Perfect Weather in Twain Harte


Posted by Shawn & Annette in Opinion, Twain Harte News on January 18, 2011

Holiday travelers to the Mother lode were certainly blessed this weekend with perfect weather conditions. We’ve been enjoying daytime temperatures in the low to mid 60s and lots of sunshine.

Our family decided to make a trip to the valley for supplies and a fast food fix — we can’t wait for Arby’s, In-N-Out or Hometown Buffet to open in Sonora — assuming the rumors are true.

I found a fabulous floor lamp. We liked it so much after it was assembled that I decided to purchase a second lamp, when I made the trip to Modesto to pick up my car keys. Wouldn’t you know it, our son decided he had to have a Wendy’s burger — I enjoyed my meal so much, I ended up forgetting my keys. I frantically called grandma & granddad for assistance. They drove across town after 9:00 p.m., to pick them up. (Thank you grandma & granddad! You Rock!)

I made arrangements to retrieve the keys from Granddad and treat him to lunch at Hometown Buffet. We had a lovely lunch. With keys in hand, I spent all afternoon searching for window blinds, only to return home frustrated and empty-handed.

It wasn’t the weather that had me at my wits-end by nightfall, since I was prepared for that. I knew from our previous trip on Sunday that Modesto was experiencing cooler weather than Twain Harte, so I had taken along an extra jacket. Heading down the hill, Sonora was fogged in at noonyesterday. Once I reached Oakdale, the fog wasn’t an issue, I drove around checking errands off my list as I went.

It wasn’t until the drive home that I began to panic. I made it as far as Oakdale before dusk but was so tired that I decided I needed a break, so I stopped at K-mart to shop awhile. I brought home a t-shirt each for the guys and a couple posters for my anything-Sonic-crazed teen. Of course it was pitch-black out by the time I finished shopping.

The westbound traffic was bumper-to-bumper coming down from the mountains. I kept my eyes glued to the road and tried to stay calm. So far, so good, until I ran into more fog. I switched on the fog lights, breathed in a heavy breath and continued east on my journey home. Then it began to sprinkle. Doing my best to stay calm, I continued to drive — wishing I could see well enough to pull over and rest.

It was at this moment my husband decided to have a meltdown. He knows I hate to drive at night, in the rain — he also knew it was foggy. When he hadn’t heard from me for awhile, he began to text me, when that didn’t raise a response, he started calling.

Let’s recap: I was driving up the mountain, in the dark, with a procession of headlight shining in my eyes (some of them on high-beam), in the rain and the fog, with my cell phone barking at me. Mental note: Why did I choose that ring tone anyway? I drove for about ten minutes under those conditions praying for Jamestown to magically appear on the horizon. I was never so thankful for Jamestown in my life.

Finally, I could pull over, gather my wits, call my frantic husband and relax a moment or two. Did I mention that I had been leading a procession of cars? The cars tha tI had been following must have set speed records, they had left me behind miles ago. The cars following me, were happy to do so and refused to pass me — I was so thankful they maintained a safe following distance behind me.

Take my advice… If you come to Twain Harte, give yourself plenty of time to get off the mountain before dark. You will be glad you did. 

Did anyone notice all the police on the road yesterday? I think I saw over a dozen police cars before I made it past Jamestown on my travels to Modesto.

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Check the Calendar


Posted by Annie in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on April 5, 2010

Last month my niece was planning to come visit with the kids for Easter Sunday. She wanted to get our kids together for an Easter egg hunt. We talked about taking the kids Zip Lining at Moaning Caverns or even hiking down to Natural Bridges for a picnic and some exploring.

Easter Snow Storm

The more she talked about the visit, the more I kept telling her how much fun we could have, if they actually make the trip. I was chastized by her each time, with — “Of course, we are coming to visit.”

She lives in Mesa, AZ and we don’t see her or the kids very often because a 12-hour-drive isn’t all that much fun — all things considered. I kept telling her that it always snows on Easter. Well, two weeks ago, when a new storm warning was issued, calling for three storms to come through the area, she decided to postpone her trip.

The first two storms that rolled in were very mild, producing mainly rain and plenty of it. We had a light dusting of snow a couple days ago, which didn’t stick around long at all. When it poured rain yesterday, I figured we had cancelled her trip for no reason at all.

Easter Sunday Snowfall

I made a trip to Sonora last night to pick up a few groceries, the rain was coming down hard and steady. It was around 6 p.m. when I got back home, it was still raining. I stuck my head out the door around 9 p.m. last night as the snow had begun to accumulate, but it was heavy and wet, you could see the water dropping off the snow in huge drops. We had about 3-inches of snow that I was sure would be gone by morning.

As far back as I can recall it’s always snowed in Twain Harte on Easter Sunday. This Easter Sunday was no exception. When I opened the door this morning, I was in for quite a shock. I had to come back in and check the calendar to be sure it really is April 5th and not January 5th.

The roads are covered with ice and snow; the trees are covered with a thick blanket of the white fluffy stuff; there is snow as far as the eye can see. My niece will be pleased that she decided to wait for her visit. Driving in the snow is not her cup of tea. I still can’t get over how much snow fell overnight.

So, pack up the sleds and head up to the mountain for some sledding and fun in the snow — before it all melts again. Could this finally be our last snow of the season? Only time will tell. While I love the snow…

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Got Water? Sewer?


Posted by Annie in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on August 31, 2009

Hungry Squirrel

One Hungry Squirrel

So, how about those water bills? Wow! We can’t even get a bill sent to our house, so I’m blessed with the job of calling the Twain Harte Community Services District (THCSD) each and every month, to find out what our bill was.

In April 2006, our Twain Harte CSD bill was $61.92, which covered both water and sewer service.  In April 2009, our bill was up to $80.29 and still climbing.  You could have knocked me over when I was informed our August 2009 bill was $87.94 and before you say, “use less water” — understand that our bill, over the base rate was only $9.00.

Leaving $78.94 as a base rate, each and every month. That might not seem like much but our garbage service is just under $60.00 every two months.  It’s the only utility I am aware of that charges, whether you use it or not.  You see all these empty vacation houses? Their owners pay that base rate – whether or not anyone’s been there all year.

What a racket!  It’s like legal thievery.  I know I am supposed to be grateful to have water and sewer, but the water smells like chlorine and dries my skin out so bad that I hate to get in it.  Our family wouldn’t even consider drinking it.  We buy our drinking and cooking water, which just adds more to the cost of living in these wonderful mountains.

If I didn’t love it here so much, I’d consider moving further down the hill where the price per square foot is well under $253.00. Oh, well. Gotta take the good with the bad. This is just one more shock I didn’t expect this month. After all, it’s time to get the car ready for winter.

Road Work Update

Early this afternoon I heard trucks outside and got all excited, for a quick minute. I flew open the door and saw two large orange “Prepare to Stop” signs – one at the top of the hill – one at the bottom. Surely, today would be the day.

The crews stuck around for a couple of hours, removed the signs and disappeared, into parts unknown. I determined then and there I would make the call I’ve been threatening to make for a couple weeks now.  Actually, when I called THCSD, I thought to ask the lady who’s in charge of the road work. That was easy — Tuolumne County Public Works. I looked up the number online and gave them a call.

The operator answered the phone very quickly — what luck. I asked about the road work schedule and she transfered me to another line, which of course was answered by an answering machine. I was deflated. I left a message but my call was not returned.  I’ll try again tomorrow.  I promise.

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