Author: Eileen

Wood Wasps…OH BOTHER

By Melissa Wynn Summer on the mountain means a few of our weekends are spent cutting firewood for next winter. I always enjoy the crisp early mornings, a thermos of coffee and the smell of the sawdust. But, without fail, as soon as the day becomes warm enough to take off our sweaters, here come those pesky wood wasps or horntails as some call them. They buzz around loudly like little B52 bombers even in the woodshed at home. Oh Bother! Even though these wood eating insects don’t sting or bite people, there is something unnerving about being swarmed by any bee like bug....

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Road Trip – Hideaway in Indian Valley

By Melissa Wynn Late in April on a beautiful Sierra spring day the sunshine beckoned, “Come and play”, so we decided to take a drive through the lush mountain meadows of Indian Valley. Because of a late start, I called Bink Huddleston, owner of the Hideaway Motel in Greenville, about a room for the night.  I knew the passing afternoon would never last long enough to meander our way through this pristine area in search of nature’s subtle treasures. Winding our way along the East Shore, Lake Almanor appeared smooth as glass, like a mirror someone had left lying in the bowl between the...

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Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

Hiking The Pacific Crest Trail Each spring, hikers take the long trek from Mexico to Canada (and vice versa) on the Pacific Crest Trail. Many are students. Many come from other countries to hike the length of the trail and many hikers use only segments of the trail. The trail begins on the California-Mexico border, 50 miles east of San Diego and leads north through desert chaparral and along the spine of Southern California’s mountains. It briefly crosses an arm of the Mohave Desert  before its ascent into the southern Sierra. The trail crosses or touches 33 federally designated wilderness areas, 24 nationals forests and 7 national parks. It also touches 5 state parks and many county lands. Private landholders have generously made routes available by right of way agreements with the federal government. Touching 3 countries and extending 2,638 miles, the trail passes through Truckee, Tahoe, and through Plumas, Lassen and Shasta areas. In our northeastern California region it also takes you into the Bucks Lake Wilderness, winds through the Ishi Wilderness and crosses through Mt. Lassen National Park near Drakesbad Guest Ranch. The ranch offers rustic accommodations complete with gas lanterns for light, hiking trails, fishing and a restaurant that serves its guests. They also take reservations for dining only at Drakesbad, although space is limited. (For the full story on this resort, visit and search...

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Music Enhances Learning

Does Music Make My Child Smarter? Yes, of course it does. When learning a song, a musical instrument, or a dance step, your child experiences the unique integration of body and mind that music provides. Sensory integration is a crucial factor in children’s learning readiness for school subjects such as reading, writing, and math. Music improves spatial-temporal reasoning according to research by the MIND Research Institute, a neuroscience and education research based no-profit corporation.  Music assists in  a neurological process needed to understand mathematics. The best way to enhance your child’s learning with music is to encourage listening to and learning music throughout the child’s developmental years. Do it in a variety of ways that are enjoyable and fun, then let your child’s own interest and aptitudes guide your choices of lessons and activities. A Piece of Guitar Heaven Comes to Westwood Music enhances learning and that’s why Doug Sheehy of the Lassen County Arts Council was contacted by Westwood’s Fletcher Walker Elementary School Principal Adele Emershaw to bring a piece of Guitar Heaven to students in Westwood. A show titled Guitar Heaven appeared at Lassen College the same evening featuring amazing acoustic sounds.  Very interested high school kids lined the floor in the cafeteria behind the entire elementary school which did not quite fill the room. However this small group of lucky kids were able to experience an...

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Fishing the Hex Hatch…. In for a fight!

LAKE ALMANOR, CA Typically the third week of June transforms the Almanor basin into a vacation wonderland, welcoming visitors from throughout the state and beyond.  Scents of burgers, ribs and stout steaks took over our RV park as visitors mingled in their friendly fashion. When summer sunshine began to fade on the west shore skyline, fishermen from all over the park ventured out to their boats. One patio boat carried several men including a last minute boarder, barely making the boat after work in Westwood. Another rushed in from Susanville in the nick of time. This evening they did...

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