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Outdoors with Don Q: Wildflowers and trout fishing at Frog Lake

Two weeks ago, I wrote an article about the wildflowers blooming along the paved highway in the Davis Lake area of Plumas County, California.

This week's article is about a high-altitude hike that Elaine and I took to little Frog Lake in the Mokelumne Wilderness Area of California, as our way to celebrate Father's Day on June 16.

Our purpose for that Sunday hike was three-fold: To walk on snow fields (which we did), to photograph wildflowers (which we did) and to fish for rainbow trout (which we did).

You, too, might want to take that same hike in the very near future and here's how to do so:

What to take:
In a small daypack, take snacks or a light picnic lunch complete with your favorite soft drinks or water, sunglasses, sun screen, hat, mosquito repellent (lots of it!), camera and even a light sweater (just in case).

If you're a fisherman:
Take some small lures (I was spincasting with small red/white striped lures and we also tried Power Nuggets and nightcrawlers).

How to get to Frog Lake from the Winnemucca Lake Trail:
Drive south from Carson City for 43 miles on a combination of U.S. 395, Nevada S.R. 88 and California S.R. 88 to the top of Kit Carson Pass.

At the Pass, you will have to pay a modest fee to park in the U.S. Forest Service parking area.
From there, you will be hiking on a well-defined trail that leads you to Winnemucca Lake, which is about a two-mile hike from that parking area.

Winnemucca Lake is a large, high-altitude, super-deep, ice-cold, trout-filled lake that lies at the base of Round Top Mountain (elevation 10,364 feet), the highest point in the Mokelumne Wilderness Area.
You’ll be walking at high altitude (8,500-9,000 feet), so if you are not accustomed to that type of elevation, remember to take it slow and easy with lots of rest stops, so you can catch your breath.

Here’s a special “Don Q” hint:
Taking numerous photos of the surrounding, spectacular mountain scenery and the wildflowers along the trail is a great excuse for making multiple stops. I do it often and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
After hiking for about a mile, you will see aptly-named Elephant Back Mountain directly in front of you and little Frog Lake on your left.

Frog Lake:
Turn off the main hiking trail, travel a very short distance to the lake and then find a good place to enjoy some fishing and relaxing.
I would suggest anywhere along the lake side that has most of the trees.
And as an unexpected bonus:
If you hike to the top of the ridge at the far end of Frog Lake, you will be looking down on Red Lake, far below. A great photo op!

Wildflowers:
Last week, the wildflowers were not quite at their peak, but I have an educated guess that they should be looking great by the time you read this.
Last week, the best display of wildflowers was along the west shoreline of Frog Lake. The flowers are all kinds of bright colors: Green, white, red, yellow, blue, violet, etc. You’ll see lots of Mule's Ears, Indian Paint Brush, Lupine, Buttercup, etc.

Finally, an important bit of advice:
If possible, try to go on a weekday, not on a weekend.
On weekends, the Winnemucca Lake Trail is jammed-packed with all kinds of wildflower lovers from far and wide. You won’t be lonely!

And, as a special two-part reminder:
01. Please do not trample on other flowers while trying to get a photo of a unique flower or group of flowers.
02. Please leave your dog home.
Be considerate of the others who have hiked there to admire that high-altitude display by Mother Nature.

Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you the best time to photograph the wildflowers along the trail.
If he grins and says, “Your best time for those photos is early in the morning or late in the afternoon,” he has been there as a photographer.

— Don Quilici is the Outdoor editor for Carson Now. He can be reached at donquilici@hotmail.com


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On your “Must Not Miss” list, is the popular Downtown Wine Walk – held the First Saturday of every month from 1- 5pm. For just $10 (which supports the Downtown Business Association you’ll receive a commemorative wine glass and endless reasons to sip, stroll, and shop, the afternoon away, through Historic Downtown Carson City. Bring your wine walk glass with the Carson City Logo on it and pay only $8. Don't forget the after Wine Walk raffle prize party, 5:00pm, at the Cabaret Lounge, Carson Nugget Casino!

Tickets can be purchased at Bella Fiora Wines, Cactus Jack’s, Carson Jewelry & Loan, Carson Nugget, and Horseshoe Club, where you will receive hand stamps, glasses, and maps.

Sponsored by the Carson City Downtown Business Association, our goal is to carry on a local tradition, hosting an event which showcases a monthly Downtown celebration. It’s a Saturday stroll with a glass of wine through historic downtown Carson City where boutiques, local shops, galleries, restaurants and casinos, pull out all the stops to awaken your taste buds and tantalize your senses... experience a Downtown taste sensation!.

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Carson City sales tax is up 7.8 percent in May this year as compared to May 2013, according to figures provided Wednesday to the Carson City Chamber of Commerce.

"We attribute that to all the new retailers that chose to open their doors here," said Chamber Executive Director Ronni Hannaman.

Here’s a brief synopsis from the Chamber:

Furniture Sales – Up 24.8 percent; Sporting goods were up by 101.2 percent; General Merchandise stores were up by 37.5 percent and food and beverage stores showed an increase of 16.1 percent.

Many celebrations are scheduled statewide in the month of August. These Nevada 150 events celebrate all things Nevada and bring awareness to the 150th Anniversary of Statehood. The following events are held Aug. 1 through Aug. 14.

Thunderstorms are moving into the Carson City region, prompting an alert from the National Weather Service in Reno. A Flash Flood watch is in effect until 10 p.m. for Carson City, Carson Valley, Dayton and Virginia City.

Firefighters have also responded to reports of lightning strikes seen in areas south and east of Carson City. As of about 1:30 p.m. Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center said there have been reports of lightning strikes and smoke near Carson River Road and near Stephanie Way but but nothing confirmed as wildfire.

