Tahoe Weekly https://thetahoeweekly.com Lake Tahoe's Complete Events, Entertainment, Recreation, Dining, Art guide Wed, 12 Jun 2019 22:15:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.1 https://thetahoeweekly.com/files/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/cropped-SiteIcon_Tahoe-2-32x32.png Tahoe Weekly https://thetahoeweekly.com 32 32 Mountain biking season in Tahoe https://thetahoeweekly.com/2019/06/mountain-biking-season-in-tahoe/ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 19:00:52 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=52180 With the warmer June days, the snow is melting faster and more mountain biking trails are opening daily throughout the Tahoe Sierra. Tim Hauserman explores a great early-season trail for this edition in “Rolling on the Emigrant Trail.” Explore the Emigrant Trail or some of the region’s other trails; you’ll find a list of some […]

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Mountain biking season is here with local trails beginning to clear of snow and mountain biking parks throughout the region opening for the season. Tim Hauserman checks out the conditions on the Emigrant Trail for this edition. A list of local mountain biking trails and parks is in this edition or visit TheTahoeWeekly.com; click on Mountain Biking under the Out & About menu. Photography by Chris Bartkowski, Northstar California | northstarcalifornia.com

With the warmer June days, the snow is melting faster and more mountain biking trails are opening daily throughout the Tahoe Sierra. Tim Hauserman explores a great early-season trail for this edition in “Rolling on the Emigrant Trail.”

Explore the Emigrant Trail or some of the region’s other trails; you’ll find a list of some of our favorites in this edition and at TheTahoeWeekly.com; click on Mountain Biking under the Out & About Menu. This week also marks the opening of the mountain bike park at Northstar California; with others opening in the coming weeks as conditions permit.

Bocce, another popular Tahoe sport, is in full swing at local parks and restaurants, as bocce enthusiast Kayla Anderson pens in “Bocce Takes Over Tahoe” in this edition. Grab a drink and join the fun for the night or by joining a local league.

Ultimate Tahoe Summer Bucket List

Take the challenge and check off items on our Ultimate Tahoe Summer Bucket List. Share your photos #TheTahoeWeekly. Visit TheTahoeWeekly.com; click on Out & About for the list.


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Garden to Glass Mixology | Foraging for Flavor https://thetahoeweekly.com/2019/06/garden-to-glass-mixology-foraging-for-flavor/ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 18:59:17 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=52141 The bottles of simple syrup and cocktail elixirs smell of earth and flowers and some, the smokiness of fire. Owner Michelle Stohlgren of Garden to Glass Mixology creates and blends syrups and bases from the forests of Tahoe and prepares delicious cocktails and mocktails. “I began to immerse myself in wilderness botany and took a […]

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Garden to Glass Tahoe Mule Syrup and Tahoe Mule Cocktail. | Michelle Stohlgren

The bottles of simple syrup and cocktail elixirs smell of earth and flowers and some, the smokiness of fire. Owner Michelle Stohlgren of Garden to Glass Mixology creates and blends syrups and bases from the forests of Tahoe and prepares delicious cocktails and mocktails.

“I began to immerse myself in wilderness botany and took a medicinal wildlife plant course. There are a lot of local plants that are commonly used to make spirits in our area. World history is in these bottles,” says Stohlgren, who points to the bottles on the table.

She uses seasonal locally grown plants for her elixirs. Stohlgren, a cocktail mixologist, has bartended for both Cottonwood Restaurant and Truckee Tavern. Her passion for the outdoors and mixology led her to create her business Garden To Glass.

As Stohlgren learned more about plants, her research led her to an old pre-Prohibition recipe book. She found wellness recipes using plants and spirits. She experimented with local plants and learned about the history and evolution of how these plants were used.

“When we had over abundance of large harvests, pre-refrigeration, we needed to find a way to preserve them. We made tinctures and wines and dehydrated the plants. Alcoholic beverages were not just made for use in bars, but also prepared for longevity and health and wellness throughout the year,” says Stohlgren.

Stohlgren explains that her gateway into herbs and plants was wormwood, the local version of which is mugwort, that grows in Tahoe and was introduced to her during one of her wild plant courses. According to Stohlgren, it is easy to harvest and it grows abundantly here. Wormwood is used in absinthe, vermouth, aperitivo and amaro.

Michele Stohlgren mixing cocktails. | Courtesy Garden to Glass Mixology

“It does cool things for dreams. It’s bitter tasting and great for digestion. Vermouth cannot be vermouth without wormwood,” she says.

I open a small bottle and smell it. It has a smoky, burnt aroma like the slight smell of a forest fire.

“We are fortunate to live in a vibrant and abundant wilderness in Tahoe. Winter trees like cedar and Douglas firs give us vitamins. We make teas out of them. We forage sustainably and only use what’s seasonally available,” says Stohlgren.

