Tahoe Weekly https://thetahoeweekly.com Lake Tahoe's Complete Events, Entertainment, Recreation, Dining, Art guide Fri, 20 Jul 2018 18:14:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Take survey on West Shore access issues https://thetahoeweekly.com/2018/07/take-survey-on-west-shore-access-issues/ Fri, 20 Jul 2018 18:13:45 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=46284 A survey on traffic, parking and public access issues along Lake Tahoe’s West Shore is now open through Aug. 5. The survey is part of efforts by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the U.S. Forest Service and the Tahoe Transportation District to develop a plan to address issues of transportation, access, traffic management, parking and […]

The post Take survey on West Shore access issues appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
Eagle Falls is a popular sightseeing spot in Emerald Bay, with cars parked dangerously along the narrow stretch of Highway 89.

A survey on traffic, parking and public access issues along Lake Tahoe’s West Shore is now open through Aug. 5.

The survey is part of efforts by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the U.S. Forest Service and the Tahoe Transportation District to develop a plan to address issues of transportation, access, traffic management, parking and other issues along a section of Lake Tahoe’s West Shore that is most heavily visited in the Tahoe Sierra known as the SR 89 Recreation Corridor Management Plan.

The survey takes about 5 minutes and may be taken at https://designworkshop.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bE2H6GqtywXdTLL.

The section of the Highway 89 corridor being discussed stretches from South Lake Tahoe to Tahoma and is home to Emerald Bay, Eagle Falls, Vikingsholm Castle, D.L. Bliss State Park, Sugar Pine Point Stage Park, numerous pristine beaches and trailheads that provide access to hiking and mountain biking trails in the summer, along with back-country ski and snowmobile access in the winter.

Tahoe Weekly has been covering the back-country access issue, and you can read more about the issues faced by recreational users in our story “Back country access | A Waiting Game.”

Read more about the Highway 89 plan in Tahoe Weekly’s story “TRPA to eye plan for West Shore parking, access, traffic issues.”


The post Take survey on West Shore access issues appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
Land Trust eyes Frog Lake purchase https://thetahoeweekly.com/2018/07/land-trust-eyes-frog-lake-purchase/ Fri, 20 Jul 2018 18:06:26 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=46279 The Truckee Donner Land Trust has announced a new campaign to purchase Frog Lake and neighboring parcels, which would open up the pristine lake and surrounding landscapes to the public in 2020. Working with The Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy under the Northern Sierra Partnership, the capital campaign is now underway, according […]

The post Land Trust eyes Frog Lake purchase appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
Looking across Frog Lake at Frog Lake Cliffs. | Courtesy Truckee Donner Land Trust

The Truckee Donner Land Trust has announced a new campaign to purchase Frog Lake and neighboring parcels, which would open up the pristine lake and surrounding landscapes to the public in 2020.

Working with The Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy under the Northern Sierra Partnership, the capital campaign is now underway, according to a press release. Until these acquisitions are complete, the Land Trust asks that members of the public respect the current owners’ private property. Hikers can get a glimpse of Frog Lake from the top of Frog Lake Cliffs by taking the Warren Lake Trail.

Totaling 2,914 acres, the properties are north of Interstate 80 and east of the Sierra Crest, falling between Castle Peak to the west and Tahoe Donner’s Euer Valley to the east. Frog Lake, owned by the Smith family since the 1930s, has been closed to the public for nearly a century, preserving a beautiful landscape including the lake itself at 7,600 feet, Frog Lake Cliffs, late seral forests and key habitat for numerous species.

The other acreage, currently owned by Sierra Pacific Industries, includes Red Mountain on the ridge between Euer Valley and Carpenter Valley. These parcels link Frog Lake to other Land Trust acquisitions including Lower Carpenter Valley, Independence Lake, Perazzo Meadows, Webber Falls, Webber Lake and Lacey Meadows.

An aerial view with Carpenter Valley in the foreground, Red Mountain to the left, Frog Lake Cliffs in the Upper left. | Courtesy Truckee Donner Land Trust

That connection is critical, creating contiguous land management, providing threatened and endangered species with connected habitat and protecting the upper watersheds of the middle stretch of the Truckee River. It protects upland water sources for the rare and delicate fens of Carpenter Valley, and is home to species like black bear, marten, mountain lion and northern goshawk.

