From depths to the heights |

From depths to the heights

Sam Bauman
Appeal Staff Writer

Combining three days wandering around Death Valley (see story left) along with a day of skiing Mammoth Mountain this week was just about a dream come true. The skiing was the first in several weeks as the ankle problem that had kept me out of my ski boots eased so I could get my old “punched-out” boots on.

The snow Monday morning at Mammoth was midseason fine – hard and icy at first but quickly softening up. Grooming was excellent, but tree skiing was out due to frozen hunks of ice. With no crowds, it was hop on the lift and go.

How nice it was to find that the skis actually went where I wanted them to, and that the edges held fine; the wax I had ironed on was near perfect.

No closing date for Mammoth yet, but it can’t last too much longer. Meanwhile, this is it for our neighborhood resorts with Squaw and Alpine Meadows shuttering. Sunday is season passholder day at Squaw, free food for those regulars. I hope to be there and edge my way in to the eats and then sun at the spa and pool.


Spring Wings Bird Festival is for all of us interested in birds and the GO. This is the celebration of the songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl returning to the Lahontan Valley from all over the western world.

This year, the festival features the play “A Sense of Wonder” based on the life and works of biologist and writer Rachel Carson, written and performed by Broadway, film and TV actress Kaiulani Lee. The play celebrates the 100th birthday of Carson, who has been called the patron saint of the environmental movement and is best known for her book “Silent Spring,” which alerted the world to the perils of DDT to life. The play is set for the evening of May 11.

New field trips have also been added to the festival menu including trips to view wood duck nesting boxes along the Carson River, a trip to Walker Lake, a trip dedicated to the migratory songbirds and their colorful spring plumage, a boating excursion on Soda Lake to examine the historic soda operations while viewing the bountiful waterfowl, and an excursion out Churchill Vineyards, the state’s second licensed and first “estate winery” that will include a wine tasting.

Tours, workshops, vendors and plenty of free kid’s activities are on tap at one of the most popular wildlife festivals in the state. Festival central is located at the Fallon Convention Center where all of the tours will start and where a falconry demonstration will take place the morning of May 12. There will also be other live birds of prey to view up close and personal.

For details go to The festival begins noon May 10 at the convention center and ends 2 p.m. May 13.

Call (775) 428-6452 or the Fallon office at (800) 874-0903.


The settlement of Heavenly’s plans for a new lift and other upgradees is a winner. More good news about it next week.

• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or