I taste a spoonful of the simple syrup; it is intense.

“Imagine it in an old fashioned,” Stohlgren says.

I close my eyes. It definitely would add a unique taste to the cocktail. She also creates Smoky Daiquiris and Smoky Lemon Drops with cedar syrup.

“It’s got a fun, woodsy flavor,” she says.

For a non-alcoholic version, she adds it to soda water along with fresh berries. The elixir is prepared with smoked cedar Stohlgren forages and mixes with cedar leaf, demerara, sugar and water.

For a Tahoe Mule, Stohlgren uses ginger, Douglas fir, lime zest, honey and water. But it is Stohlgren’s homemade St. Germain syrup made with elderflowers that I am called to. It is so delicious and reinforces my obsession with elderflower and Prosecco cocktails.

In addition to simple syrups, Stohlgren makes alcohol-based tinctures with mugwort and elderberries. For her elixirs, tinctures and cocktails she is constantly experimenting, figuring out the balance of bitter, fruity and sweet and adding spices along the way.

Glass to Garden host’s private events, mixology classes, caters weddings and parties, and offers back-country bartending hikes. Stohlgren also offers private, specialty cocktail consultations, develops cocktail menus, trains bar staff and offers mixology education.

Stohlgren’s vision is to offer an authentic Tahoe experience steeped in wilderness and culture through mixology. | gardentoglassmixology.com

Elderflower Cordial  | Courtesy Michelle Stohlgren

Elderflower Cordial

½ C Elderflower, fresh or dehydrated
1 C honey
¾ C water

In a small saucepan, combine the elderflower, honey and water over low heat. Use a whisk to slowly stir the honey until it has dissolved into the water. This usually takes 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool and store in a tight sealing jar in refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Elderflower & Bubbles Cocktail/Mocktail | Courtesy Michelle Stohlgren

1 oz. elderflower cordial
½ oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Champagne or Pellegrino to fill glass

Combine elderflower cordial and lemon juice in a flute. Slowly top with champagne for cocktail or Pellegrino for a mocktail. Garnish with a lemon twist.


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Achilles Wheel Spins Round Its Own Sun https://thetahoeweekly.com/2019/06/achilles-wheel-spins-round-its-own-sun/ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 18:59:11 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=52166 “Achilles Wheel never was a Grateful Dead cover band,” says guitarist Paul Kamm. “Today we cover The Dead one or two times a show. Sometimes we don’t cover them at all. The confusion is that some of the band members came from our days in cover bands.” June 16 | 4 p.m. Commons Beach | […]

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Achilles Wheel never was a Grateful Dead cover band,” says guitarist Paul Kamm. “Today we cover The Dead one or two times a show. Sometimes we don’t cover them at all. The confusion is that some of the band members came from our days in cover bands.”

June 16 | 4 p.m.
Commons Beach | Tahoe City

After moving to Nevada City in 1980, Kamm traveled the country as a troubadour in a modern folk duo with his wife, Eleanore McDonald. It was around 1993 when he started jamming with local cover band The Deadbeats.

Check out the Tahoe Music, Events & Festivals guide for all the summer fun.

“When we first started, we all loved that music and we love it still,” says Kamm. “You can do one song all night long when you’re in a Grateful Dead cover band. We do have that background, but we’ve worked tirelessly to create our own material.”

On their latest record, “Sanctuary,” Achilles Wheel presents a vibey exploration of jam music riding Kamm’s evocative vocals, Jonny “Mojo” Flores’ fiery guitar and the fantastically multilayered drumming of Mark McCartney. Ben Jacobs on keyboard and accordion and Shelby Snow on bass round out the group. It’s one part String Cheese Incident, one part Railroad Earth and classic American roots, country and blues — the first record the band has done in a professional studio.

“That was an advantage,” says Kamm. “Instead of sitting in our home studio saying, ‘How does that sound, boys?’ we had guys who totally knew how to make it sound good.”

Although Kamm’s voice recalls the expressive freedom of James Taylor or Mark Knopfler more so than the soulful countertenor of Jerry Garcia, the rich lyrical content of his songs evokes the thoughtful and balanced compositions of the Grateful Dead catalog. Tunes such as “Drink the Water,” “Babylon by Morning” and “Turn the Worm” are deep, full voyages into live dance-beat magic with evocative imagery, unexpected melodic turns and fertile narratives woven into the multidimensional music.

“As a songwriter myself, [Dead lyricist] Robert Hunter was just the shit for me,” he admits. “I’m not turning my back on any of this stuff. When jams band started to get popular, the music sometimes seemed to take second place to the lyrics. Right from the beginning, The Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead were more about the songs.”

Lead guitarist Johnny “Mojo” Flores hosts Grateful Mondays jam sessions at Dead bassist Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads club in San Rafael and his occasional use of an envelope filter on his guitar does recall Garcia circa 1977. However, his style is not at all limited to perfectly intoned mixolydian runs and ancient banjo riffs. He can channel the pure, soulful blues of Duane Allman, Eric Clapton and Chuck Berry with the best of them.