Fruit trees throughout western Nevada blossom in the spring and will produce ripened fruit in mid-summer. As the fruit develops, the black bears in western Nevada are sure to take notice.

Armed with a sense of smell that is 2,100 times better than a human’s, black bears can tell when it is time to venture down the hill into places like west Reno, Washoe and Pleasant Valleys, Carson City and the western edges of the Carson Valley including Minden, Gardnerville and Genoa.

The fourth graders worked at the computer screens for hours, fingers dancing over the keyboard and figures on the screen spinning, growing and changing colors. And, their parents were happy. The students weren’t playing games; they were designing and building things like a whistle, buildings, hot air balloon, cars, DNA models, bracelets, airplanes and more, using a 3-D modeling and CAD design program.

Project Americans Coming Together local director Carla Wilson, and event coordinator Joy Evans will hold an informational meeting and auditions for two local original productions designed to bring both national and local history to life.

This meeting will be held on Friday, August 1, 2014, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints located at 411 N. Saliman Road in Carson City.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A package of Northern Nevada lands bills — six introduced by Rep. Mark Amodei (NV-2) and one by Rep. Steven Horsford (NV-4) unanimously passed the House Natural Resources Committee Wednesday.

The bipartisan support clears the way for the legislation to be brought to the House floor in September as a non-controversial suspension bill, according to a news release from Amodei's office.

The compromise agreement was made possible after adjustments to the legislation were made to a version passed in January.

UPDATE: Care Flight has taken one victim to the trauma ward of Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno following a pedestrian accident this morning at Fifth and Roop streets. A second victim was taken by ambulance. Reports to dispatch were that a woman and child were hit by a pickup at the intersection.

***

Carson City fire and ambulance are responding to Fifth and Roop street after a woman and an 8-year-old child were reportedly hit by a truck. Care Flight was ordered.

A Reno man was booked Tuesday into Carson City Jail on a felony charge of probation violation. Timothy Ryan Gillenwater, 25, was stopped after a Carson City sheriff’s deputy observed the vehicle he was driving speeding 50 mph in a 40 mph zone and twice crossing the white travel lane divider, according to the arrest report.

Officers could smell a slight odor of alcohol from his breath and observed four opened and empty beer cans in the back seat of his vehicle, the arrest report states.

As July closes so does Nevada Department of Wildlife's month-long BEAR Logic campaign, designed to teach residents and visitors how to live and recreate in bear county. This week NDOW advice provides tips if people should have a bear encounter.

Keep in mind that bears exhibit stress behaviors that indicate their anxiety and preference to avoid conflict with you. These are not necessarily signs of an aggressive bear.

— Moaning and woofing while avoiding direct eye contact with you.
— Clacking of their teeth and smacking of their jaws.

A few months ago, Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell was out of the state when he received a message from his city hall office that a secretary from the Navy wanted to arrange a meeting with him.

Crowell, a Navy veteran who served in the Vietnam War, suspected the meeting might be about recruiting. He was delightfully wrong.

This year, the United States celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' first visit to these shores. The "Jazz & Beyond: Carson City Music Festival" is excited to provide two exciting Beatles events in honor of that occasion.

The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health launched two new Nevada-specific websites Tuesday to help schools protect students from sexual assaults on college campuses.

The websites, www.preventsexualviolenceNV.org and www.stepupstopviolence.org, define sexual assault and consent and offer approaches for individuals, students, and community members to safely intervene when observing a potentially high-risk situation.

Here is this week's fishing report for rivers, lakes and streams in Nevada, Northern California and the Sierra. This report is for the week of June 30 through Aug. 5, 2014.

The Salvation Army of Carson City is collecting Back Packs and School Supplies for underprivileged children through August 13th. The Salvation Army has been getting calls from families in need for several weeks asking for help. Children from Carson City School District, Silver State Charter School, and Douglas County School District will receive all back packs and school supplies that are collected.

Similar to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Angel Tree program the Army has started an Apple Tree program with “Apples” that have a child’s wishes on it to help donors shop.

Carson City's biggest public safety awareness event of the summer is next week and organizers are looking for some added help to make this year's event fly out of the park.

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office will host National Night Out on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Mills Park.

Carson City Ward 2 Supervisor Brad Bonkowski will hold his monthly “Breakfast with Brad” on Friday, August 1, 7:30 a.m. at the Cracker Box restaurant. All Carson City residents are invited to attend.

“There are many issues right now that are provoking strong opinions from residents” Bonkowski said. He added “I’m hearing from lots of people regarding the MAC, the animal shelter, the potential corridor improvements and of course medical marijuana. It’s important that I get input from residents, and also to explain how the process will work.”

The following arrests were made by Carson City Sheriff's Office deputies from July 26 to the morning hours of July 29, 2014. Those arrested and facing charges are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

— A 43-year-old Carson City man was arrested Tuesday, July 29, 12:36 a.m. in the 1400 block of North Lompa Lane on a misdemeanor warrant charge of petit larceny. Bail: $1,000.

Douglas County is hosting the Western Nevada College “Always Lost: A Meditation on War” arts and humanities exhibition as part of a special Nevada Sesquicentennial tour sponsored by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services.

David H. Garza had vehicle expenses disallowed because he did not keep adequate records and evidence as Section 274(d) and the related regulations require.

He did not record the amount, time and business purpose of each business use of his truck. He worked as an outside sales representative for Time Warner Cable.

He claimed the vehicle expenses as employee business expenses on form 1040, Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. Time Warner Cable policy did not provide him with any reimbursement of his business driving.