The Land Trust and its partners have taken on the lofty goal of raising $15 million to acquire the property by 2020, at which point the property will be open to the public. Trails are planned to not only give visitors access to Frog Lake and the Carpenter Valley ridges, but also to connect other preserved properties, opening up huge swaths of the Northern Sierra previously unavailable to the public. Access will be for non-motorized use only, and back-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing will be excellent in the winter months.

An historic stone lodge, built for the Smith family, may become a winter back-country hut, part of larger plans in the works for a hut system in the region.

The Frog Lake property was acquired by the late Felix Smith from the Southern Pacific Railroad in the 1930s, and it has been a summer retreat for the family since. The family has been a great steward of this extraordinary property, and with this commitment to Truckee Donner Land Trust, they have now achieved their goal to ensure it goes to conservation.

Warren Lake Trail

While the property won’t be open to the public for two years as the Land Trust and its partners raise the funds required to complete the transaction, hikes can enjoy the aerial view of this gem from above using the Warren Lake Trail.

The Warren Lake Trail starts at the Intersection of the Summit Lake Trail and the Donner Lake Rim Trail on Donner Summit, accessible by the Pacific Crest Trail or from the Castle Valley Trailhead. Parking is available at the Castle Peak exit off Highway 80. This popular trailhead was protected from development in 2016 allowing continued public access to the Pacific Crest Trail, Castle Peak and the popular Hole in the Ground mountain biking Trail.

A trail kiosk at the end of the paved road directs hikers to the Donner Lake Rim Trail. Follow the trail east behind the Donner Summit Rest Area toward Summit Lake. You’ll encounter a well-signed intersection with the Warren Lake trail east of the Rest Area before Summit Lake.

From parking to Frog Lake Cliff via the Donner Lake Rim Trail and Warren Lake Trail is about 3 miles, gaining roughly 1,400 feet in elevation through mature mixed conifer forest replete with regular views east. A short unsigned spur trail to the top of Frog Lake Cliff will be evident at a high, open point. Follow that spur and your climb will be rewarded not only with sweeping views of Frog Lake more than 1,000 feet below, but also Euer Valley and the surrounding peaks.

For those looking for more mileage, continue another mile or two on the Warren Lake Trail north and into Castle Valley where views of Castle and Basin Peaks from the East are impressive. Warren Lake is another 4 miles from the Frog Lake Cliffs viewpoint and includes a steep 1-mile descent to the lake. | tdlandtrust.org


The post Land Trust eyes Frog Lake purchase appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
David Wise named Best Male Action Sports Athlete at ESPYs https://thetahoeweekly.com/2018/07/david-wise-named-best-male-action-sports-athlete-at-espys/ Fri, 20 Jul 2018 17:48:16 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=46275 Tahoe Olympian David Wise, is a double Olympic gold medalist, won the Best Male Action Sports Athlete award at the 2018 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on July 18. Wise became the first Olympic champion in Men’s Ski Halfpipe when the sport debuted on the Olympic program in 2014. Wise is married with two children […]

The post David Wise named Best Male Action Sports Athlete at ESPYs appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>

Tahoe Olympian David Wise, is a double Olympic gold medalist, won the Best Male Action Sports Athlete award at the 2018 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on July 18.

Wise became the first Olympic champion in Men’s Ski Halfpipe when the sport debuted on the Olympic program in 2014. Wise is married with two children and lives in Reno, Nev. He began skiing at age 3 and started skiing professionally at age 18. He followed in his father’s footsteps and began as a ski racer. Wise turned to freestyle skiing when he was 11 years old.


The post David Wise named Best Male Action Sports Athlete at ESPYs appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
Phish brings summer tour to Tahoe https://thetahoeweekly.com/2018/07/phish-tour-south-lake-tahoe/ Thu, 19 Jul 2018 21:31:57 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=46247 Phish at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe during a story on their summer tour. Photography by Ming Poon | mingpoonphotography.com  

The post Phish brings summer tour to Tahoe appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
Phish at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe during a story on their summer tour.

