Posts Tagged With: clear clean water


Four years, now, we’ve managed a get-away for a family reunion. Tahoe has been our destination in the past and we’ve never failed to have fun.

The cabin we rented sleeps 16 people. It had a pretty picture on-line but the square footage proved a tight squeeze. The lighting was poor and the place had “garage sale” amenities. On one end of the table, a Rummicube game, and on the near end, cribbage. Our entire group could not fit around the table.

Our family is big on games. The only other activity was a hot tub. We took turns at the games.

Doug, besides being the master chef, served as D.J. and kept us supplied with tunes by request.

Saturday, before lunch, we drove to King’s Beach which is close to our Pina Grande rental.  The water was refreshing, the beach crowded, but we had a spot in the shade. Laurie, Theo and Austin played frisbee in the water and did a fair amount of swimming. The beach was quite narrow with the recent rains filling the lake to near capacity.

Ken took a cooling dip and came back to shore for snacks.

It is possible to walk out a couple hundred feet and still be in shallow water.

People of all ages paddle board safely, considering the lake is 6,000 feet deep at the center.

This young girl was very adept, taking her dog for a ride.

Off she went. She didn’t seem to have any adult supervision.

She and her brother had their own shade and their own boards. She told us she was local and they spend every minute they can at the beach.

It was time for snacks…

…and a cool drink. Ahh. Refreshing.

Theo proceeded to dig a hole. His mother said, “Tell me my son’s not going to be an engineer.”

Owen barely got his toes wet, enough to cool off. He wished he’d brought his swimwear.

The “sisters” decided to have a photo together.

Not to be outdone, Virginia decided to remove her shirt and show her “girls.” Grandma decided to do likewise. Omigod! I can’t believe I did that!

On the way back to the parking lot, Austin found these cards stuck up in the sand. We wondered if they were directions for someone?

While we were at the beach, Cedric made his signature pies, except, he had a flour shortage and the crust wasn’t his usual standard. Austin and Theo were given the privilege to carve the crust decorations.

Doug and I fixed Friday nights dinner. Saturday, was Virginia’s night to cook. She made taco fixin’s to die for. This family eats well.

Normally television is off-limits on our reunions. I had asked the boys what their favorite movies were? They tossed me names and the bond film, Casino Royale with the latest Bond character was everyone’s favorite. Ken happened to have the movie and we all got to see the last scene. I guess, now I’ll have to find it on Yahoo.


Sunday morning breakfast, Laurie put out gobs of fruit and bacon to go with Virginia’s pancakes. I prefer pie for breakfast along with the fruit. There was no lack of choices.

Sunday, grandson, Stewart drove up for the day. His girlfriend Allie is in nursing school and stayed in the library to study. It was nice to have a good visit with Stewart. And it was nice to move the games outside where we could more or less all be together and the light was great.

Cedric played Mr. Fixit and repaired two torn screens on the front deck.

He likes to make himself useful.

We left for the beach later in the day on Sunday and struggled to find a spot with a bit of shade. It was even busier than Saturday.

Theo brought a couple of shovels and deepened his hole and came home with a blister.

With skin so fair, the redhead claimed he was fine. His spray doesn’t wash off for several hours. He and Theo played frisbee with me for a while, but they wore me out very quickly.

I caught a nice shot of Owen who tends to be deliberately camera-shy.

A friendly game of elevator, and our last dinner. This time prepared by Laurie and Ken. Special Italian pasta and gluten free pasta with BBQ’d chicken. More fruits and much more.

Stewart left with a huge “doggie bag”.  Doug and I were first to arrive and last to leave. It took us 2.5 hours to drive up on Friday but 5.5 hours to return to Murphys on Monday morning.  We had slowdowns, but saw no accidents. Ken and Laurie, Cedric and Virginia, made it home within about the same time frame as they arrived. Ken, Laurie, Kris and Austin made a game of counting returnees from Burning Man.  Between them they spotted 500 plus Burners. Doug and I spotted one bus and two cars. Every year is different, but always fun.

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This recent family reunion was special to me since I met my second to youngest brother’s daughter and her family for the first time. (My brother died unexpectedly at age 50 in 2005.) They drove here from Colorado, where they’ve recently moved.   They lived most of their lives in Nome, Alaska. These are my brother’s grandchildren aged 10, 7 and 5, who  don’t like candy, and refuse most  sweets. They are unfamiliar with foods like artichokes, avocados; had never tasted  lemons and limes.  They ask if the fruit they are eating is a peach or an apricot. They had never eaten cherries and were amazed to find out that they are not all red as they are pictured in books. Insects we find normal everyday nuisances amaze them. In Nome they mostly hunt and fish and augment their diet from “The Safeway”.   They are staying with me until the 27th of July and I’ve been showing them around the Motherlode.

Our first stop was Calaveras Big Trees State Park. A huge pine tree had fallen through the kiosk and they were doing business outside under a canopy while the kiosk is under repair.  (A photo of a photo)  The incident happened about six weeks ago. Before we went,  I teased the kids and asked them to trace in the dirt the circumference of the biggest tree they had ever seen.

Their parents were as stunned to see the trees as the kids were who didn’t know what to expect.

The giants never fail to awe. They are sequoia giganteum and are the biggest trees on earth though not the tallest.  Sequoia sempirvirens, the “coast redwood”  grows a bit slimmer and taller.

Trying to count the rings would take all day, but the kids did learn that the biggest stump in the grove is over 1,200  years old. A hunter in the 1800’s discovered the big trees and went back to his camp and described them to the rest of the logging crew cutting timbers for the mines. They laughed at him and thought he was telling stories. He couldn’t get them to come out and see for themselves. So the next day of hunting, he came back to camp and said he killed a huge bear and needed help to haul it in.  When they got up a  couple of horses to carry the bear, they were introduced to the big trees and felt the same kind of awe we all do on a first visit.

They never fail to amaze and I’ve seen them many, many times.

To be able to walk through the hollowed core of a big tree is a pretty trippy experience.

After walking the grove, we drove down to the river picnic grounds and ate our lunch and went swimming. The way the kids described it was, “This is the best water I’ve ever seen.”  All enjoyed the great beauty of the park.

And, they are so right. Great beauty just fifteen miles from where I live. I’m glad to have visitors to inspire me to enjoy these massive giants that were here before Christ, and were alive when the dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Nome you may or may not know is quite flat,  drab and featureless until the snows fall.  Where they live in Colorado is also quite flat and desert-like, although driving through the state in the mountains, is to experience grand forests and scenic views. They have much to see and learn about this great country, as I do.  It’s why I travel.

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