Thursday, August 5, 2021

Neighbors helping neighbors

I don't know about you but my animals are my family. I whisper in The Bean's ear all the time that he is my best friend in the world. He knows. Everybody knows. When disaster strikes, like it has at this very moment for so many of our community members, they are the most important things for Rick and I to save. Can you imagine if you couldn't!? There exists some real-life heroes that will swoop in and save the day.

I first learned about this through my friend Ronnie Chandler owner of Critter Keepers in Janesville. She has offered to house animals during a crisis many times. I had no idea there was an actual group of volunteers out there.  Cowboy 911 started as a facebook group and according to their website now has 27,000 members across the Nation. They have rescued thousands of animals from fire, flood, snowstorm. Our local chapter has been mighty busy lately; running rescue missions for goats, chickens, horses, dogs, even people in a few situations. They still had animals and people from Beckworth fire sheltered when they had to begin running horse trailers into the Dixie fire. They cooperate with the first responders to save lives.
The Bean

Food, housing, transport, halters, lead ropes, kennels, cash and more all provided by generous donations. That's where we can help too. 

Check them out at or on Facebook

Cowboy911's tagline is Neighbors helping Neighbors. Really that's what it's all about. 

To all our Hometown Heroes volunteering with Cowboy 911, we thank you. God bless.

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

All about Mile High Mills

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.

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Neighbors helping neighbors

I don't know about you but my animals are my family. I whisper in The Bean's ear all the time that he is my best friend in the worl...