the short journey to the Stateline Lookout above Crystal Bay. It’s a fairly short hike that rewards you with spectacular views of Lake Tahoe, from two very different perspectives: One towards the south and east over Incline Village, and the other straight towards Kings Beach. I made the trek again this week, and was rewarded not only with those jaw dropping views, but also the stark evidence of how water has poured into Lake Tahoe during this monumental winter.

Check out these photos taken from the exact same spot: The rock patio area where the actual fire lookout used to stand. The first in the fall of 2015 depicts a wide, glorious beach in front of Kings Beach, and the second, taken on March 18th, shows the swath of sand has almost disappeared under Tahoe’s sparkling waters.

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The other difference with the hike this time, was that it was mostly on snow. In the summer a paved single land road (blocked for public traffic) leads up to the top, where several paved hiking paths take off. This time, the first half of the route was down to pavement, as the road is plowed to the water tank just above the route. From there, you are walking over several feet of snow. The day we hiked, was after a week of warmness so the main route had been nicely packed down by a steady supply of visitors. Once we headed off the trail, to check out the views from the edge of the ridge, we ventured into “post-hole” land: where every step you hoped you would stay afloat and not drop down a foot, once my foot dropped about two feet.

Given the winter we’ve had, it is pretty nice to give your feet a chance to ramble, and with this short climb, you are rewarded with two amazing views. Enjoy.

Where to begin:
Take the first left off of Highway 28 on the Incline Village side of the North Shore casinos at Reservoir Road. In a short distance, turn right on Lakeview (where you will see a sign that says Lookout). Take a left at the first “Y”, then at the next “Y” your trail begins behind the gate on the left. It’s a residential area with just a few parking spaces, so try to go on a weekday. You could also park at the The Biltmore and walk up the road, which would add a pleasant mile to the hike.

 

THINK OF ME, LYNN RICHARDSON, FOR ALL OF YOUR LAKE TAHOE AND TRUCKEE REAL ESTATE NEEDS!

 

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Fall Fun Trip – Apple Hill, California   Leave a comment

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By Michelle Portesi

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Autumn brings with it a plethora of fun things to do, and one of my favorites is going down to Apple Hill, which is just past Pollock Pines on Hwy. 50.

If you’re coming from the North Shore or Truckee, you can make a day of it and take the long way around down Hwy 89 South and view all the spectacular fall colors along the way. Maybe make a quick stop at Taylor Creek, where the aspens are abundant and in all of their fall glory. Stroll along the creek to view the brilliant red and green hues of Kokanee Salmon as they make their way to their spawning grounds. Who knows?  You might spot a bear or two fishing for a quick meal.

But I digress…

It’s a beautiful drive all the way down to Apple Hill, and you’ll no doubt be starving once you get there. The beauty of Apple Hill is not only can you get a full basket of the season’s most crisp, delicious apples, but many of the orchards offer a full compliment of good eats beyond home made apple pies. BBQ Tri Tip and Pulled Pork Sandwiches often top the menus in addition to other fare.

You’ll find more than just apples at Apple Hill. It’s fun for the whole family, featuring pumpkin patches, pick your own berry farms and apples, hayrides, farmers markets, craft fairs and more.

Think of Apple Hill like it’s Disneyland. You couldn’t possibly get to every orchard and shop in one day. So if it’s your first time there, go to their website and download their map to get a lay of the land. applehill.com/map2016.  If you have been there before, you can explore a new orchard or venue you haven’t been to yet.

The website also offers a comprehensive brochure that can be downloaded and printed out – with a list of every gift shop, winery, orchard, Christmas tree farm, bakery and berry patch along the way. Starting on page 38 is a list of every point of interest with a grid showing what they offer.   issuu.com/applehill.

