Sunday, August 7, 2022

2 More TAHOE MOON Signings In South Lake Tahoe

It's been a busy week, signing my new book TAHOE MOON all over. So good to see so many of you! THANKS!

There's more to come. 

I'll be signing TAHOE MOON at the Red Hut at Ski Run and Lake Tahoe Blvd, Sunday August 7th at 8:30 a.m.

Next, I'll be giving a talk and signing my new book at the South Lake Tahoe Library on Tuesday August 16th at 5 p.m.

After that, it's on to the Mountain View Festival where I'll have a booth September 10 & 11, then the Candy Dance Festival in Genoa Semptember 24 & 25, then the Harvest Festival in San Mateo November 10, 11, & 12, and the Harvest Festival in Sacramento November 18, 19, & 20.

I expect to spend all my remaining time working on the next McKenna book. Stay tuned... And thanks again for your support.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Independent Book Stores Are Cultural Hotspots

 On Saturday, as part of my new book launch, I made some visits to bookstores and other retailers on the north side of Tahoe, all of which sell lots of my books. I'm always impressed with how hard retailers work to promote books like mine! 

I started in Reno at Sundance Books, where I gave a talk to a nice crowd and read from my new book, TAHOE MOON. 

From there I went to Grassroots Books, also in Reno.

I drove up and over Mt. Rose summit and stopped by The Potlatch gift shop in Incline Village.

I went around the North Shore to Tahoe City and visited Geared for Games. They also have a store called Mind Play in the Olympic Village at what used to be called Squaw Valley and is now called Palisades.

Heading north from Tahoe City took me to Truckee with Word After Word books. (I'm giving a talk there on Tuesday at 6:30 PM)

These stores make my books look good! Please stop by and show your support for independent book stores and gift stores.

Next week I'll visit stores on the South Shore and in Carson Valley.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Tahoe Tribune Story About Tahoe Moon

 Last week, I was contacted by a freelance writer named Sara Jackson. She wanted to interview me for an article on my new book, TAHOE MOON. Her article just came out in the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

Sara Jackson asked interesting questions and avoided all the clich├ęd questions like, "Where do you get your ideas?" 

The resulting article was very well-written. Because I'm a writer, I often notice when journalists do a good job. Sara's sentences were professional, as was the way she constructed the article. When I realized she could do a good job writing fiction, I asked her if she has ever thought of writing novels.

"Yes," she said and explained that fiction was something on her horizon. She thought she might start a novel soon.

Of course, novels take a long time to figure out, never mind writing. But I can tell she's got the chops and the desire. I'll be waiting...

Here's the link to the Tahoe Daily Tribune article:

Sunday, July 17, 2022

What Do You Get With The Dark Skies In The Mountains?!

 While Tahoe does not have the darkest skies, they are much darker than most places. And if your neighbors don't leave lights on at night, you can see a spectacular night sky. Many times we have seen amazing sights from our deck.

Recently, we had friends visiting, and we all noticed a dramatic light traveling through the evening sky.

We guessed it was the International Space Station. We'd seen the ISS several times in the past. Each time it was really bright. 

Our friend pulled out her iPhone, on which she has the SkyViewLite app, which is free. She pointed her phone at the sky, and it immediately identified the ISS. (It also identifies all other major objects in the sky.)

Why is the ISS so bright? Because it is huge. With its solar panels, it is bigger than a football field. The perfect viewing time is soon after sunset or before sunrise, when our area and sky are dark but the ISS is still in sunlight because it is 250 miles above us. The sunlit space station is the second brightest object in the night sky after the moon.

What does the station look like from Earth?

It appears to my eyes as a brilliant white dot, quite large and with a hint of its rectangular shape. With binoculars, it appears more rectangular.

Like all other satellites in low-Earth orbit, the ISS traverses the sky in a few minutes. It is traveling, after all, at 17,000 miles per hour, or roughly ten times the speed of a very fast bullet! It goes all the way around the Earth every 90 minutes.

It's easy to see by using one of the websites that tell when and where to look for the ISS. NASA has a good one:

You can search on the closest city to you. When a blue tear drop shows on the map near your location, click on it. Look for the words "View Sighting Opportunities," and click on that. You'll get a list of times the ISS is visible in your area.

Pay attention to the maximum height angle the ISS will be. If it's only 20 degrees above the horizon, you may not see it because of nearby trees and buildings. But if it's going to be 60 or more degrees, you'll have a great view.

The space station has a continuous crew of 7 astronauts, and they live in various tube-shaped, pressured compartments vaguely reminiscent of an airliner. The total amount of indoor space is about the same as a 747, about 6000 square feet.

You may wonder, why do astronauts in orbit experience weightlessness? Because, like the station itself, they are actually in a kind of permanent free fall. But instead of falling down to Earth, they are going so fast they fall "past" the Earth.

I find it a thrill to look up and see the ISS, racing around the Earth with its 7 passengers.
What is this astronaut thinking? Imagine enjoying this view with your morning coffee!

Sunday, July 10, 2022

TAHOE MOON Signing Schedule

TAHOE MOON will be out August 1st. I believe it will be available every place the books have been in the recent past. So wherever you got TAHOE JADE, for example, you will probably be able to get TAHOE MOON. (Of course, it's always a good idea to call first before you drive a long way.