Photography by Ming Poon | mingpoonphotography.com

 

The post Phish brings summer tour to Tahoe appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
July 19 to 25, 2018 | Tahoe’s endless possibilities https://thetahoeweekly.com/2018/07/july-19-to-25-2018-tahoes-endless-possibilities/ Wed, 18 Jul 2018 19:01:42 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=46184 I’ve been a resident of Tahoe for nearly two decades and I never cease to be amazed by the endless possibilities for fun in the Tahoe Sierra. You might think that we might run out of things to write about year and year, issue after issue (about 1,500 of them at this point), but that’s […]

The post July 19 to 25, 2018 | Tahoe’s endless possibilities appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
Wanderlust Festival returns to Squaw Valley from July 19 to 22 featuring four days of yoga, meditation, music and merriment where participants can discover new sounds and enjoy new experiences like practicing yoga in the pool at High Camp. | Photography by Melissa Gayle, Wanderlust Festival, @WanderLustFest

I’ve been a resident of Tahoe for nearly two decades and I never cease to be amazed by the endless possibilities for fun in the Tahoe Sierra. You might think that we might run out of things to write about year and year, issue after issue (about 1,500 of them at this point), but that’s one of the many amazing and wonderful things about the Tahoe Sierra. You just don’t run out of things to write about.

Tim Hauserman has been exploring the mountain trails and waters of the Tahoe Sierra for even longer, and he always has the best hiking trail, the best wildflower-filled meadow, the best lake to visit on a hot summer day and the best mountain biking trail to explore no matter the season. He doesn’t disappoint in this edition with a double hit – hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail section from Big Meadows to Echo Summit on the South Shore and mountain biking through Burton Creek State Park on the North Shore.

Kayla Anderson is another of our favorite local explorers telling the story of Onus Art Projects creators Adam Robison and Dallas Grate making beautiful art the way they want from reclaimed materials. She also took on the task this summer of tasting countless burgers of every kind for her story on “One person’s completely subjective picks for the best burgers in Tahoe.” Personally, I can’t wait to taste Big Daddy’s Burgers’ veggie burger.

And, our own Music Man Sean McAlindin keeps our entertainment coverage fresh and relevant in each issue finding the hidden gems in the large festivals (including Wanderlust and Classical Tahoe in this edition), uncovering great local performers and always advocating for the best entertainment coverage in Tahoe (and, you’re right, there is always a way to get tickets to Phish).



The post July 19 to 25, 2018 | Tahoe’s endless possibilities appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
Backpacking on the Tahoe Rim Trail | Big Meadow to Echo Summit https://thetahoeweekly.com/2018/07/backpacking-on-the-tahoe-rim-trail-big-meadow-to-echo-summit/ Wed, 18 Jul 2018 19:00:01 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=46138 There is nothing that says summer in the Sierra like heading into the Tahoe wilderness on a backpacking trip. You get to walk past the wildflower-dotted meadows and crisp alpine lakes, then spend the night under the stars. Sure, carrying a heavy — hopefully not too heavy — pack and sleeping on the ground can […]

The post Backpacking on the Tahoe Rim Trail | Big Meadow to Echo Summit appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
Coming through the spectacular bowl north of Showers Lake

There is nothing that says summer in the Sierra like heading into the Tahoe wilderness on a backpacking trip. You get to walk past the wildflower-dotted meadows and crisp alpine lakes, then spend the night under the stars.

Sure, carrying a heavy — hopefully not too heavy — pack and sleeping on the ground can be a challenge, but it is the perfect antidote to the overly civilized world we live in. I’m heading out on a few trips this summer; the first was the section of the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) from Big Meadow near South Lake Tahoe to Echo Summit. This 15.5-mile journey provides what is in my opinion the greatest variety of views and experiences of any segment of the TRT.

I set off on an overnight adventure from the TRT Big Meadow Trailhead, which is located about 5 miles south of Meyers on State Route 89. The trail begins with a three-quarter-mile climb to Big Meadow. It didn’t take me too long to be reminded that things are slower and harder with 30 pounds on my back, but that slow pace helped me to appreciate every inch of the trail.

After crossing Big Meadow, the trail begins a mile-long trudge of an uphill through the conifers. Don’t worry, it gets better. The trail reaches a saddle and descends past a junction where you could head out to the lovely Dardanelles Lake. TRT, however, keeps rolling along to Round Lake, at a bit over 2.5 miles from the trailhead. It’s a large mountain lake, with nice views of the surrounding ridges and on a late June day I found it covered with pollen.

Showers Lake is a popular camping spot.

