Archive for the ‘Spring Recreation’ Category

The Billy Dutton Uphill   Leave a comment



bdu11 (1)


By Tim Hauserman

Photos by Far West Nordic Association.

This Sunday April 23rd is the Billy Dutton Uphill. It is tougher then it looks, and it looks pretty damn tough. The event climbs up the Mountain Run at Squaw Valley. It’s just around five kilometers to the top, a piece of cake for a cross country skier or runner right? Well, wrong, because it’s 2000 feet of climbing. It’s hard, but it’s also spectacularly beautiful to ski the Squaw terrain in the early morning, enjoy an awesome party at the top with an always cool group of local folks, and then enjoy the view from the tram as you head back down the hill. Or you can be one of the truly adventurous and join a few crazies who ski back down the hill on their skinnies.

The race is run in memory of Billy Dutton, one of the founders of the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue. He was a Squaw Valley kid who used to like to ski up the mountain on his classic skis before succumbing to cancer several decades ago. Members of his family join the event every year.




The Billy Dutton attracts cross country skiers, and snowshoers/runners and has different prize categories for each. A few runners have come close to winning the event every year, and are often in the lead until the several hundred yard downhill just before the finish. The Billy Dutton is a fundraiser for Far West Nordic’s Junior program. The party at High Camp includes an excellent silent auction and raffle prizes, as well as music and food and a chance to catch your breath while enjoying the amazing view.

Every skier or runner should try the Billy Dutton at least once. I’ve done it about five times, even though every time I do it I wonder why I’m doing this to myself once again. The trick of course is to ski slow and steady, which has never been my strong suit. I go way too fast out of the gate, followed by leaning over my poles gasping for breath. Whatever your technique, it’s a true iconic Tahoe event that should definitely be on every cross country skier or runners bucket list.


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

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.



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.




Local Road Trip! – The Tahoe/Truckee Cure for Rampant Cases of Spring Fever   Leave a comment


High Hand conservatory 2

High Hand Nursery – Loomis



By Michelle Portesi

Around November, we all start praying for snow. Not only does so much of our local economy depend on it, but most of us will say we look forward to the changing of seasons. We like skiing, snowboarding and snow shoeing. We like winter. We do. But if we’re perfectly honest, we have to admit it. Sometimes in the Tahoe/Truckee basin, winter just lasts waaaaaaaay too long!

By March, the cold, snow, rain and sunless days start getting on my nerves. Hard. Seed catalogs are arriving in the mail, and I wistfully begin thinking about warm sunny days, hiking and working in the garden.  Only to look out at this…


There’s still 10′ of snow. OY!


Yes, my raised garden bed is under there somewhere. The weight of this winter’s heavy snow has probably shattered it into splinter sized pieces. Even if it survives, I’m not going to be seeing it anytime soon. My summer wardrobe still languishes in the back of the closet, as I once again pull on snow boots, bulky sweaters, coats, hats and mittens.

At which point, I have to cop to what a few months ago seemed utterly blasphemous. I’M SICK OF SNOW!!!  I’M SICK OF WINTER!!! SICK, SICK, SICK OF IT, I TELL YOU!!!  It becomes painfully clear that I’m in serious need of getting the heck out of Dodge and heading for warmer climes, even if it is only for a day or two.

So imagine my delight when a friend introduced me to High Hand Nursery, a venue that satisfies spring cravings on so many levels. Warmth and sun, leisurely outdoor lunches, feeding my gardening fetish (even though I can’t do anything about it for several more months) and walking the grounds surrounded by fecund greenery and riotous floral blooms. It’s just what the doctor ordered for a bad case of spring fever.


High Hand Pizza bar

Outdoor High Hand Pizza Bar – with real brick oven fired pizza!


high hand conservatory

Lunch at High Hand Cafe and Conservatory


Located in Loomis, High Hand Nursery is a reasonable drive straight down I-80. It has a take-away Cafe and outdoor wood fired pizza bar, but most come to enjoy the fantastic meals served in the conservatory overlooking the rest of the gardens and nursery. (Make reservations in advance. This place is busy!)  After lunch, there are a few retail shops in addition to the nursery you can explore. Or stroll around the grounds, getting ideas for landscaping after Tahoe/Truckee’s eventual spring thaw, or envy the prolific and exotic blooms of plants that sadly, won’t winter over in our area. When it comes to spring fever…one can always dream.


high hand nursery 1

High Hand Nursery


High Hand Nursery is located at:

3750 Taylor Road, Loomis CA 95650

(916) 652-2065 ext 1

Nursery Mon-Sat 9am-5pm
Sun 9am-4pm


Cafe (916) 652-2064 – ext 2

Tues-Fri 11am-3pm
Sat-Sun 9am-3pm

For more information on the Nursery and Cafe, including upcoming events, visit their website at:


high hand koi pond

High Hand Koi Pond






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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