Fire on the Mountain Scare!

With the morning temperature in the low 30s, it was a beautiful day to hike to the top of Mt. Lola located just down the road from Truckee CA.

We spot a fire, see some weird structure remains at the top, and get some awesome views!

This summer I probably did about 20 Sierra hikes with eight separate peaks hikes thrown in. I hiked some of those eight peaks multiple times with a total of 12 peak hikes!  At over 11K feet, Mt. Rose was the hardest for me.. but being stubborn, I did that one twice!
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Mt. LOLA

Named after local Gold Rush celebrity, Lola Montez, the peak formed by ancient volcanic mud flows 4 to 12 million years ago was used as a platform to survey the west by triangulation in 1878. The first time this was done in the world!
Using telescopes and mirrors aligned from the top of Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lola and Mt. Helena the Coast and Geodetic Survey observed the longest triangulation line ever used on Aug. 1, 1878.

Rock structures and brick pillars remain at the top from that summer long ago when George Davidson stationed atop it sending a flash of light to the station on the top of Mt. Shasta.

More on Lola Montez here 

More on the the survey here

Thank you for watching my videos.. my labors of love!

I also have another channel where I give vocal lessons!

Check it out here! Jan Mendoza Vocal Coach

 

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Fire Lookout Towers! Have you been to one?

Many moon ago, I had the opportunity to be a fire lookout in Northern California. You can read all about it in my book Fire Girl.  It was awesome to wake up to a 360 degree view from the top of a mountain.  Back in the day, it was a lonely man or woman with a pair of binoculars perched high on a mountain top that spotted forest fires.   There aren’t many working fire lookout towers any longer because of modern technology in spotting fires.   The Service has made many lookout towers available to rent for a weekend, which I think is pretty cool.  Unfortunately a lot of the towers are crumbling or have been completely torn down.

The design of this tower is pretty cool. I hadn’t seen one quite like this.

So let’s take a 4 wheelin’ and hiking trip to Pilot Peak in Plumas County in Northern California!

 

 

 

Come Sail Away with me! Dream come True!

For a couple of years now,I’ve been sailing around the world…..from my couch!  I’ve been obsessed with a few YouTuber channels called Sailing LaVagabonde, SV Delos, Gone with the Wynns, among a few others have taught me all sorts of sailing jargon and terminology not to mention I get to visit places I’d probably never see in my life (in person).

I can tell you what “taking a reef” means… or What a Spinnaker is… or the difference between a Ketch and a Sloop and a slew of other random sailing facts.. but I’ve NEVER stepped foot onto a sail boat – EVER – in my whole entire life until last weekend!

I was nervous , excited, afraid I would puke (drugs worked) and I waited for two whole months for this day to arrive! Would I do it again??? HELL YES!  So, here we go on my first sail from Richmond CA to Angel Island and around the San Francisco Bay thanks to “Captain Ed” who graciously took a group of six out for a glorious day on the bay!

AHOY!

 

The… OMG I Can’t Believe I Walked UP THAT Hike!

The Sierra Buttes lookout tower was originally perched on top of this rock at 9000ft back in 1915! Can you believe it?

Over the years the original wooden structure was replaced by concrete and metal. In 1964 the crazy STRAIGHT UP stairs were put in place.

How the workers got up to the lookout before the stairs is beyond me as I can’t find any information or pictures of this lookout tower back in the old days!

If anyone has info and pics, please share!!!

This tower has been decommissioned and again, I can’t find any information on when they stopped using it. I guess I could call the Forest Service!

Anyway, this is a MUST DO hike. However… if you are afraid of heights, or have vertigo, you might not want to go all the way up on the crazy stairs. They are steep and I really had to concentrate on my footing and not look behind me as I went up! Going down wasn’t as scary.

Mt. Judah and Donner Peak! OMG!

This wonderful trail in the Northern California Sierra, with abundant spectacular views is a must-do if you traverse around Donner Summit. The trail starts on the PCT just down the road from Donner Ski Ranch. You then take the Mount Judah loop trail from the PCT. Don’t forget to hike up to the summit of Donner Peak while on your way around and look out the “window” onto Donner Lake! WOW!

 

Day Trippin’ at Loney Meadows

Loney Meadow and Bowman Mountain are located in the Northern Sierra in Nevada County California. This 8 mile look is abundant with spectacular views, wildflowers, old growth pine forests and is probably in my top 3 favorite places to hike!

Here is the link to where we hiked.
https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/rock-lake-via-loney-meadow-and-bowman-mountain-lake-25410670

A Couple of FLAKES in Yosemite!

Alex and I have been going to Yosemite for many years during the fall. The crowds are gone, the colors are amazing and we can camp right in the Valley  with pretty much last minute reservations!   We have NEVER been there in the Winter.

So this time, Alex (my hard working husband) treated us to a room at the Yosemite Falls Hotel for two nights in the Valley… a little pricey, but way worth it in the Winter.

Chains were required unless you have 4 wheel drive with snow tires.

And Yosemite didn’t disappoint!  We got a show of epic proportions!   I wish we could have stayed longer, but at 288.00 a night, well, yeah… you get the picture.

 

OH And make this video FULL SCREEN!  You need to see this BIG!

We FINALLY got SNOW! Let’s go Play! YAY!!!

WOW.. it’s been a pretty lame winter here in California. Not like last year! We finally got a little powder in the Sierra, so we took advantage of the winter wonderland! Let’s go for a walk in some white stuff!

Here is the link to the hike we took.
https://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/spatialArtifacts.do?event=setCurrentSpatialArtifact&id=22867389

Fall is Falling on the Ranch!

I used to LOVE summer. But, as I get older, I can’t take the months of  100+ degree temps that we get in the Sacramento Valley. When fall finally shows her colors, I get extremely happy! I can go outside and my hair won’t immediately combust!

Last night, clouds started to roll in and with them our first real rain of the season. I thought I’d head out and capture some moments on my ranch in Northern California. Enjoy!

I just got this Panasonic Lumix g7 to ad to my camera collection. I’m just figuring things out with it and still dialing some things in. I hope to take this camera with me on the PCT next year for part 2 of “The Long Ride” which you can see here:  The Long Ride