Worst Winter in 20-years


Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on May 13, 2011

I haven’t written in a few weeks because we’ve been busy getting the yard ready for summer; cleaning up the slash, blowing the driveway, putting up the canopy and all that goes with it. It looks as though we may have jumped the gun.

We were so tired of the snow and rain that the past couple weeks have been just wonderful (for the most part). Well, there was that day last week when it rained, hailed, snowed, then rained again. We are expecting a storm to roll in Sunday night, with several inches of snow falling, down to 2500 feet level — that’s amost to Sonora.

All I can do it shake my head in total amazement every time I think about it. Old-timers all say this is the worst winter they’ve seen in 20-years. I may have even heard someone say in 40, but I won’t swear to it.

Anyone planning to take a rafting trip should be cautious in selecting the trip to match their skill level, due to the vast amounts of snow, which fell over the winter months. The rapids will be huge this year, once the snow starts melting — flowing fast and furious. An inexperienced rafter could easily find themselves in trouble.

The folks at Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions can help steer you to the right rafting trip to ensure plenty of thrills, without a trip that ends in tragedy. Their guides are top-notch.

I’ve also been a more than a little frustrated. My husband and I tend to be very frugal people. We like to keep a wish list, then shop around (often for as long as a year or more) to find just the right item at just the right price.

When Orchard Supply Hardward (OSH) had a 50% sale on their solar lights — selling for just $1.00 each — we bought 10 of them. I needed the lights for the edge of the driveway, so that I don’t accidentally drive over the edge. I am simply terrified of wrecking our car by driving off of it (it’s a Twain Harte driveway, folks, anyone here knows the potential danger of that). I positioned one light on either side of the driveway and one at the end in front of this huge rock that would do a number on the bumper if I ran into it.

Wouldn’t you know it? Someone stole all 3 of them. Heck, if they were that desperate for the lights, all they had to do was ask. I would have given them a light or two. I guess I can just stay home at night — I never really need to leave the house after dark.

I wanted to plant some flowers there and do some other work near the road but why should I even bother, just so someone can come along and help themselves to what doesn’t belong to them?

Just the week before someone had removed the dark green plastic hood for something that belongs to the telephone company. (Maybe it’s a junction box or a routing station, I’m not really sure.)  Two mornings in a row I picked it up out of my yard where it had been thrown. After the second time, I called the telephone company. Now, I’m worried someone is messing with the telephone lines in our neighborhood. We have enough trouble with power outages and cell phone outages, the last thing we need is problems with our home phone.

So, it’s been a frustrating couple of weeks. I’m worried we are going to get a bad snowstorm and it’s going to ruin our canopy. It took several hours to put together and I just don’t have the heart to take it apart again – only to put it back together when the weather decides to cooperate. All I can do at this point is pray for clear weather.

Have you been outside this week? I’ve been noticing lots and lots of furry catapillars climbing around on the deck rails. They could be looking for a nice place to shed their woolie coats and begin their transformation. I’m terribly excited. I’ve been watching for changes daily.

That’s all for now. Stay warm and dry!

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Winter retains grip…


Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors on April 8, 2011

Winter retains its icy grip on the Sierra Nevada mountains, another 8 inches (plus) fell in Twain Harte on Thursday.

This morning, the sun is shining, the sky is a beautiful shade of blue and the trees once again are snow-covered. The wet, black pavement makes a stark contrast against the blanket of snow. The snow began falling early Wednesday evening, gently at first, then gradually it picked up and was falling fairly hard for most of the night. But that was last night.

Today is a different day. Today would be a perfect day to spend playing on snow-covered foothills. At 4,000 feet we received 8-10 inches. The main roads are wet but clear of snow accumulation. However, the temperature is currently 30 degrees, so road warriers will want to slow it down and keep an eye out for patches of ice for at least the next hour or two.

Travelers will want to be sure to carry chains, especially if you plan to travel further East than Twain Harte on Highway 108. It is a little late in the season to be purchasing chains but most local Auto Parts stores and tire stores will still have them in stock. Auto Zone still had most sizes. Tire chains are no longer in stock at Walmart.

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Living in Winter’s Grip


Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors, Tuolumne County, Twain Harte News on March 24, 2011

It’s a beautiful day outside — so long as you can admire it from the window as you sit in front of a roaring fire. Pooh would call this a very blustery day.

The roads aren’t too bad either, so long as you have decent tires and keep it slow. I slide around in the driveway a little but only because I got tired of shoveling and decided to just drive right through it.

In just the past couple of minutes the wind has really picked up.  It appears to be snowing from West to East rather than straight down. With all this sudden gusting wind, I’m concerned, not only about possible power outages but about the most recent Mymotherlode report:

The National Weather Service has issued a Significant Weather Advisory for the Motherlode through 5:30 PM.  

The line of storms were last reported just west of Milton in Calaveras County and moving east at thirty mph.

Small hail was reported with these storms along with very heavy rain. Funnel clouds will also be possible.

If threatening weather approaches your area, take shelter in a sturdy building.

While there is no mention of Tuolumne County that doesn’t mean we are in the clear. Sometimes I really miss not having television.

Many people are still without power at this hour.

Thursday Afternoon Power Outages

PG&E Spokesperson Nicole Liebelt says there are currently 4,945 customers in Tuolumne County without electricity mostly in the Twain Harte and Mi Wuk Village areas. 1,580 are without power in Twain Harte, 1,300 are in Mi Wuk Village, 680 in Pinecrest, 675 in Long Barn, 400 in Sonora, 200 in Groveland, 80 in Jamestown and 30 in Tuolumne City.

In Calaveras County there are just over 500 residents without power. These PG&E customers are mostly in the Arnold area with 475. Avery has 50 customers without electricity and 15 are in Valley Springs.

I will try to provide updates as often as I can but if this weather keeps up, we will have more power outages and worse. Twain Harte is really taking a beating up this way. Most people in the area are not prepared for long-term severe weather. I am worried about some of our more elderly neighbors, who may be struggling to get out for needed supplies.

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