Sonora Pass is Open


Posted by Annie in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on May 18, 2016

Sonora pass is officially open for the season!

MyMotherlode reports…

“Caltrans officials confirm that Highway 108 Sonora Pass is now clear for motorists. It is the third of the Mother Lode’s three passes to be ready for seasonal travel.”

When I first moved to Twain Harte, I thought it was so strange that they would close the highway for the winter.

I come from Michigan, where they use salt on the roads, not sand. I haven’t lived there in years, but the last time I can recall a road being closed, was during the blizzard of 1978. They closed down highway 75 — a major highway for at least 24 hours.  Of course, that was the day before my wedding.  Not many people came.

Apparently, we still have snow on the mountain. If you hurry up there, like in the next week or two, you might actually get to see some. If you make the trip, be sure to post some pictures in the comments.

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Snowfall is expected…


Posted by Annie in Opinion, Outdoors on January 28, 2016

English: Field in or just outside of Twain Har...

Just outside of Twain Harte, California

If weather reports can be believed we could be in for another significant snowfall, Friday and Saturday. Of course the last time they called for snow at 4,000 feet, we only saw rain.

I’ve been reluctant to talk about the weather recently because I’ve been sick with a chest cold for nearly the past two months and I believe it’s from the crap in the air. So, while I’m glad it’s raining or snowing, it’s just raining stuff down on us, that I don’t even want to think about.

The National Weather Service says. Significant snowfall is expected over the northern Sierra Nevada Friday and Saturday. Snow levels will remain above pass levels on Friday, but will lower to around 4000 feet by Saturday morning. From Friday evening into Saturday, significant snowfall should impact Mountain travel. Travelers should be prepared for winter driving conditions. Carry chains and expect delays and hazardous driving conditions.

Winter Storm Warning remains in effect from 4 PM Friday to 10 AM PST Saturday.

  • Main impact: snow covered and slippery roads, chain controls. Expect hazardous Travel.
  • Timing: rain at pass levels on Friday is expected to change to snow by Friday evening. Moderate to heavy snowfall is expected Friday night through Mid-day Saturday. |.
  • Locations: Interstate 80, Highways 50, 88 and 89.
  • Snow accumulations: 6 to 16 inches, locally greater amounts over higher peaks. A couple of inches down to 4000 to 4500 feet.
  • Strong winds of 60 mph or greater creating Whiteout conditions over higher elevations.

Video from BBC2, Twain Harte Lake Explosions


Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors, Tuolumne County, Twain Harte News on December 21, 2015

Last year we, amidst the ongoing drought, we experienced explosions coming from the rock at Twain Harte Lake as it gradually cracked like the layers of an onion. This video from BBC2 explains what happened, and how the drought itself was to blame.

When the rock broke, and the lake had to be emptied, we lost over 46 million gallons of water. That’s a lot of water even when you’re not in the middle of the worst drought on record. This equates to roughly 20,664 gallons of water lost per resident of Twain Harte.

The rock/dam was repaired in May, but the ongoing drought could continue the exfoliation that caused the damage in the first place. Outside of removing the rock completely, there’s no guarantee that this can be avoided.

Twain Harte residents have been under water restrictions for several years, with mandatory reduction in water usage of 50% by THCSD (the water resource management department for residents of Twain Harte). Meanwhile, the lake was given 70% of their volume in May directly out of what little remained of our drinking water by TUD (the county source for water, which required only 30% water use reduction). 70% of their volume is roughly 14,600 gallons of water per resident. Under our current reduction requirements, residents use about 100 gallons per day. The lake, then, used roughly 4.8 months worth of water for each resident in Twain Harte by filling up “only” 70% of their capacity.