When Kamm and Flores first got together to jam in what became Achilles Wheel, they started out covering the staples: Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, The Band. The audience response was positive, but they noticed something happened when they slipped one of their original compositions: people didn’t leave the dance floor.

“So, we slowly worked more and more material into our catalog,” says Kamm. “As soon as we started playing together, we realized we’d be more than a bar band playing cover songs.”

Achilles Wheel recently received a Sammie award from Sacramento News & Review in the category of World Music. It’s a genre that began to take commercial shape around the time of Paul Simon’s groundbreaking 1986 LP “Graceland” by incorporating rhythms of indigenous tribes into contemporary music. Winning in this category style made sense to Kamm who had a world beat band called Matinee Forever with McDonald in the early 1980s.

“Even if we hadn’t been fans of Grateful Dead, we’re still going to be enjoying that sort of exploration,” he says. “We want to have a good party, but also have some social consciousness while were doing that.”

In spite of it all, Kamm won’t pass up a chance to jam with Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir when Achilles Wheel shares the lineup with him and Wolf Bros at Santa Cruz Mountains Sol Festival in Felton in September.

“It’s been near misses forever,” he says “I would personally be stoked if Bob ever played with us, even a couple songs. That would get definitely get us going.”

Achilles Wheel kicks off the free summer concert series Concerts on Commons (sponsored by Tahoe Weekly) every Sunday in Tahoe City through Sept. 1. Check out the summer concert lineup at TheTahoeWeekly.com; click on Music Scene. | concertsatcommonsbeach.com


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Rolling on the Emigrant Trail https://thetahoeweekly.com/2019/06/rolling-on-the-emigrant-trail/ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 18:58:54 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=52139 It was a big winter, nearly double the average snowfall in some places, but now with skiing just about done (except at Squaw Valley), it is time to get out on a bike and roll over some dirt. The problem is that many of our favorite trails are still covered in snow or too muddy […]

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Along the Emigrant Trail looking toward Mount Rose.

It was a big winter, nearly double the average snowfall in some places, but now with skiing just about done (except at Squaw Valley), it is time to get out on a bike and roll over some dirt. The problem is that many of our favorite trails are still covered in snow or too muddy to ride. One solution to that dilemma is the Commemorative Overland Emigrant Trail north of Truckee. Everyone who rides it regularly knows it as The Emigrant Trail. It’s located east of the Pacific Crest, sits at a lower elevation than most area trails and travels much of the way through open terrain; so it’s one of the first mountain bike trails to open up in the spring. As an added bonus, it’s rolling, up-and-down terrain is a good warmup for taking on the more challenging mountain-biking trails that will eventually emerge from the snow.

Explore more mountain biking trails. Click on Mountain Biking under the Out & About menu.

The Emigrant Trail travels from the edge of Tahoe Donner on Alder Creek Road to Stampede Reservoir, but most folks just ride between Prosser Creek and Stampede. A new trailhead was created a few years ago, just off Hobart Mills Road, to allow people to park off the highway. From this trailhead to Stampede and back is about 22 miles. The alternative trailheads in Tahoe Donner on Alder Creek Road and at the Donner Party Picnic Area on State Route 89 add both length and technical difficulty.

From the Hobart Mills trailhead, the single-track trail follows Prosser Creek, then climbs up to a level plateau. Check out the views of the creek as you climb — if you can pedal hard and look at the same time. If not, enjoy walking your bike the last 50 feet, then stop to watch the bustling water.

Once the trail levels, you cross a lightly used road that provides access to Prosser Reservoir. Your ride now, as it will be for the rest of the route, is through a mixture of sagebrush and Jeffrey pines. Soon, the trail drops down into a lush river of grass; on a boardwalk you cross a small creek. The trail then climbs back out up a steep slope with a challenging switchback that might make some riders disembark before they cross the dirt Old Reno Road, followed by another gentle descent to a springtime creek. Then it’s more climbing.

You get the picture. It’s all mostly gentle to moderate climbs followed by descents until you reach a saddle with mountain views to the north. Here a longer descent leads to a paved crossing of Hobart Mills Road. Those who’ve had enough dirt can head left here, climb up the paved road for about 1 mile before a long descent brings you back to Hobart Mills.

More energized riders face a potential tricky but narrow little creek ford, followed by a roll past a wildflower dotted meadow and a big descent. The riding is fun and not overly challenging, although the trail has become rockier over the years as the formally smooth surface has eroded in many spots.

Creek crossing on the Emigrant Trail near Russel Valley Road.

If you have the energy, go ahead and punch it up those climbs because they will be over soon enough and are followed by descents. There are also some nice gentle ups and downs where you can pedal and enjoy the open forest in the sunshine — which explains why this trail melts out fast.