Speaking of pollen, 1 mile or so further the puffs of pollen were so thick I thought I was in a yellow fog. I tried cleaning it off my glasses and looked up to see it still looked the same. Ah, nature, always doing something interesting. I walked past gurgling creeks and aspen groves to reach a junction with the Pacific Crest Trail at Meiss Meadows, 5 miles from Big Meadow.

This is the southernmost point on the Tahoe Rim Trail and where the hiking starts to get really good: a gentle stroll up a beautiful valley with tons of wildflowers and high snow-covered ridges on both sides. Near the end of this blissful section you meet the Upper Truckee River. It’s a great spot to filter some water while sitting on the grass and watching the brook trout swim up and down stream. Soon after crossing the river, I began a climb to Showers Lake. The last half mile to the lake is a haul, but if you go there in mid- to late-July, you will see a thick mélange of lupine, paintbrush and fireweed in full glory on the slope below the lake.

At 7 miles from the Big Meadow trailhead I reached Showers Lake. It’s a beautiful spot with a rocky ridgeline backdrop, which was still holding snow at the end of June. Showers Lake does have one problem: it’s crowded. It’s not too hard to get to and unlike in Desolation Wilderness, permits are not required to camp here, which explains the 30 folks camped near the lake on the midweek night I was there. I arrived early enough to find an amazing spot that was relatively secluded, except for the pair of 10-year-old boys who kept walking right through my camp hellbent for a fishing spot. Perhaps if you are looking for solace, use Showers Lake for a swim break and press on farther to a more remote campsite.

A lone Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker swiftly adds up the miles

A half mile past Showers Lake, I arrived at my choice for the prettiest mile on the entire Tahoe Rim Trail. It’s this amazing bowl with a high ridge, fascinating volcanic-rock formations, about a dozen cascading streams and wildflowers gone wild. Past the mile-long bowl, the hiking becomes more sedate along a sandy ridgeline through a scattered high-altitude forest for the next 4 miles. Eventually, I reached a beautiful descent through the granite — great views, but it’s a steep and rocky son of a gun. Bring hiking poles, it’s a knee crusher. Just be glad you are not going the other way, especially if you have short legs as I do.

The trail does eventually level out at a bridge and then ends in another mile or so at the Echo Summit parking lot. While now it is just a nondescript parking lot next to a busy road, in 1968 this place was a center of the Olympic universe: the 1968 U.S. Track and Field Trials. Here a track was laid out through the woods on top of Echo Summit and here the track team was selected that went to the Mexico City Olympics and captured the most Olympic medals of any U.S. team in history. There is magic in these woods. | tahoerimtrial.org




The post Backpacking on the Tahoe Rim Trail | Big Meadow to Echo Summit appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
Wildflowers, views & single track at Burton Creek State Park https://thetahoeweekly.com/2018/07/wildflowers-views-single-track-at-burton-creek-state-park/ Wed, 18 Jul 2018 18:59:05 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=46140 My favorite place to mountain bike at Lake Tahoe is the expansive network of trails that fan out from Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area above Tahoe City through Burton Creek State Park and National Forest lands. Miles of single track and dirt roads pass through wildflower-dotted meadows, deep forests of firs and pines up to […]

The post Wildflowers, views & single track at Burton Creek State Park appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
View from the Lakeview Ridge Trail.

My favorite place to mountain bike at Lake Tahoe is the expansive network of trails that fan out from Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area above Tahoe City through Burton Creek State Park and National Forest lands. Miles of single track and dirt roads pass through wildflower-dotted meadows, deep forests of firs and pines up to rocky crags with views of Lake Tahoe.

Check out a map for the trail system

While you can access the trail network through several steep ascents in Tahoe City, the best place to start is at Tahoe Cross Country. If you don’t have a bike, you can rent one. Tahoe Adventure Company runs a bike rental operation at the trailhead.

The most challenging part about riding at Burton Creek is that are so many trails, and they go in so many different directions that it is hard to describe them in words. I will do my best. One piece of good news is that a number of years ago my good friend Kevin Murnane installed a set of maps at key trail junctions. If you get confused, refer to these maps or ask a local.

For starters, I will take you on a 15-mile, 2.5-hour loop through some of my favorite spots.

