Tourist Season

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Posted by Annie in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on January 2, 2011

Twain Harte was overtaken by lunatics over the New Year’s holiday weekend.  It felt like someone opened all the cages and turned the animals loose from the zoo. The weather certainly didn’t help matters in the least.

With the snow, rain and ice on Wednesday we saw lots of accidents and frustrated motorists. We attempted to venture out as far as the Post Office, thought better of it, after backing up in the drive way, parked and went back to the house. It just wasn’t worth the risk to life and limb.

Thursday morning we awoke to a light dusting of snow that had all melted prior to 9:00 a.m.

Friday and Saturday the rain fell most of the day and it does appear to be raining now but it’s plenty wet outside. At this time of year, I like to keep a close eye on the temperature. It’s 37 degrees currently, so it’s a pretty safe bet there won’t be ice on the roads.

You still have to be very careful, especially on the 7 curves on Twain Harte Drive. We generally take the East entrance to Twain Harte this time of year. It’s just safer.

Since we picked this soggy, slippery, gloomy time of year to move — you might say it’s been an interesting weekend. The Twain Harte Pizza Factory has been packed every time we tried to order pizza. Even the Pharmacy  and the Mountain Liquor store were both packed on New Year’s Eve. It was a total zoo.

I saw one man walking into the Mountain Liquor store, as I was walking out, I swear he had put on every stitch of clothing he brought with him — with shorts on the outside of his pants. He looked like one of those skater-boys you seen on television. I had a great chuckle at his expense. I thought my husband was going to choke, when I piped up and asked him, if his mommy dresses him funny.  I just couldn’t help myself.

The young man was a good sport and we both had a good laugh. One of these days my big mouth is really going to get me into serious trouble. I guess I was just jealous, I think I might dress that way, if I was brave enough. It was quite the fashion statement.

Living in the sticks, we don’t see outlandish styles much — except during tourist season. Most folks around here dress pretty ordinary.

We are supposed to have a few sunny days next week and I can’t wait. The biggest thing to watch for right now, is falling temperatures. The roads get pretty treacherous when temperatures fall below freezing. If you find you need to travel, plan your trips during the hours of around 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. — these are generally the safest hours to travel.

I’ll be moving most of the week, so don’t expect too many updates — unless of course we get a freak snowstorm and we get snowed in.  LOL

Happy New Years!

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Stay Home!

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Tuolumne County on December 30, 2010

Wednesday morning I woke up to the pouring rain, it was coming down in droves. It wasn’t long before the rain turned to snow, and the temperatures dropped and you can guess the rest. The roads turned on motorists and created some nasty road conditions.

The Market was packed yesterday, when we stopped in to pick up a few things. I haven’t seen so many tourists in Twain Harte since summer. Everywhere you looked last night there were Subaru’s with car toppers in the parking lot and most of the cars were covered with snow.

I sat at my window and watched in amazement as fancy little cars with slick tires, tried and failed to navigate the hill, only to give up and turn around. The roads didn’t look all that hazardous but if you looked closely, you could see the ice crystals on the pavement.

Many vehicles had to be escorted down the Twain Harte grade by police, due to the dangerous road conditions. There were cars sliding off the road all along highway 108.  It’s fun to play in the snow but motorists need to put chains on and monitor road conditions closely. After dark, temperatures in the mountain can drop like a rock, making already nasty roads very dangerous to travel.

Many Motherlode vacationers will be ringing in the New Year Friday night. I have just a few words of advice.

  1. Get where you are going – early and stay put if you can.
  2. Don’t drink and drive – plan ahead for transportation or better still get a room, so you don’t have to drive.

Need a ride?

Tipsy Tow Keeps Drivers Safe on New Year’s Eve

AAA will offer free rides home for drivers who have celebrated too much – and for their cars.

AAA is offering a free tow service — and a ride home — for drivers who overindulge on New Year’s Eve. The service is available to both members and non-members. Anyone can call for a free tow, including drivers, bartenders, party hosts and potential passengers.

Tipsy Tow will run from 6 p.m. on Friday night until 6 a.m. on Saturday morning. Reservations will not be accepted.

To get a ride, call 1-800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP), and tell the operator that you need a Tipsy Tow.

AAA will send a tow truck to transport the driver, the driver’s vehicle and as many passengers as will fit safely inside the tow truck (usually one passenger). Rides will be given up to 10 miles from the pick-up location.

“AAA has long been an advocate for traffic safety”, said Matt Skryja, a spokesperson for the California State Automobile Association, Northern California’s AAA affiliate. “The Tipsy Tow program is just another example of that.”

“Tipsy Tow is available anywhere in Northern California. There are no boundaries or exceptions,” Skryja added.

Happy New Year! and Stay Safe!

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Taking in the mountain air

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Posted by Annie in Family Fun, Outdoors on July 26, 2010

The boys and I took a drive up to Kennedy Meadows yesterday. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the forest quite so green. It was a lovely day, the temperature at Kennedy Meadows was a comfortable 79°, with intermittent sun and clouds.

I must admit that I had my doubts about even making it that far up the hill. The clouds that hovered overhead looked angry and threatened to send showers at any moment but the hard rains never came. A light sprinkle was all, then the sun came out to warm our faces once again. It was almost magical.

The traffic in Twain Harte is an entirely different matter. It’s almost as if we picked up and moved back to Modesto, okay, so I exaggerate just a little but let me tell you, the traffic is nasty. It is almost as if these bay area folks pack up their vehicles to make the drive up to the mountain and forget their brains at home. Can’t find a place to park, no problem. We’ll just park on the side of the road. Never mind that most streets have no “side of the road,” so these crazy folk, just park in the street anyway. I guess they figure no one will notice.

Don’t you just love getting behind that weekend warrior, who has decided to take the travel trailer out of mothballs. This is the guy who drives in the fast lane, down the mountain and refuses to let anyone go around him or better yet, just takes his half out of the middle of the road.

Their offspring of course follows close behind, riding their skateboards down the center of Fuller Road, around blind curves, with no regard to the deer and motorists who must also share the road.  I’ve seen several near-misses that made my heart skip a beat or two.

It broke my heart to see the tiny baby fawn laying dead in the middle of Twain Harte Drive. I wonder if the driver who hit the baby even bothered to check to see, if it was still alive? It was so tiny, probably only days old.

The boys were delighted to find a tiny little tree frog in the river, at Columns of the Giants, near Dardanelle. The tiny frog seemed to enjoy being held by my nephew. It was almost as if he was refusing to leave when he was set free. It’s been ages since I had seen any butterflies but we saw several up the mountain yesterday.

It was nice to see hikers in the woods and those who tent camp and take time to really enjoy their surroundings. The longer I live here, the more I hate to see the majestic mountains tamed by civilization. I have a great respect for the animals that make the Stanislaus National Forest their home. I watched in amazement as a group of fire ants scurried about their business, oblivious to the fact that I was so big and powerful that I could take several out with one firmly planted foot. I left them to their business all too aware that at least some of them would make a terrific meal for some hungry animal soon enough.

It was a lovely day and we learned a lot from the mountains and the rivers. We can’t wait to do it again.  October can’t get here soon enough. Give me a quiet fall day anytime.

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