After the steep part of the descent wanes and the rolling up and down continues, Russell Valley is visible to your right, before another climb brings a descent to a gravel road and a small spring. The next climb brings the last gentle descent to a junction with two steep options to choose from: Straight ahead takes you to an intersection with Dog Valley Road where you can turn left and go to the Stampede Reservoir Boat Ramp or at that first intersection take the single track uphill to your left toward the boat launch. This route though leads to an arm of Stampede that given last winter will be full and not allow passage to the launch.

The view from the boat launch is worth the effort. Most of Stampede unfolds before you. Look for bald eagles and osprey that frequent the lake. You can also be entertained by fishing boats being put into or taken out of the water. Or, on a warm day, get yourself wet. There is a pit toilet, but no water. Once you are ready, return the way you came.

Hobart Mills Trailhead

Drive 5 miles north of Truckee on State Route 89. Just after passing Prosser Creek, turn right on Hobart Mills Road. The trailhead is quickly on your right. Weekends are busy times for this trail; plan accordingly. | truckeetrails.org


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Sunde White’s Coloring Books https://thetahoeweekly.com/2019/06/sunde-whites-coloring-books/ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 18:57:37 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=52124 Six epic dinosaur battle scenes capture the boys’ attention as they fill in the lines with color in “Dinosaurs vs. Machines” coloring books from Sunde White Industries. They take the users through a storyline that pits a T-Rex against a tow truck, a carnotaurus against a monster truck and more, making it fun for kids […]

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“Dinosaurs vs. Machines” coloring book. | Courtesy Sunde White

Six epic dinosaur battle scenes capture the boys’ attention as they fill in the lines with color in “Dinosaurs vs. Machines” coloring books from Sunde White Industries. They take the users through a storyline that pits a T-Rex against a tow truck, a carnotaurus against a monster truck and more, making it fun for kids to learn more advanced words and for adults to read.

“The boys love the dinosaur one, which is cool because it can be hard to get boys to engage with reading,” says author and illustrator Sunde White.

Her dinosaur-focused book is just one of the three coloring books sold at Trunk Show in Tahoe City; the others are “Costumed Cats” and “From the Sea to the Trees.”

The Trunk Show workshop. | Courtesy Sunde White

“Adults and girls are more drawn to ‘Costumed Cats’ and ‘From the Sea to the Trees’ because they are funny and quirky,” she says. “Girls ages 10 to 13 want to do more artsy things and are into costumes and nature, whereas I would say boys ages 4 and up love the dinosaur books and battles with words. The cats have cool costumes — it’s like a history book with cats — and adults think that they’re really fun.

“I know that adult coloring books are a thing now, but I think that ‘From the Sea to the Trees’ appeals to a more general audience. The dinosaur books are more for kids than adults, who are sitting around drinking wine and coloring. I just thought that it was more of a safe bet to make cool, quirky books for kids and that they would stand the test of time because kids are always coloring,” she says.

White has been drawing and illustrating since she can remember; she recently found some of her childhood things, which included little story books she made.

“I’ve always loved to write and illustrate and am comfortable combining words and images. I’ll get an idea in my head and just make it,” White says.

Along with creating art, White is an avid surfer and snowboarder; she lives in San Francisco. She often spends her summers catching waves at Ocean Beach and Montara. She comes to the Tahoe Sierra in the winter to shred the slopes at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Sugar Bowl.

It was Trunk Show owner Jaclyn Woznicki who found Sunde White Industries through social media and soon after started carrying her greeting cards and coloring books. White has had her greeting card business since 2009, but expanded into selling prints, journals, magnets, pet portraits and more.

“As a company I grew and began expanding my line to include more variety for shops and the festivals that I went to,” White says.

She decided to try her hand at “kooky” coloring books, because she’s always enjoyed writing and illustrating. She regularly posts illustrative essays on her Web site.

White also hosts arts and crafts workshops and posts art tips through her YouTube channel. For instance, to celebrate Trunk Show’s fifth anniversary, White set up a table in front of the store last summer and invited shoppers to stop and create their own works of art.

The Trunk Show workshop. | Courtesy Sunde White

“We did funny jackelope cards and ones with bears and typical Tahoe stuff on them. It was casual; people who were walking by would stop and make things,” she says.

It was her first time in Tahoe during the summer, White says, that she got the full Tahoe experience when she found that her car had been broken into — but with only one thing missing.

“I came out early in the morning and set up and then came back to my car in the afternoon and it was broken into. Art supplies were all over the ground and I realized a bear had pulled out my suitcase and dug through everything to get to the bag of Hershey kisses at the bottom. It meticulously unwrapped each of them, leaving only the foil. The car next to us had paw prints all over it, too,” she says.