Head out on the main trail from the parking lot and after hitting the top of the hill, cruise by the green water tank you will see on your right. During the ski season this is known as the Green Trail. Follow this dirt road gently uphill for about 1 mile to where a left turn takes you downhill to a three-way junction. Stay right at the junction, then quickly right again. This is the Orange Trail. After a gentle ascent across an open area you meet another junction. Stay straight and begin a steep ascent on the Lakeview Trail, which as you might imagine, takes you to a beautiful lake view.

Near the top, a bench to your left is a good spot to take a sit for a spell and enjoy the view. Don’t dally, however, this journey has only just begun.

View from Painted Rock of Olympic Valley.

As you start to descend after reaching the top, note a single-track trail to your left. This is the Lakeview Ridge Trail. It was built last year to replace a hellish path called the Elevator Shaft. The new trail is designed for bikers and switchbacks enough for most folks to keep pedaling the whole way up — and it’s also pretty dang fun to ride down. Quickly, the trail climbs to an even better view than the one you just enjoyed from the bench. That funny-looking metal object just below is a fire alert camera and weather station.

After about 1.5 mile of climbing, you reach an abandoned road. The trail goes left and begins a gentler climb on a traverse. In a while you meet the Tahoe Rim Trail, where a right turn leads to Watson Lake. Our route heads straight ahead for another 1.5 miles of mostly gentle uphill. Nice glimpses of the lake pop into view now and then through the trees. The trail tops out and takes a sharp right. In about 50 yards, the Tahoe Rim Trail heads sharply left and you have now entered my favorite mile of riding on the whole trip. It’s a smooth, lovely, not too steep downhill to the Fiberboard Freeway; a mostly paved primary access road through the heart of the forest.

Cross the road and the Tahoe Rim Trail begins a mile of hefty single-track climbing to the top of Painted Rock. Here, refuel and enjoy the magnificent view into Olympic Valley. A half mile of gentle riding leads to a lakeview before a biker’s favorite section: a winding, flowing downhill around and over lava rocks. At the bottom you meet, “The Wall,” a dirt road.

Here a right turn heads down a very steep section of dirt road to the Western States Trail, eventually reaching the Truckee River at the midway bridge between Alpine Meadows and Olympic Valley. Straight ahead, the Tahoe Rim Trail climbs through rocky terrain to Glass Mountain, then heads toward Tahoe City. For our loop, however, we turn left and follow the dirt road on a 1-mile descent to the Fiberboard. Take a left and a quick right on single track, which winds its way past the edge of a meadow to a junction in the trees.

I hope you are ready to climb because it’s about to get steep. Put it in low and grunt your way up to the top of Stump Meadow on the Gold Trail where you meet the Ocelot Trail, which also opened last year to replace another way too steep trail. Ocelot is a flowing, fun downhill that winds through the forest and will elicit a yippee or two.

At the bottom, straight ahead leads to Tahoe City, but we go left on a 1-mile descent on old road on the Bronze Trail that leads to a left turn onto the Silver Trail. Follow this main route on a gentle climb, followed by a roll past the pond at the edge of Antone Meadows.

At the next junction, pick the middle route heading east — with raised single track — and follow the Orange Trail back to a junction you passed a few hours ago just below the Lakeview Trail. Backtrack the rest of the way back to the ski area. You will be dusty, smiling and ready for a dive into Lake Tahoe.




The post Wildflowers, views & single track at Burton Creek State Park appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
William Sharon, King of the Comstock: Part I https://thetahoeweekly.com/2018/07/william-sharon-king-of-the-comstock-part-i/ Wed, 18 Jul 2018 18:58:40 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=46174 William T. Sharon may have smugly welcomed his royal moniker, “King of the Comstock,” but it brought him little respect or fealty from the average citizen of Virginia City and nearby Gold Hill, Nev. Sharon was the Bank of California’s investment agent for Comstock mining operations, who later became head of the San Francisco-based bank. […]

The post William Sharon, King of the Comstock: Part I appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
King of the Comstock, William Sharon. | Courtesy UC Berkeley Bancroft Library.

William T. Sharon may have smugly welcomed his royal moniker, “King of the Comstock,” but it brought him little respect or fealty from the average citizen of Virginia City and nearby Gold Hill, Nev.

Sharon was the Bank of California’s investment agent for Comstock mining operations, who later became head of the San Francisco-based bank. Comstock and Carson City residents and businessmen eyed him warily, seeing him as “cold and hard, focused only on corporate goals.” Sharon’s ruthless foreclosure policy, shadowy stock deals and steep assessments levied on stockholders invested in his mines endeared him to no one.

