Friday, March 14, 2008

Skiing in Lake Tahoe

Wind and Water Alternative Energy

Hello again from Pine Mountain. Spring is arriving early this year. The sun has been out all week on the mountain melting what little snow was left. This weeks picture is courtesy of Pine Mountain Club. Our two windmills have been working well. Between the two of them and our water turbine we average 12 kilowatts. When it gets windy and it does that a lot here on the mountain we have gone all the way to 22 kilowatts. We normally use only 6 kilowatts on the ranch and the rest goes to the grid through a special meter that runs forward and backward. We should be getting a check this month from the power company instead of a bill. Those of you that are just joining us, we have a vertical 10 kilowatt wind turbine from and a horizontal 10 kilowatt from We have a pelton 2500 watt water turbine from This week we have added a survey to our site so that you the reader can tell us what is your favorite thing for us to write about. Please vote. Also this week each part of our newsletter has a title so if you are in a hurry you can read just the section that you are interested in and save the rest for another time.

Energy Drinks

Do you have a hard time getting going in the morning? Here on the mountain we start the day with an energizing vitamin mix from They also have a new product called White Lightning. This is an energy drink that really gets you going.

Lake Tahoe

About a month ago we went on a 3 day vacation to South Lake Tahoe. We spent most of the first day driving to Lake Tahoe. We took Lancaster Road to West Avenue D. We took West Avenue D to 14 and 14 to 395. We took 395 up through Lone Pine and the Panamint mountains to 50. We took 50 to South Lake Tahoe. We own a timeshare from Trendwest that is on the East end of South Lake Tahoe. It was a rustic wood place with 2 floors and a nice view of the woods. Our unit was a 2 bedroom unit. It had a full kitchen a living room with a large TV stereo combination and a gas fireplace in the living room. It had it's own washer dryer and a balcony complete with a gas grill. It had a full bathroom and another bathroom and shower in the master bedroom. We arrived at 5 PM. It had started to snow as we came up the mountain on 50 and by the time we arrived at the timeshare there was 8 inches or 20.5 centimeters on the ground. We had stopped at the grocery store at the end of the street and filled up the refrigerator and pantry with food. We made steak, mashed potatoes, and corn for supper. We had a glass of wine and some cran-raspberry juice. We had apple pie for desert. The timeshare had a Jacuzzi so we put on our bathing suits then our winter coats. The maintenance people had shoveled the snow off the walk so we had thongs on for shoes. We stayed in the Jacuzzi for about an hour. We went back to our unit but found the key card would not let us into our unit. I took the long walk through the snow in thongs to get the key card recoded. My feet were almost frozen by the time I returned. I thawed out by the fireplace and we watched a movie on TV then went to bed at 11 PM.

The next morning after breakfast we went up to the closest ski resort which was called Heavenly. We took the lift up the mountain. This is known as the gunbarrel Express. I took Patsy's run and then took the roundabout back to the world cup and back to the lodge. My companions were much better skiers than I am so they just kept going farther out so they could run the expert runs. I then went back to the clubhouse and had lunch. I went uptown in the pathfinder and spent a few hours at one of the casinos and managed to win $500. I went back to the ski lodge and waited for my companions to return. Finally just as it was getting dark they returned and we went back to the timeshare.

We had a chicken casserole for supper with green beans in mushroom sauce and apple pie for desert. We sat by the fire and watched another movie then went to bed.

The next day my companions went skiing at 2 of the ski resorts farther north on Lake Tahoe. I stayed in town and won another $300 at the casino. We all returned to the timeshare just as it was getting dark. We had another big supper meal then began packing up because we were leaving for home in the morning.

We cleaned up the timeshare and checked out. We almost left South Lake Tahoe but then one of my companions saw a boutique and she had to buy clothes and shoes and hats. My other companion her boyfriend ended up spending $700 on her outfits.

We spent all day driving back and returned to Pine Mountain just as it was getting dark. We were all glad to be back home.

Alternative Energy

The cost of energy keeps increasing. If you are mechanically inclined but do not have a lot of money to invest in alternative energy, a good place to start is a book that is called the alternative energy bible. It has lots of low cost energy producing plans and devices. It is available at

Pine Mountain Evening

Well it is evening again and I am relaxing by my new gas fireplace in my easy chair. I am sampling this weeks coffee from Tonight we are trying Dutch chocolate. This is a very strong deep chocolate tasting coffee. It is just right for relaxing by the fire. I finish my coffee and put Squeekers my African Grey parrot back in his cage. I turn off my gas fireplace and head off to bed. Good night from Pine Mountain. See you next week.