Among the many fine, well-written articles that I’ve read in the Sierra Sun, David Bunker’s recent piece about the plight of seasonal, international workers (“Suffering through the ski season” Sierra Sun March 1) stands out as the best I’ve read in any paper in quite some time. It was gutsy and moral and revealed a side of Truckee and the North Shore that is usually lost in the rising demographic tide.
With regard to Supervisor Ted Owens’ “‘Whoa’ on the stock trail,” (Sierra Sun Feb. 24) I am pleased that he values historical integrity. This “stock trail” is also the historic Dutch Flat Donner Lake Wagon Road, dating to 1864. Several of the first businesses at Donner Lake and Truckee were owned by Dutch Flat folk, including my relatives, the Towle brothers, who sawed lumber for the CPRR snowsheds.
Almost all the historic public trails in this part of the Sierra saw plenty of sheep and cattle; but there was much recreational use as well, from the Gold Rush forward. Think of author Alonzo Delano and actress Lola Montez visiting the local high country in 1853. Think of painter Gilbert Munger, on the North Fork of the American River below Old Soda Springs in 1872.
A wonderful network of trails existed here ” trails and old wagon roads ” before the Tahoe National Forest came into existence in 1905. Naturally, these old trails became Forest Service trails and were patrolled and maintained by forest rangers.
Unfortunately, unrestrained timber harvests have ruined many of these historic trails. Others have been gated closed or blocked in some way, or blazoned with “no trespassing” signs.
At the bottom line, we have done a terrible job of preserving the fine old trails bequeathed to us by our parents and grandparents. It is a terrible, terrible thing to lose public trails, to lose The Commons and our access to The Commons!
What about the Big Granite Trail? What about the Sugar Pine Point Trail? The Big Valley Trail, Mears Meadow Trail, Monumental Creek Trail, Big Bend-Devils Peak Trail, Long Valley Trail?
Ruined, ruined, ruined, ruined.
I do not know all the facts in this Donner Lake case, but I would beg the property owner to remove his signs and barricades, and accept, please accept, that his property is encumbered with an historic public trail ” the Dutch Flat Donner Lake Wagon Road.
Ms. Darabi is right (“My Turn: Muslims have gone too far with Islam’s blasphemy law” Sierra Sun Feb. 24). Muslims (and some other religions) demand that we “respect” their beliefs while they feel no obligation to respect anyone else’s. When they deny others the right to say what they think of Islam, they limit our freedom of expression. If they respected other’s beliefs the way they expect their beliefs to be respected, they would not try to silence them. Muslims need to practice what they preach.
On a recent Sunday after church, a group of us went to Bar of America (Pacific Crest) for a late breakfast. On the wall in front of me was a large painting of “old” downtown Truckee with lots of snow. After seeing the painting the following came to me.
When what to my wondering eyes should I see
but a old fashion parking meter
standing so very carefree.
I thought with much glee, how simple it would be,
to just drop in my quarters for great shopping spree.
No more walking around, wearing a frown,
trying to figure out, how to drop two dollars down.
And checking on my time, would be nothing to dread,
for all the meter maid would have to do,
is just see if there’s red.
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