Born in Ohio in 1821 to a Quaker family, William Sharon worked a farm to pay his way through Athens College and then studied law at the office of Edwin M. Stanton, who later became President Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of war. Sharon had a successful legal practice in Illinois until he bolted for California in 1849, catching the first wave of the gold rush. After a destructive flood in January 1850 wiped out his tent-house business in Sacramento, Sharon shipped out for San Francisco. He dealt in real estate and amassed $150,000 by 1856.

In 1858, Sharon met William C. Ralston, founder of the Bank of California. Sharon had recently lost his fortune in high-risk stock speculation and was effectively bankrupt. Despite Sharon’s financial status, Ralston liked what he saw in the man and he brought him in as a partner. Ralston paid Sharon to be the bank’s point man in Virginia City, thus saving his new associate from economic ruin.

In the 1860s, despite a significant downturn in Comstock mineral production, Sharon and the bank invested heavily in further exploration of the mines at a time when other financiers were cashing out and abandoning the still largely untapped mother lode of silver and gold. The Bank of California’s top officers, Ralston and Sacramento banker Darius Ogden Mills, were initially skeptical of investing too much in the sketchy Nevada mines, but Sharon deviously controlled mine production and share prices on the San Francisco Stock Exchange to his advantage; he was on his way to becoming one of the richest men in America. The Bank of California made millions, as well.

Through foreclosures on low-interest loans that they had made to optimistic mine and stamp mill owners in bonanza times that later petered out, Sharon and the Bank of California acquired a sizeable portion of the Comstock operations. Between 1864 and 1874 Sharon controlled more than a dozen of the best producing mines in the region. Sharon’s business acumen helped create the financially influential “Bank Crowd,” San Francisco-based directors and financiers who controlled much of the big investment money on the West Coast. A master at insider trading and business fraud, Sharon capitalized on the rigged game of stock speculation and he acquired enormous wealth in the process. Mining intelligence gleaned from his underground foremen and superintendents gave Sharon secret information that he needed to lock in big profits on the stock exchange.

Comstock lawyers hit their own bonanza litigating mining law, especially the contested interpretation of where one claim ends and another begins. In June 1871, Sharon had a hunch that the Belcher Mine, which most investors presumed tapped out, had significant potential. The mine adjacent to it, the Crown Point, had recently opened up a sizeable vein of silver and its stock price had soared from less than $5 a share to $340. The Bank of California owned $1.4 million worth of Crown Point stock and its value seemed destined to climb much higher but based on his belief that the lucrative Crown Point vein could be accessed through the adjoining Belcher, Sharon cashed out and used the profits to take controlling interest in the Belcher.

Sharon immediately hired away Crown Point’s respected foreman W.H. “Hank” Smith to work for him. Hank had made the recent Crown Point discovery and within a short time successfully directed Belcher exploration toward the rich underground vein originating in the Crown Point. When miners reached the lode, shares of Belcher Mine stock rocketed from Sharon’s purchase price of $1 a share to $1,525 per share in just three months. Between 1871 and 1878, the Belcher Mine produced nearly $32 million, compared to the Crown Point’s total bonanza of about $26 million. Sharon certainly had the Midas touch, as well as the dark cunning of Mephistopheles.

Sharon and the Bank of California invested nearly $2 million to build the Virginia & Truckee Railroad that mechanized Comstock freighting, fulfilling Sharon’s vision of a vertical monopoly to control activities from the collecting of raw materials through the shipping of the final product. Without a railroad, the high cost of freighting Comstock ore to the stamp mills that processed the rock on the Carson River cut deep into mining profits. The river current was essential to the ore milling process because waterpower cut ore reduction costs by half when compared to stamp mills with pistons driven by cordwood-fueled steam engines. The freight companies were big business; they employed 2,000 men and used between 12,000 to 15,000 mules, horses and oxen to pull huge wagons loaded with ore down to the river — and they siphoned a lot of money out of the profit chain.

For years the bull whackers maintained a stranglehold on Comstock operations, but the bank’s short-line railroad, completed in 1872, connected the Comstock to the Carson River and Reno to end the monopoly. They could now cheaply transport ore to the reduction mills and for the return trip the empty railroad cars could be loaded with cordwood and lumber flumed down from the Tahoe Sierra for fueling boilers and shoring up shafts and tunnels. The railroad operation, freighting and ore transportation costs plummeted 30 to 40 percent.