Currently White is working on the sequel to “Dinosaurs vs. Machines” titled “Dinosaurs vs. Aliens,” set to be published this fall. | sundewhiteindustries.com


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Yoga Wellness for Kids https://thetahoeweekly.com/2019/06/yoga-wellness-for-kids/ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 18:55:04 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=52133 Yoga is an ancient Indian tradition used to promote mental and physical wellness. Although the timeline is debatable, it can be traced back to early texts dated around 200 B.C. Yet, it wasn’t until the 20th Century when yoga became popular in the western world. By combining physical postures, meditation and concentration on the breath, […]

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Michelle and Anikin Allen in Child’s Pose.

Yoga is an ancient Indian tradition used to promote mental and physical wellness. Although the timeline is debatable, it can be traced back to early texts dated around 200 B.C. Yet, it wasn’t until the 20th Century when yoga became popular in the western world.

By combining physical postures, meditation and concentration on the breath, yoga can decrease blood pressure, increase strength and flexibility, and relieve stress and anxiety.

The benefits of practicing yoga can create balance and connection between one’s external and internal experiences. Most of us are overworked, overstressed and overstimulated, and we feel frustrated, angry and anxious. Yoga can become a tool for coping with stress and minimizing its negative impact on our mental and physical health.

Our kids are feeling anxious, too. They are overstimulated by digital devices; they are becoming more sedentary and are facing intense peer pressure at school and on social media. These things create stress, making kids feel angry, depressed and insecure.

Adults use yoga to help alleviate the effects of stress. It is often recommended by doctors, personal trainers and therapists, but is not often considered a practice for kids. Why not?

With movement, concentration on the breath and mental focus exercises, yoga can help kids find an equilibrium and ease to the way they think and feel. The practices can be taught that in a way that is relatable and interesting to kids of any age. Simple versions of poses and breathing techniques bridge the gap between their interest and their boredom. If it’s too complicated or not relatable, most kids will lose interest. The hope is that they use yoga to help relieve stress throughout their lives.

I have been doing yoga with my son Anikin since he was a toddler. His interest waivers, sometimes he loves it and sometimes he grumbles and rolls his eyes. He doesn’t realize it, but I have noticed that it brings out Anikin’s silly side. He giggles a lot and makes up his yoga poses, tries to sit on me or jump over me. It holds his attention for a little while and during that time, he is calm, happy and balanced.

Michelle and Anikin Allen in Downward Facing Dog.

When Anikin and I do yoga together, we do poses such as Cat-Cow, Lizard and Downward Facing Dog. These poses are easy to do and easy to relate to. The body position in the pose mimics the natural shape of the animal. We often make animal noises, which usually makes us laugh.

Anikin and I also work on breathing exercises that help calm the mind and support us during stressful times. When Anikin gets frustrated or angry, we first try breathing deeply and counting as we breathe. Another fun breathing exercise is called bee’s breath. We plug our ears gently with our fingers and hum on the exhale. The buzzing bee sound helps distract his mind away from negative throughs and feelings.

When breathing doesn’t work, we try redirecting our thoughts to something more pleasant. And if that still doesn’t work, we try redirecting our focus. We sing a song, look for things like insects or flowers or we have a dance party. Even if he is resistant, he usually is calmer and more balanced afterward.

There are many resources for learning about yoga — some geared toward kids. Online videos, books and apps are available, but not many specifically for kids. However, the poses in most classes can usually be done by kids, so a short class might be possible.

Anikin and I practice poses and breathing at home and we sometimes read “Good Morning Yoga” or follow a video on YouTube or Glo. Currently there are few classes for kids in our area but hopefully that will change some day.

Michelle and Anikin do a breathing exercise.

Many schools are adding yoga to their routines to promote excellent physical and mental health. Anikin’s school does a breathing exercise called a Mindful Minute during morning announcements to encourage students to start the day off with a clear and calm mind.

Mind Yeti, an online service, is another great resource being used in classrooms to teach kids how to calm down and focus their attention. Kids can learn simple calming activities helping them to feel more connected with themselves and to others.

Despite Anikin’s wavering interest and his intermittent disdain, I am persistent in exposing him to different yoga practices. I will continue to share with him all the benefits of yoga because it has had a positive impact on my life. Couldn’t we all use relief from stress? Be open to yoga and invite your kids to be, too. You can start now. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.


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Building the World’s First Transcontinental Railroad, Part V https://thetahoeweekly.com/2019/06/building-the-worlds-first-transcontinental-railroad-part-v/ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 18:53:20 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=52172 In its effort to construct the California portion of America’s first transcontinental railway, Central Pacific Railroad struggled to conquer the Sierra Nevada. It took crews consisting of mostly hard-working Chinese nationals five years (1863-68) to reach Reno, Nev., 131 miles from Sacramento, with progress measured in feet or sometimes just inches per day. Read the […]

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Sacramento and San Francisco celebrated two days early. | Courtesy California State Library

In its effort to construct the California portion of America’s first transcontinental railway, Central Pacific Railroad struggled to conquer the Sierra Nevada. It took crews consisting of mostly hard-working Chinese nationals five years (1863-68) to reach Reno, Nev., 131 miles from Sacramento, with progress measured in feet or sometimes just inches per day.

