Sierra Canyon Monday Hike to Lake Tahoe

Monday the Sierra Canyon Hiking Group hiked at Lake Tahoe. We hiked along the east side of Lake Tahoe from Chimney Beach north to Secret Harbor. I’m not sure exactly where we turned around but we hiked a total of just under 5 miles. The beaches were all deserted and it was a wonderful day.  Here are a few of the pictures of the hike. On our way back it rained a bit and you can see four of us in our rain gear. I’m the one in blue. I put the rest of the pictures from the hike on Flickr. You can see them by clicking on these words..
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History – The Definitive Visual Guide

I recently received a free review copy of History: The Definitive Visual Guide (From The Dawn of Civilization To The Present Day) from DK Publishing. I love this book. It starts with a chapter titled Our Remote Ancestors about how humans evolved and ends with a chapter titled Shrinking World about developments in communication and technology and how they have changed the world. The book is big. 12 x 10.5 x 1.75. It is full of pictures. When I reviewed the DK book Abraham Lincoln I said that the book reminded me of the wonderful travel guide books that DK publishes. History is even more like a DK guidebook, a guidebook to the history of the human race. There are hundreds of wonderful pictures, maps, timelines and charts. This is a book that viscerally appeals to me. Since it arrived I have enjoyed opening it and browsing at every opportunity.

The other thing that I love about this book is that it allows me to find answers to the random historical questions that often come up when I am traveling, reading the newspaper or watching historical fiction on TV. I have three recent examples of this.

When we visited the ancient bristle cone pines last month we were told that the study of the bristle cone pine tree rings resulted in recalibrating radio carbon dating and as a result historians understanding of ancient dates and the spread of civilization.. It made me want to understand more about ancient civilizations and human migrations. History: The Definitive Visual Guide allowed me to satisfy my curiosity.

History: The Definitive Visual Guide  helps me to understand the historical backgrounds of the  presidential biographies I have been reading.

A waitress told us she was from Moldova. I knew almost nothing about Moldova. One of the nice features of History: The Definitive Visual Guide is that it has a 110 page section that traces the individual histories of the world’s 193 countries. When we got home I read up on the history of Moldova.

In my opinion History: The Definitive Visual Guide is a must have for anyone who is fascinated by history. I highly recommend this book. It would make a great Christmas present! 

Sirra Canyon Hiking Group Thursday Hike to Loch Leven Lakes

The Sierra Canyon Hiking Group hike today was the 7.5 mile round trip to the Loch Leven Lakes. It was an absolutely beautiful day – warm with a cool breeze. According to all my hiking books this is a very popular hike. The trail head is right of of Highway 80 at the Rainbow Road exit. The three lakes were absolutely stunning. We sat on a rock in the sun by the lake to eat our lunch.
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Afterward we stopped at the Rainbow Lodge for beer. This group of people is so much fun to hike with.

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If you would like to see all the pictures of the hike you can see them here.

Who Owns This House – Gossip

A couple of weeks ago we received a letter forwarded by our landlord from the Sierra Canyon Homeowners Association AKA the Lawn Patrol complaining about the dead spots in our lawn. They were there when we rented the house and they are getting smaller and fewer because of Duke’s lawn care. The letter was more than a little annoying.

It really made us wonder why the Lawn Patrol doesn’t do something about the house down the street from us.

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As you can see in this picture the lawn is completely dead as are all the trees in the yard. As I understand it the Homeowners Association has a right to put a lien on the house and fix the yard at the homeowners expense. Del Webb/Pulte, the builder, is still selling new houses in this development and well maintained front yards could make a difference in a prospective buyer deciding whether to buy or not to buy. I imagine that Pulte/Del Webb still controls more than 50% of the votes in the Homeowners Association. I’m sure that is why the Lawn Patrol sent a letter to our landlord.

We recently heard some gossip which seems to clear up this puzzle about the house with the dead yard and why the Homeowners Association seems to be ignoring it. What we heard is that the house was sold to some people with a sale contingent on the sale of their house. When their house didn’t sell they backed out of the sales contract. According to the gossip, Pulte/Del Webb maintains that the house was sold and that the contingent buyers can’t back out. So apparently now the lawyers are fighting about who owns the house and the Pulte/Del Webb lawyers have told the homeowners association not do any maintenance on the house or the yard. Presumably because maintenance might strengthen the case that Pulte owns the house.

Just to repeat this is all gossip. I have no idea if the story is true. But is does make one wonder…….