Similar to other powerful business tycoons of the era, men such as John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, Sharon was a visionary capitalist of the so-called Gilded Age, where American industrialization expanded rapidly and produced unprecedented economic growth. The robber barons’ glamorous lifestyles and opulent palatial estates, however, were just a thin gold veneer that masked the fact that millions of Americans were languishing in squalor and grinding poverty.

Stay tuned for Part II in the next issue of Tahoe Weekly and at TheTahoeWeekly.com.

Special thanks to my colleague, historian Michael J. Makley, who authored “The Infamous King of the Comstock: William Sharon and the Gilded Age of the West,” published by the University of Nevada Press.




The post William Sharon, King of the Comstock: Part I appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
Experience the Music of Meditation At Wanderlust https://thetahoeweekly.com/2018/07/experience-the-music-of-meditation-at-wanderlust/ Wed, 18 Jul 2018 18:58:13 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=46169 Sound healer Alexandra Love just re-grounded from a full weekend of wanderlusting in Stratton, Vt. “It was so beautiful,” she says. “We ended up singing with a lot more classes than we planned because people kept inviting us to join them during savasana. If I could sum it up in one word, it would be […]

The post Experience the Music of Meditation At Wanderlust appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>

Sound healer Alexandra Love just re-grounded from a full weekend of wanderlusting in Stratton, Vt.

“It was so beautiful,” she says. “We ended up singing with a lot more classes than we planned because people kept inviting us to join them during savasana. If I could sum it up in one word, it would be kindness.”

July 19-22 | Olympic Valley

Love is the founder and creative director of Beautiful Chorus, an Orlando-based group of women who make meditative music to help people realize themselves, become present and create more devotion in world.

“We basically sing with yoga classes and perform sound-healing meditations,” she explains. “We have some instruments such as crystal singing bowls, but the core of it all comes from the harmony of our four voices.”

Beautiful Chorus will be singing at the opening gathering of Wanderlust Squaw Valley before performing around the festival throughout the weekend.

The four-day festival from July 19 to 22 will create the space for yoga enthusiasts, music lovers, foodies, outdoor adventurers and soul seekers to come together for a transformative weekend retreat. The festival features world-renowned yoga teachers, musical performances, workshops, talks, guided outdoor excursions, food and wine experiences including a Farm To Table Dinner, meditation classes and much more.

“To me, music is one of the most essential elements of grounding, centering and going within,” says Love. “More than anything, sound can create this energetic ocean that connects us all and brings the mind, emotions and body into an aligned frequency.”

By quieting the mind and tuning into ethereal vibrations, Love believes people are able to move closer toward becoming their true selves.

“We don’t even have to get back to something,” she says. “We are it. The more we can lose our rigidity and resistance, the more we can feel our greatness. I think sometimes people are reticent to take credit for the things they create. The truth is we are already awesome; we just have to feel it.”

The Soulful Science of Sound Waves

“We like to think of ourselves as vibrational doctors,” says Aya Trenier.

She and Tyler Sussman have spent the last several years touring the world and playing music for yoga and meditation gatherings as a duo known simply as Aya and Tyler.

“My first integration into sound healing was taking a hike with a didgeridoo when I was 20,” she says. “My mother had recently moved from England to Sonora. Her friend was visiting who had just gotten back from Australia. He took me on a walk that blew my mind and put me in a transcendental place. That was when I realized you can go to other places simply through sound vibrations.”

Unknowingly, Trenier had been doing this on her own since she was a young girl. The daughter of a shiatsu massage and chi gong expert, she grew up a natural singer who attended Sylvia Young Theatre School in London. Even as an infant she would always be making up songs. However, she didn’t call her favorite instrument a voice, but instead referred to her naïvely improvised melodies as “my sound.”

“My mom gave me little tape recorder,” she says. “I was mesmerized by how I could sing and feel this way. Music took a hold of me long before anything else.”

Sussman and Trenier believe their music is channeled through a native intuition honed by yoga, meditation and a periodic participation in South American Ayahuasca rituals. Yet there is also a systematic method to the composition of their sonic journeys.

“We program our music to 68 beats per minute, which is equal to the average resting heart beat,” Sussman says. “This encourages the listener to settle into the heart and slow down to a natural breathing cycle.”

