Author Archives: Luca

One more mountain lion!

  Our motion-activated cameras caught one more lion!  This one was wondering about on October 23rd, 2014, around 7pm.  It is somewhat unusual for lions to be active so early in the evening!

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Mountain Lions near Tahoe Donner

There are mountain lions active near Tahoe Donner!  These images were taken by camera traps set in nearby places.  The mountain lions seem to be active especially at night.  As they have a large range, we are not sure if … Continue reading

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Our camera trap finally caught a bear!

We place camera traps (motion-activated cameras) in nearby valleys, in spots where we have seen signs of wildlife.  Finally, we were able to catch a bear! There is some light snow on the ground — around Truckee it can snow … Continue reading

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Bears around Hawks Peak

We were hiking around Hawks Peak, in Tahoe Donner, when we spotted bear tracks: They were very large, and also very fresh.  And a dark shadow moving on a tree nearby caught our eye.  The bear!  With three cubs!  Climbing … Continue reading

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How to create top-quality topo maps of your hikes

Some time ago I posted some instructions on how to create on-line topo maps of hikes / excursions, starting from GPX files.  Joseph Elfelt of Gmap4 has recently written to me, announcing the availability of new, and much improved maps. … Continue reading

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Lola Montez Moaning

The legend says that in cold winter days, the ghost of Lola Montez can be heard moaning at her namesake lake in the Sierra.  We went to check yesterday, and we clearly heard repeated moans coming from the frozen lake. … Continue reading

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Coyote sighting!

Our “animal camera” caught sight of a coyote at 7:29am, Jan 2, 2012! We knew there were many coyotes around (they were howling at the Moon behind our house during the Thanksgivings weekend), but this is the first photo of … Continue reading

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Added many new hikes and mountain-bike rides

We added many new hike and mountain-bike ride descriptions.   For each ride or hike, we give a map, and length and elevation data; we plan to add more complete hike and ride descriptions in due time.  Most of the … Continue reading

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How to get free topo maps

When I first arrived in California many years ago, it was difficult to find good topographical maps.  Sure, you could buy maps of Yosemite or Sequoia National Parks (at 1:62,000 scale or somesuch), but if you wanted to buy a … Continue reading

Posted in Hiking, Mapping

How to obtain great maps of your hikes

I want to tell you how to obtain great maps of your hikes, such as this one of the hike from Squaw Valley to High Camp. First, you need to record a GPX track file describing the hike.  Most GPS can … Continue reading

Posted in Hiking, Mapping