Sunday, October 23, 2011

A walk in the woods..

Just a few minutes walk from our doorstep is a grove of Aspens among all the Pine trees. Every year, about this time, their leaves change from the vibrant green to a lovely golden before falling to the ground.
We went for a walk and took the camera, come along with us and we'll show you.....come on.....

Entering the grove

Jim in the grove

Dana in her new nerd glasses!

fallen leaves on the trail, look like gold coins

Jim on the trail
falling leaves in the wind

Hagen and Sierra, pals we met along the trail

Thanks for walking with us to one of our favorite places. See you again soon!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Leaving the snow behind - A trip to Peavine Mountain

Perhaps you are aware that our little town of Truckee gets a bit of snow. Usually measured in tens of feet. If you live here year round it's probably because you like snow and snowplay. And we do. But a foot on snow in the first week of October just doesn't seem right. So, after we shoveled ourselves out we decided to head to a lower elevation and warmer temps and to explore an area we had heard of but never visited - Peavine Mountain in Reno.

Peavine Mountain is a real treasure for people in Reno. It is National Forest land right in their backyard with miles of trails to explore by bike or hike. We took our Mountain Bikes and way too many layers of clothing and set out.

You can almost hear the slot machines from the trails. If you are familiar with Reno you might be able to name three or four casinos in this photo. It does make route finding pretty easy... just head toward the nearest buffet to find your car.
Despite it convenient location and the number of visitors it is a very big area with a real rural feel. The trails range from cow path to singletrack to 'constructed' mountain bike trails to jeep roads. 

The juxtaposition of the city and the country provides some photo ops for Dana.

The open green area in the above pix is a dog park! The biggest we have ever seen. If we were quiet on the bikes (stopped huffing and puffin) you could hear some barking.

Heading back into the storm and snow at the top of that hill....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dinner at Cottonwood - A Truckee Classic

Like a lot of places, the Tahoe/Truckee area hosts a 'restaurant week' where the local eateries offer a discounted prix fixe menu for a limited time. We took advantage to this promotion to visit one of the oldest and best known restaurants in Truckee: The Cottonwood.  The restaurant sits on the site of the first ski hill in Truckee and has an excellent view of our little town....

The restaurant has an old Truckee ski lodge feel...because that's what it is, not because of any high concept design. Couple the comfortable feel with excellent service and good food and you've got a good choice after a ski day!
Here's a look at what we had...starting with Wine, of course...

Sabon Estates Zin from Plymouth. Excellent cycling around there too.

Then some appetizers .....

Roasted yellow corn polenta gratin with fresh mozzarella, tomato and roasted garlic with an almond & red bell pepper romesco. This was the item that really jumped off the menu. Warm and hearty. 

Corn meal-dusted Canadian crab cakes topped with toasted macadamia nuts and a mango drizzle. The corn meal complemented the polenta. And lots of crab perfectly set off by the mango/citrus flavor.  Our shared salad...

Whole leaf Caesar salad. Nice and garlic-y! And big! Pretty impressed so far. So, we were looking forward to our entrees...

Seafood stew with shellfish, prawns, scallops and Andouille sausage in a saffron-tomato broth over linguini. Flavorful with well controlled spice. Noodles, cheese and lots of distinct fish flavors. And....

Flank Steak with a fig demi-glace and garlic mashed potatoes. Tender (for flank steak) with a nice crusty char. The fig flavor really came thru and worked well. Perfect veggies. Maybe the potatoes needed some punching up to keep up with the rest of the plate. But overall really good. And then.... 

Dessert! A Chocolate Brownie and a Berry Crisp. Very tasty and larger than average portions too.

Another view from our table after the sun had set. And the bottle was empty.
So, thanks to The Cottonwood for a really pleasant evening and some excellent dining. More about The Cottonwood on their website.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

First snow of the season

That season would be Fall, not Winter.  October is early, but not unheard of, for such a strong winter like storm. And this one had it all...freezing temperatures...100mph winds and about 3 to 4 inches of wet snow. Some of the local ski resorts were reporting anywhere from 8 to 12 inches.

Since the forecast calls for temps back in the 70s next week we can't really consider this the 'start' of the season but merely a preview. Based on this it should be a great ski season.

However, the members of our family that aren't skiers find this sudden change to be somewhat distressing. This guy was sitting in the sun under his favorite tree just yesterday.

Notice the leaves on this tree haven't even turned colors we are hoping there is more 'Fall' to come.

The new branches are bending under the weight of the snow...

So windy the snow stuck to the screen...
tsk says 'please Mr Sun... come back... I miss you!!'

Monday, October 3, 2011

An Autumnal Ride

Fall is here.... not that there was ever a summer for fall to fall into.  The snow melted (after 7 months of winter), and it never really got warm like summer can here in the mountains. And we now have a 'winter storm warning' for the next couple of days to come. Oh joy.
So today we decided to go for a mountain bike ride in the cool weather. Trails are still in good condition tho some of the water crossings are pretty high still, opt for the bridge.
We rode on the trail system that we can access from our home. Some of the leaves are just starting to turn. Soon the Aspen Grove near us will be full of vibrant gold, yellow, red, and orange leaves. Photos here for sure when they do.
Alder Creek runs through our neighborhood. Along the miles of creek there are many Beaver ponds. Would sure love to see a beaver one of these days!
Jim using his expert mountain biking skills (ie. not crashing) along the trails.
Bridge over one of the many ponds

See any beaver in there??? I looked for them!
Bridge over a marshy area.

Oh yeah, remember the jam we got? (See post from Sept 28 ) It is excellent as a snack on the bike. Peanut Butter and Italian Jam on cute little mini bread!


They (yes, that 'they') say snow is coming Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Check back here for photos if it does happen! We may be doing our 'shoveling workout' then.