Read the first four parts. Click on Transcontinental Railroad under the Explore Tahoe menu.

Despite working around the clock, crossing the Sierra had proven nearly impossible due to climate, topography and geology. Deep winter snow, steep canyons and obdurate granite combined to slow the effort to breach the mountain range. Central Pacific accountants figured that grading the roadbed, laying the ties and rails, and rolling stock and support infrastructure had already cost the railroad company about $32 million, an average of $245,600 per mile. Cost estimates had been way off. In one example, chief engineer Theodore Judah predicted the expense of driving tunnels through the mountains at just $50 per foot — the actual cost was closer to $1,000. By the time the company reached Nevada, it was nearly bankrupt.

Click on Transcontinental Railroad under the Explore Tahoe menu for articles on the history of Truckee and the Transcontinental Railroad, local celebrations, events and more.

Central Pacific wasn’t only facing the challenges of laying track over the Sierra Nevada; it was in a desperate contest with Union Pacific Railroad to cover as much ground as possible in the least amount of time. Once crews reached the more forgiving Nevada desert, however, work advanced rapidly. Central Pacific general superintendent Charles Crocker was determined to push forward at least 1 mile per day in 1868 in the race to Promontory, Utah, against the westbound progress of Union Pacific Railroad, which had started in Omaha, Neb. To maximize productivity, Crocker discouraged alcohol drinking among Irish workers and threatened Chinese laborers when on occasion he caught them smoking opium to relax or forget aching muscles.

Transcontinental Railroad Celebrations goldspike.org

June 15 | 5 p.m.
History Talk: Boca Brewery | Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center
June 15 | 10 a.m.
Interpretive Walk, Boca Town Site

The construction competition between Central Pacific and Union Pacific was a profligate waste of money, but it ranks as one of the greatest feats of engineering in U.S. history. During the 1860s, the railroad companies were competing with the Union Army during the American Civil War in purchases of iron rail, locomotives and railroad equipment. Prices for these items skyrocketed. After Judah’s untimely death in 1863, James Harvey Strobridge took over as Central Pacific’s lead engineer. The tall, 37-year-old Irishman was perfect for the job — gruff yet highly competent. Strobridge believed that without the pressure of speed required, construction costs would have been 70 percent less, but the line was built “without regard to any outlay that would hasten its completion.”

No Hollywood movie director could have set a better stage for the challenge of human endurance and complex organization than the epic race between Central and Union Pacific railroads. The whole operation ran like a well-oiled machine. Graders and bridge builders worked miles in advance of the track crews laying iron rail while separate telegraph teams installed poles and strung wire. Part of the Pacific Railway Act required the first transcontinental telegraph to be installed along with track construction. Every 2 miles of new track consumed 500 tons of rails, ties and track hardware. Every piece used by Central Pacific was shipped to San Francisco from foundries on the East Coast.

By August, Central Pacific workmen were averaging 2 to 3 miles of track a day, but they still had hundreds of miles to go. An intense rivalry had built up between the Central Pacific and Union Pacific crews. When Union Pacific crews bragged that they had set a track-laying record with 4½ miles in one day, Central Pacific crews exceeded it with 6 miles. Union Pacific then boosted the pace to 8 miles, but it had taken from three in the morning until midnight to do it. The race for riches had turned into a contest of pride and bragging rights. Crocker was certain that his Chinese laborers and Irish tracklayers could outperform Union Pacific workers in speed and endurance.

As both lines approached Promontory Point, Crocker decided to set a track-laying record that no one could beat. Six months before he had bet Union Pacific’s vice president Thomas C. Durant $10,000 that Central Pacific would lay 10 miles of rail in one shift from dawn to dusk. Crocker assured himself victory by waiting for a level stretch that would end less than 10 miles from Union Pacific’s end of track, thus guaranteeing that there could be no counter-effort by Durant.

On April 27, 1869, the day before the attempt, Crocker assembled about 5,000 employees (nearly all volunteers) to work in specialized support teams. Only 850 men would do the actual track laying. Central Pacific executive Leland Stanford was there to cheer the men on as were guest engineers and witnesses from Union Pacific and officers from a nearby army garrison.

At dawn the following day a whistle shrieked, and the frenzy commenced. Chinese workers unloaded wagons and delivered supplies while eight strong Irishmen muscled the 600-pound iron rails — two men at each end — into place with tongs. They were quickly followed by rail straighteners, levelers and then spikers who hammered down the iron spikes in 10 quick blows. Next were fishplate men, then tampers and finally the gravel-crunching ballast teams. No man stopped and no man passed another. It was a living, breathing, human track-laying machine.

