Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Stan Bales making our public land even more fun!

 Bureau of Land Management is one of my favorite things in the world. Just the other day I was talking with Stan Bales (I believe he is the Outdoor Recreation Planner for BLM) about all the work they've done on Bald Mountain and asked if you can camp up there, he replied "yes! That's why it's one of your favorite things." He is correct. This old BLM map that local historian Tim Purdy brought in to me today says it all "these are you lands to enjoy and your lands to protect." BLM wants me to use the land, they encourage it. Stan and crew made Bald Mountain such a great place to explore; on horseback, foot or bike. The single track is a blast, in the spring the wildflowers on top are stunning and Stan tells me it is a spectacular spot to watch the moon rise. 

What did it take to get this trail built? In the words of Stan:

"On May 23 through 26, our BLM Ameri-Corps Crew and I backpacked and horse packed up onto Bald Mountain to do trail maintenance from a camp up on Bald Mountain at 5,000'. We had great vistas up there over Honey Lake and to the surrounding mountains of the northern Sierra, Great Basin and Cascades. The full moon rose over Honey Lake while we were camped out out up there too - really nice !

From our campsite, the crew hiked along 5 trail loops grubbing out annual weed growth and sloughed rocks that had fallen on the trail, dug out rocks in rough trail segments making the trail much better for all trail users and padded some rocky sections with dirt to smooth out crossing those trail segments. Two crewmen also rode mountain bikes along 3 trail loops to reach loops further away from our campsite and also cleared sloughed rocks, grubbed out annual weed growth, improved a bermed trail turn and padded rocky talus slope crossings with dirt.

And after local horse packer and Back Country Horsemen volunteer Walt Reynolds helped the crew pack up heavy jugs of water, food and some tools on his horses, two crew members got to ride horses back down with Walt. Then the crew members switched to mountain bikes and rode back up to camp so the bikes would be available the next day for trail work. That was a long day for those tough trail riders !

While up there the crew met a diverse mix of trail users out enjoying the Bald Mountain Trails - hikers, runners, mountain bikers and horseback rider."

In another email he listed the necessary equipment:

"Student Conservation Association crew, a Sutter 300 Mini Trail Dozer we rented from Sutter Equipment east of Carson City that makes them. Sky Zaffarano, a great BLM trail dozer operator from our BLM Redding office ran it for us on weekends and our local BLM equipment operators ran it during the week. Diesel fuel was packed up the mountain by volunteers from the Back Country Horsemen. 5 gallons a day (40 lbs) adds up ! And we ran the little dozer for 3+ weeks." Last I heard they were now working on the Southside Trail that runs the Susan River. That's some fun and challenging single track!" 

I am forever amazed by the enthusiasm and encouragement I receive when I ask BLM for directions or guidance on a site. They truly want me to use our land. And as one of Tim Purdy's followers said when he saw the sunrise on Belfast Petroglyphs "that's some Indiana Jones $!#@ right there!" It really is. Hunting down petroglyphs and pictograms in our county is an amazing endeavor.  Rick and I have had so much fun exploring the notes from the ancients. 

Our local BLM crew is just one more in a long list of reasons to be Hometown Proud!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Fire and Flour

Local innovations. I know we're teeming with it but I gotta give a shout out to one family that has really excelled. I first learned about the Traphagans when I saw a photo of Jimmy Uruburu used in an ad for the Agri-Hydrant, an incredible fire fighting tool that taps a hydrant into existing ag irrigation, invented by Thomas Traphagan during the chaos of a massive fire on the Madeline Plains.

Wow. Right? Now the Traphagans converted their Ravendale farmland to grow organic wheat AND put in a mill. That's right they are milling homegrown wheat right here in Lassen County. Available varieties of  Mile High Mills Organics are, Whole Wheat, All Purpose and Bread Flour. Andrea Traphagan tells me she has enjoyed baking with other locals to test the new products. I can't wait to try it myself!

Both stories are a great read and you gotta check out the photography on their web pages, also done by Andrea;

To learn more about the Agri-Hydrant go to https://www.agrihydrant.com/our-story/

All about Mile High Mills https://www.milehighmill.com/about-us/

We are so Hometown Proud and to carry a full line of Mile High Mills organics! Thank you Traphagans, for all you do.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

My unstoppable community~

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”- Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.

Writing my little article each week has always been a challenge I looked forward to. Until Pandemic 2020. My excuses? At first the store was CRAZY busy, then as product came back in and folks adjusted to being in the midst of something the world hadn't seen for a couple of generations, business settled but I just couldn't seem to get back to my routine. Certainly NOT because there wasn't anything to write about. 

Dickens kinda nailed the feelings but no matter what was happening; economically, politically, socially or pandemically (I may have made that word up) our community was here for us. I would like to take a beat to give a shout out to some of those friends, family and community members that made this crisis bearable...and yes, more days than not, good. 

My girls that talk to me on my commute each day~
A plethora of people that take the time to visit in the aisles about everything and nothing~
The ones that stop in my office to visit or show up for a walk just when I need it~
My family~
My coworkers, many of whom I have been working with for over a quarter of a century~
Local first responders that set the example for excellence~
Local businesses figuring out how to serve~

This list could go on forever and there isn't enough room for all the pictures that populate my mind as I write this but right now is always the perfect time to count my blessings. I have more than I could ever live long enough to deserve.

This is Hometown Proud.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Jambalaya with Black eyed Peas

"He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world."~ George Washington Carver's gravestone. Doctor Carver introduced crop rotation to the American South where cotton, being the sole crop, had depleted the soil and increased pest population. Peanuts and legumes used in this rotation added nutrients to the soil and allowed it to be restored. One such legume grown in the South was Black Eyed Peas which came to symbolize good fortune especially when consumed on New Year's Day.

Heaven knows we could use a bit of good fortune 'bout now. Which is why I pulled a recipe for Hoppin' John: rice, black eye peas, peppers, sausage, onions... sounds excellent. Longtime friend Linda Erway was telling me about a VERY similar recipe, Jambalaya. Turns out that's what it's called in the South. Her recipe was tried and true and SUPER easy. Easy is #1 in my top 10 criteria for recipes. Linda said you just throw all the ingredients in and cook it like rice. It. was. Awesome. I checked out a couple other recipes and added jalapeño and Aidell's sausage plus a few herbs to her recipe. Highly recommend.

Here is Linda's original recipe and notes~
"Bad pic. Smeared recipe from MANY years of love. I’ve also used chicken broth and any flavor chicken sausage. I think the butter is 1/2c, but....?"
You know a handwritten recipe is good if it gets that much use!

I made it last night with a few mods:
1 tbs EVO
1 Aidell's Mango Jalapeno link
1 Aidell's Andouille link (love all the Aidell's and use them for everything!)
1 sm diced jalapeno (which later got all over my hands and I later rubbed my eye...)
1/2 cup diced onion
2 diced stalks celery 
1 diced red pepper
1 can Black Eyed Peas drained and rinsed
1 cup rice
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cajun seasoning
Add first 6 ingredients to skillet, sauté 3 minutes, add remaining ingredients, cover and cook until rice is tender. BAM! 

Linda Erway has been a friend for, I'm guessing over 20 years now. We did an awful lot of bike riding together a couple of decades ago :) ~

PLUS she is one of my favorite LOCAL artisans, we carry many of her pottery items in Susanville Supermarket. 

Thanks Linda for a dinner idea with a side of LUCK! We're already feeling lucky to have friends like you. 

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Stan Bales making our public land even more fun!

  Bureau of Land Management is one of my favorite things in the world. Just the other day I was talking with Stan Bales (I believe he is the...