Stores that will have the books include:
Sundance Books in Reno
Shelby's Books in Minden
Artifacts in South Lake Tahoe
The Red Hut Cafes in both South Lake Tahoe and Carson City.
Word After Word Books in Truckee
The Potlatch in Incline Village
Geared for Games in Tahoe City
Grassroots Books in Reno
The Book Seller in Grass Valley
The History Museum in South Lake Tahoe
Camp Richardson General Store in South Lake Tahoe

My initial signing schedule is beginning to take shape.

I'll be giving talks and signing the new book at these places:

July 30th, 11:00 AM Sundance Books in Reno - Talk and Sign
August 2nd, 6:30 PM Word After Word Books in Truckee - Talk and Sign
August 5th, 6:00 PM Shelby's Books in Minden - Talk and Sign
August 6th 8:30 AM The Red Hut Cafe in Carson City - Signing only
August 7th 8:30 AM The Red Hut Cafe in South Lake Tahoe (the one on Ski Run Blvd) - Signing only
August 16, 5:00 PM South Lake Tahoe Library - Talk and Sign
September 9 & 10 Mountain View Art & Wine Festival, Mountain View, CA
September 24 & 25 Candy Dance Festival, Genoa, NV
November 11, 12, 13 Harvest Festival, San Mateo, CA
November 18, 19, 20 Harvest Festival, Sacramento, CA

I look forward to seeing you at these talks!

Any additional events will be posted on the "Events Page" of my website.

Thanks very much for your continued interest and support!

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Classic Western Beauty

In a couple of weeks, there will be vast meadows with millions of wildflowers. On July 4th weekend, we're a bit early. But hiking along the Carson River in Hope Valley is still as pretty as it gets.

Here's a few pics:

That's the east side Steven's Peak. Red Lake Peak is to its left.

We could see lots of minnows in the river. 
Probably large trout, too, as evidenced by multiple fly fishermen.


Sunday, June 26, 2022

What A Sight On The Summer Solstice

From several places in South Lake Tahoe, you can look south and see Round Top mountain, which is near Hope Valley, Caples Lake and Kirkwood. I was there on June 21st.

At 10,400 feet, there was still too much snow to easily climb without micro spikes.

Caples Lake is 7800 feet. The wind coming across it was cold!

I love the way no matter what time of the year, you can always hike to snow in Tahoe.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Summer? Or Winter?

 We are just two days from the Summer Solstice. Much of the country is baking in heat.

As I write this Saturday evening, Tahoe is supposed to freeze tonight. There's a 40% chance of precip, and the snow level will drop to 6900 feet, which is our house.

Gotta love summer, right?

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Not That You Would/Wood

The Tahoe powers that be have made the rule a little earlier than in past years. No burning of charcoal or wood inside or out is allowed until fire season is over next winter. There's simply too much at stake.

Not Charcoal, regardless of where or how.

Not Wood, regardless of where or how.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Flotation Vests Saved Lives (Again)

Kayaking is such fun.
But even on a sunny day, a flotation vest can save your life.
Last week at Sand Harbor, on Tahoe's East Shore, two kayakers were doing just fine when the wind came up.
Both kayaks capsized. Both kayakers swam to some big rocks that were poking out of the water. Both kayakers were wearing flotation vests (life jackets).

Because Tahoe is so cold, especially in the spring, both kayakers began to suffer from hypothermia. (Which is when you get so cold, your muscles stop working, and you drown.)

Someone saw them struggling and called 911.

The Washoe Sheriff's Office has a patrol boat at Incline Village not far away. They came and rescued the freezing paddlers.

They lived. Why? Because they were wearing flotation vests.

Moral of the story? Stay near shore when you go out on a tippy craft like a paddleboard, a kayak, or a canoe. And ALWAYS wear a flotation vest.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Snow For Tahoe Memorial Day

As I write this on Saturday afternoon, the weather forecast calls for 30% chance of snow tonight, with the snow level dropping to 6900 feet. Which is to say our house. 

I can't count how many times it's snowed in Tahoe on Memorial Day weekend. One year I exhibited at an outdoor festival. It was so cold we dressed in our ski clothes, and we got 5 inches of snow on our tent canopies on Memorial Day.

Locals often think winter goes until June 15. Although we've had snow in July and August, it melts fast when it falls after the middle of June.

One year we skied at Alpine Meadows on June 5th. The night before we got six inches of snow. So we skied fresh powder and the air was filled with little purple butterflies.

Not many places on the planet where you can have that experience.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Drought? The Water Is Flowing In Tahoe!

 Yes, California has a very bad drought. But we've got water in Tahoe. Come up the mountain and see!

Eagle Falls at Emerald Bay

From the north side of Emerald Bay, this is looking south toward Mt. Tallac.

This is the other side of Mt. Tallac, looking from Angora Ridge,
 northwest across Fallen Leaf Lake. 
Down on the shore to the left is Stanford Camp. 
Just out of the picture to the left is Glen Alpine Falls, 
roaring just as much as Eagle Falls.

From Angora Ridge looking north across Fallen Leaf Lake to Lake Tahoe beyond. The distant point on the left, which looks skinny but is not, (the end of the point is just barely visible) is Sugar Pine Point State Park on the West Shore. The far distant land is the North Shore, 30 miles away.