Eyewitnesses stared in awe as newly completed track miraculously appeared as fast as a man could walk. Only months before in the Sierra, Central Pacific crews were progressing inches a day. Now, at one point, workers constructed 240 feet of track in just 1 minute and 20 seconds. One military officer said, “It was just like an army marching over the ground and leaving a track behind.”

As the line advanced, exhausted men were pulled and replaced with fresh workers. The Irish ironmen were each lifting 11,000 pounds of rail per hour but showed no signs of faltering. It was an incredible performance. At 1:30 that afternoon the lunch whistle blew with 6 miles done. Union Pacific officials knew then that Crocker would certainly win his bet. Central Pacific gave the men a full hour to eat before the work whistle blew again. By dusk 10 miles and 56 feet of new track crossed Utah’s high desert. Crocker ordered his heaviest locomotive to run the track at 40 mph. The track passed the test and Central Pacific set a world record that stands today.

In one 12-hour shift, the construction had consumed 25,800 railroad ties, 3,520 rails, 28,160 spikes and 14,080 bolts. Each of the eight Irish track layers lifted 264,000 pounds of iron in the course of that day’s work — the eight-man reserve team was never used. On May 10, 1869, the track was complete, and the United States was united by rail and telegraph.


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Sublime with Rome | Brings it Back to 1992 https://thetahoeweekly.com/2019/06/sublime-with-rome-brings-it-back-to-1992/ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 18:52:09 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=52168 Rome Ramirez grew up listening to the one and only South California phenomenon that was Sublime. Inspired by the iconic early 1990s power trio’s charismatic mix of punk, reggae and ska, he started a couple of bands while attending high school in Fremont, but they didn’t go far. June 13 | 7:30 p.m. Grand Sierra […]

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Rome Ramirez grew up listening to the one and only South California phenomenon that was Sublime. Inspired by the iconic early 1990s power trio’s charismatic mix of punk, reggae and ska, he started a couple of bands while attending high school in Fremont, but they didn’t go far.

June 13 | 7:30 p.m.
Grand Sierra Resort | Reno, Nev.

“I never met anyone that wanted to go as hard as I did, figuring it out day by day, all or nothing,” he says. “I wanted to be in a band more than anything.”

After a girlfriend turned him onto beach rocker Jack Johnson, he decided he wanted to be a solo artist.

“It was a natural kind of thing,” he says.

Hoping to make an album Ramirez moved to Los Angeles where sound engineer Lewis Richards at 17th Street Recording Studio in Costa Mesa taught him how to record music and introduced him to Sublime bassist Eric Wilson.

“We started jamming punk rock music at Eric’s house,” says Ramirez. “Black Flag, songs I wrote, songs he wrote. After a year or two of that he asked me if I’d be interested in joining the band. I was like, ‘Hell yeah!’ Now we’ve been a band for 10 years. It’s pretty rad.”

At the time the new group formed, it had been more than a decade since Sublime disbanded following the sudden overdose of singer, guitarist and primary songwriter Bradley Nowell. He died only two months before the release of their breakthrough self-titled album, thereby joining fellow Generation X standard bearer Kurt Cobain along with Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and others in Club 27, a fictional group of artists and musicians who perished before age 30.

Carrying on the legacy of Nowell is something Ramirez doesn’t take lightly. Yet, in true SoCal spirit he somehow manages to make it look effortlessly easy.

“I don’t even think about that, man,” he says. “I just have a good time up there, try my hardest. Hang onto the key, have fun and do your job right or people will take your job from you.”

With the crowd singing along to every word, Sublime with Rome plays all the hits in the classic catalog including “Santeria,” “What I Got,” and “Badfish,” as well as many B-side favorites.

“We’re not really playing for an agenda,” says Ramirez. “It’s just to get people dancing. They came to have a good time. Half the people living in past, half are like, ‘This kid is cool’ and half are like ‘F*** this guy!’ But I give it my all. I close my eyes and think about some other stuff like my dog.”

Since changing the name of the group at the request of Nowell’s estate, Sublime with Rome has released two albums: “Yours Truly” in 2011 and “Sirens” in 2015. Their most recent effort put out earlier this year is a four-song EP entitled “Light On.” On the record, Ramirez’s voice is silky smooth, weaving through the tight dancehall bass and breakbeat drums with an energetic precision that recalls the golden days while also being uniquely his own.

Although he admits there has been some online criticism thrown his way over the years, Ramirez’s uncanny ability to fill Bradley’s boardscuffed shoes has steadily won over fans both young and old.

“I’m sure online people are calling me stuff. I’m a grown man,” he says. “I’ve been fortunate to never have had anybody be super rude in person or at a concert. They all came to have a good time and be entertained.”