Brain cells communicate via electrical impulses, which are active all the time, even during sleep. By programming their music between six or seven hertz, Aya and Tyler are able to simulate the frequency of a mind somewhere between deep sleep and a daydream. They then layer instruments and harmonies through a loop to create an otherworldly, yet somehow natural aural landscape.

“It is a very organic way to induce different states of conscious though vibrational medicine,” says Sussman.

This very combination of logic and feeling allows Aya and Tyler to guide listeners while seemingly wide awake into other dimensions. It is an experience similar to lucid dreaming and one that has had life-changing effects on fans around the world.

“We want people to remember that they are pure love and divine consciousness,” says Trenier. “We are all one and we all are love. When we sing together, we heal together. When we all vibrate as one, we are one. Our hope is to return people to their true essential nature that is love.”

Aya and Tyler will be offering performances throughout the festival. | wanderlust.com




The post Experience the Music of Meditation At Wanderlust appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>
Classical Tahoe Summer Season https://thetahoeweekly.com/2018/07/classical-tahoe-summer-season/ Wed, 18 Jul 2018 18:57:41 +0000 https://thetahoeweekly.com/?p=46167 If you had known what exhilarating lives classical musicians lived, would you have practiced your recorders a bit more in grade school? When I caught up with Classical Tahoe artistic director and principal conductor Joel Revzen he had just arrived in Morocco for a special performance with members of his summer festival orchestra. “I attended […]

The post Classical Tahoe Summer Season appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>

If you had known what exhilarating lives classical musicians lived, would you have practiced your recorders a bit more in grade school?

When I caught up with Classical Tahoe artistic director and principal conductor Joel Revzen he had just arrived in Morocco for a special performance with members of his summer festival orchestra.

“I attended a concert of the Morocco Philharmonic tonight,” he says from beneath the darkened skies of Marrakesh. “They’re loaning us their timpani and double basses for our concert next week.”

Beginning next week, Revzen will lead the seventh season of Classical Tahoe through a diverse presentation of symphonies, suites, rhapsodies, concertos and popular music with performances through Aug. 12.

“For a magical three-week period each summer, Classical Tahoe draws many of the finest musicians from the great orchestras of North America and beyond to share their artistry in the inspiring natural setting that is Lake Tahoe,” says Revzen.

Classical Tahoe Orchestra features virtuoso musicians from the world-renowned New York Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, to name a few.

This year a grant from the Firefly Scientists Foundation has given it the ability to expand its core group to 55 musicians; they are now ready to take on the symphonic masterpieces of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Bernstein and Dvorak in the traditional arrangements. The same grant has also provided the opportunity to launch a music institute to bring multiple generations together to learn about and create classical music together.

Other firsts for this summer’s season will include the world premiere of a new Double Concerto for Violin and Cello by Chris Brubeck set to be performed by soloists Jaime Laredo on violin and Sharon Robinson on cello.

“Along with pianist Joseph Kalichstein, these musicians comprise the longest-standing and arguably most famous piano trio in the world today,” says Revzen.

This season’s guest artists boast long resumes of major international careers, including Cuban-born pianist Leonel Morales from Madrid and Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Semenchuk, who has sung leading roles at all the major opera houses including La Scala in Milan, Covent Garden in London and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

“Each of these artists have performed both individually and together as soloists with virtually all the major orchestras in North America, Europe and Asia,” says Revzen.

The festival will present 15 events through the season. Each night’s program is performed only once in an intimate 400-seat acoustically designed pavilion on the outdoor campus of Sierra Nevada College.

July 20 | Simone Dinnerstein & Simon Dinnerstein
July 27 | “Made in America”
July 28 | “French Romance”
July 29 | Family Concerts
July 31 | Chamber Concert
Aug. 3 | “From the Opera House to the Concert Hall”
Aug. 4 | “Russian and French Nights”
Aug. 5 | Chamber Concert
Aug. 7 | Chamber Concert
Aug. 10 | “7th Season Celebration”
Aug. 11 | “East meets West”
Aug. 12 | The Brubeck Brothers Quartet in Concert

“The community has the opportunity of getting to know the musicians both as artists and members of the community,” says Revzen. | classicaltahoe.org




The post Classical Tahoe Summer Season appeared first on Tahoe Weekly.

]]>