Here are a few of my favorites:

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Bill’s Apples

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Bill’s Apples/Felice’s Dolls – This is a beautiful orchard with not only acres of apple trees, but magnificent rolling hills of fall flowers still in full bloom. They offer a variety of apples, my favorite being the Arkansas Black. They also sell wonderful whirly-gigs and have a shop full of craft dolls and gifts

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Grandpa’s gift shop

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Grandpa’s – This orchard features a bake shop and a lovely shop specializing in all things apple themed. They also have an impressive array of specialty food items including syrups, jams and butters. I sprung for a jar each of the cranberry chutney and caramel apple butter. The perfect addition to the upcoming Thanksgiving meal.

Apple Ridge Farms – A great place to grab something to eat. It not only features a BBQ lunch and bake shop with plenty of picnic benches, but a country store, duck pond and orchard market building. Lovely grounds to stroll through and hay mazes for the kids.

High Hill Ranch– This sprawling area features plenty of places to eat, a large craft fair, hay rides, a produce shop with specialty food items and a pond area. Just up the road is the Fudge Shop full of every kind of candy you can imagine to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Rainbow Orchard – Watch them make fresh apple cider in their cider press, and don’t forget to buy a gallon. (You can freeze it!) Featuring plenty of apples for sale in addition to pumpkins, pears and much more.

Honey Bear Ranch – Wonderful bake shop featuring their signature caramel apple pie. They also have wine tasting, with a specialty near and dear my heart – 4 kinds of Hard Cider!

Boa Vista – They offer a huge produce market, wine tasting, crafts, bake shop, lunch and more! www.boavista.com

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The pumpkin that ate Tokyo…at Boa Vista

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Apple Hill is busiest during the fall, but some orchards and shops are open year round. Call ahead to pick up a fresh or frozen holiday pie. And don’t forget about their Christmas Tree Farms for choosing a perfect holiday tree.

For more information, go to Apple Hill’s Website: applehill.com

From there, you can visit the websites of all the individual orchards and venues.

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THINK OF ME, LYNN RICHARDSON, FOR ALL OF YOU LAKE TAHOE AND TRUCKEE REAL ESTATE NEEDS!

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Big Bend and Cisco Grove Along Old Hwy. 40   Leave a comment

By Tim Hauserman

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Once Highway 40 was known as the Lincoln Highway, and was the main route across the Sierra between Sacramento and Reno. Little towns such as Big Bend and Cisco Grove were places to eat, pick up some groceries, or purchase a gift before the final push over Donner Summit into Truckee. With the completion of Interstate 80, the commercial establishments along much of Highway 40 died away, but many of the original buildings and character of the communities still exist.

Cisco Grove has Gould Park, a 15 acre swath of greenery on the banks of the bustling Yuba River. From here begins the 20 Mile Museum, which includes dozens of interpretative signs along Highway 40 all the way to Donner Lake. Each sign tells the story of where you are and gives ideas for things to do nearby.

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Cisco Grove contains a host of fascinating buildings, many constructed of rock. Just another mile or so up Highway 40 lies Big Bend. On the way, be sure and marvel at the mini rapids in the Yuba River as you travel underneath Interstate 80.

Big Bend is home to a major Forest Service Fire Station, campground, the popular Loch Leven Lakes trail, and ancient cabins tucked along the Yuba River. A bit further upstream you reach The Rainbow Lodge, and then a series of fascinating cascades which splash over the smooth granite. A few lucky homes sit tucked amongst the rocks enjoying delicious natural pools in their back yards.

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While Old 40 is a leisurely drive, the best way to see Big Bend and Cisco Grove is via bicycle, in fact it is one of the most popular bike rides in the area. The road is lightly traveled, but well maintained, and the ride is pleasant and beautiful. It is also deceptively challenging. From the top of Donner Summit to Cisco Grove feels like a nice gentle descent while riding west, but feels like a long, not as gentle as you thought, ride back to the top. Especially the section between Kingvale and Soda Springs. It feels easier to start in Cisco Grove and warm up with the climb.

Whether you drive or ride, a visit to Cisco Grove and Big Bend, is a perfect way to break up the drive from the Bay Area to Truckee, and will feel like a step back in time.

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THINK OF ME, LYNN RICHARDSON, FOR ALL OF YOUR LAKE TAHOE AND TRUCKEE REAL ESTATE NEEDS!

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