This summer Sublime with Rome embarks on a 55-date tour across the country including a date at Red Rocks the day before Ramirez’s 31st birthday.

“It’s gonna be dope since it’s the biggest tour we’ve done,” he says. “We’ve got a super sick-ass stage setup and an updated sound package with more bass. The lineup is massive, and everything is just bigger. We’re so stoked.” | grandsierraresort.com


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Ponderosa Golf Course https://thetahoeweekly.com/2019/06/ponderosa-golf-course-5/ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 18:51:28 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=52144 I have roamed Ponderosa Golf Course more than any other in the Sierra. Its location — in central Truckee — affordability and pace of play makes it an ideal place to get in a quick nine or to spend a day on the course. At just more than 3,000 yards, it’s a mellow track and […]

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I have roamed Ponderosa Golf Course more than any other in the Sierra. Its location — in central Truckee — affordability and pace of play makes it an ideal place to get in a quick nine or to spend a day on the course. At just more than 3,000 yards, it’s a mellow track and can easily be walked in an hour or so if not crowded.

Par 35 | 9 holes
Yards | 2,556 to 3,022
Slope | 108 to 119
Rating | 67.2 to 71.8

The course is the oldest golf club in Truckee, first opening for play in 1961. It was designed by Bob E. Baldock and was originally publicly owned and maintained until 1968 when it was purchased by Reynold C. Johnson, whose family operated the grounds for the next four decades. In 2008, plans were set into motion to develop a housing subdivision on the property, ending Ponderosa’s reign as we knew it. Thankfully, the Truckee Tahoe Airport District stepped in and purchased the property with the understanding that the course would remain untouched by commercial or residential development. It was then leased to Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District, which continues to operate the course today.

Read the Tahoe Sierra Golf Guide & local golf profiles. Click on Golf under the Out & About tab.

A general description of the playing field is narrow. The course is short enough for you to be tempted to take it deep every time. But, unless you have absolute power over your driver, sitting back a bit and positioning yourself is more often than not the safer option — sure to save you some punchouts and likely a few strokes or more. The trees out here are old and huge; their gravitational pull is immense; golf balls are attracted to them. The native areas are long and thick, riddled with pinecones and needles. The greens are unique, fairly large, rarely flat. Pin position can drastically impact day-to-day difficulty of each hole. The putting surfaces are slightly more sluggish than average during the early season; they quicken up as summer moves on and eventually play genuinely fast.

Hole 2, par 4 is 302 yards from the back tees and can be conquered with a long iron off the tee and a wedge in. If you’re feeling confident with the driver, the green is reachable from the tee, though going too far left, right or long can present some awkward situations. The green is steeply sloped downhill from the back to the front; sticking your approach shot below the hole leaves far more manageable conquests than having to roll your ball down the grade.

The finishing hole is a beastly 507-yard dogleg right par 5. The tee shot requires a low straight ball flight with a slight fade. Too high and you’re in the arms of the pines, left and you’re in a parking lot or some complex disaster of the brush. Miss right and you’ll land in a forest without a window to the green. The approach is a bomb through or around the monster tree dead center in the fairway. There’s plenty of room out to the right, just don’t go left because the heavily trafficked Donner Pass road closely borders the fairway all the way to the pin. Miss the front-edge bunkers, sink your putt and head over to the patio for a drink.

Ponderosa offers great twilight rates, season passes and group and private lessons. There is a spacious putting green, chipping area and driving nets onsite. | (530) 587-3501, ponderosagolfcoursetruckee.com


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Reno Rodeo’s Centennial https://thetahoeweekly.com/2019/06/reno-rodeos-centennial/ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 18:50:54 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=52076 The Reno Rodeo is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019 and the Nevada Historical Society is tipping its cap to the city’s longest running special event with a new exhibit: “Reno Rodeo: 100 Years of the Wildest Richest Rodeo in the West.” The exhibit includes historic artifacts, artwork and photographs that range from the event’s […]

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Three-time world champion saddle bronc rider Burel Mulkey of Salmon City, Idaho, spurs his bronc to victory in the 1939 Reno Rodeo. | Ernie Mack Collection, Nevada Historical Society

The Reno Rodeo is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019 and the Nevada Historical Society is tipping its cap to the city’s longest running special event with a new exhibit: “Reno Rodeo: 100 Years of the Wildest Richest Rodeo in the West.” The exhibit includes historic artifacts, artwork and photographs that range from the event’s beginnings in 1919 to present day and focuses on the people who were instrumental in writing the rodeo’s history.

The exhibit at the Nevada Historical Society, which will be in place through July, will also include vignettes of Nevada cowboys and cowgirls who made history as champions at their home-state rodeo, including Joe Marvel of Battle Mountain, Jade Corkill of Fallon, Dakota Eldridge of Elko and Charley Gardner of Ruby Valley. | nvculture.org/historicalsociety


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