Sierra Nevada (U.S.)
The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the Western United States, between the Central Valley of California and the Great Basin. The vast majority of the range lies in the state of California, although the Carson Range spur lies in Nevada; the Sierra Nevada is part of the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges that consists of an continuous sequence of such ranges that form the western "backbone" of North America, Central America, South America and Antarctica. The Sierra runs 400 miles north-to-south, is 70 miles across east-to-west. Notable Sierra features include the largest alpine lake in North America; the Sierra is home to three national parks, twenty wilderness areas, two national monuments. These areas include Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks; the character of the range is shaped by its ecology. More than one hundred million years ago during the Nevadan orogeny, granite formed deep underground; the range started to uplift four million years ago, erosion by glaciers exposed the granite and formed the light-colored mountains and cliffs that make up the range.
The uplift caused a wide range of elevations and climates in the Sierra Nevada, which are reflected by the presence of five life zones. Uplift continues due to faulting caused by tectonic forces, creating spectacular fault block escarpments along the eastern edge of the southern Sierra; the Sierra Nevada has a significant history. The California Gold Rush occurred in the western foothills from 1848 through 1855. Due to inaccessibility, the range was not explored until 1912; the Sierra Nevada lies in Central and Eastern California, with a small but important spur extending into Nevada. West-to-east, the Sierra Nevada's elevation increases from 1,000 feet in the Central Valley to heights of about 14,000 feet at its crest 50–75 miles to the east; the east slope forms the steep Sierra Escarpment. Unlike its surroundings, the range receives a substantial amount of snowfall and precipitation due to orographic lift; the Sierra Nevada's irregular northern boundary stretches from the Susan River and Fredonyer Pass to the North Fork Feather River.
It represents where the granitic bedrock of the Sierra Nevada dives below the southern extent of Cenozoic igneous surface rock from the Cascade Range. It is bounded on the west by California's Central Valley and on the east by the Basin and Range Province; the southern boundary is at Tehachapi Pass. Physiographically, the Sierra is a section of the Cascade-Sierra Mountains province, which in turn is part of the larger Pacific Mountain System physiographic division; the California Geological Survey states that "the northern Sierra boundary is marked where bedrock disappears under the Cenozoic volcanic cover of the Cascade Range." The range is drained on its western slope by the Central Valley watershed, which discharges into the Pacific Ocean at San Francisco. The northern third of the western Sierra is part of the Sacramento River watershed, the middle third is drained by the San Joaquin River; the southern third of the range is drained by the Kings, Kaweah and Kern rivers, which flow into the endorheic basin of Tulare Lake, which overflows into the San Joaquin during wet years.
The eastern slope watershed of the Sierra is much narrower. From north to south, the Susan River flows into intermittent Honey Lake, the Truckee River flows from Lake Tahoe into Pyramid Lake, the Carson River runs into Carson Sink, the Walker River into Walker Lake. Although none of the eastern rivers reach the sea, many of the streams from Mono Lake southwards are diverted into the Los Angeles Aqueduct which provides water to Southern California; the height of the mountains in the Sierra Nevada increases from north to south. Between Fredonyer Pass and Lake Tahoe, the peaks range from 5,000 feet to more than 9,000 feet; the crest near Lake Tahoe is 9,000 feet high, with several peaks approaching the height of Freel Peak. Farther south, the highest peak in Yosemite National Park is Mount Lyell; the Sierra rises to 14,000 feet with Mount Humphreys near Bishop, California. Near Lone Pine, Mount Whitney is at 14,505 feet, the highest point in the contiguous United States. South of Mount Whitney, the elevation of the range dwindles.
The crest elevation is 10,000 feet near Lake Isabella, but south of the lake, the peaks reach to only a modest 8,000 feet. There are several notable geographical features in the Sierra Nevada: Lake Tahoe is a large, clear freshwater lake in the northern Sierra Nevada, with an elevation of 6,225 ft and an area of 191 sq mi. Lake Tahoe lies between a spur of the Sierra. Hetch Hetchy Valley, Yosemite Valley, Kings Canyon, Kern Canyon are examples of many glacially-scoured canyons on the west side of the Sierra. Yosemite National Park is filled with notable features such as waterfalls, granite domes, high mountains and meadows. Groves of Giant Sequoia
Emigrant Gap is a gap in a ridge on the California Trail as it crosses the Sierra Nevada, to the west of what is now known as Donner Pass. Here the cliffs are so steep that, back in the 1840s, the pioneers on their way to California had to lower their wagons on ropes in order to continue; the Emigrant Gap was so named because it was a low gap on a ridge where the emigrants' wagons crossed from the American River drainage to the Bear River drainage. It was part of the Truckee Route, a portion of the California Trail by which pioneers, heading west, emigrated from the United States to California, part of Mexico until it was captured by the United States in the Mexican–American War. There is a California historical marker on Interstate 80 commemorating this brave and arduous task, dedicated on June 25, 1950; the spring of 1845 saw. They left this valley, ascended to the ridge, turned westward to old Emigrant Gap; the wagons were lowered by ropes to the floor of Bear Valley. Hundreds followed before and after the gold rush.
This was a hazardous portion of the overland emigrant trail. Emigrant Gap is located near the town of California; the Donner Party was not the first emigrant party to cross Emigrant Gap. Stewart, George R.. The California Trail: An Epic with Many Heroes. University of Nebraska Press. P. 339. ISBN 0-8032-9143-4. "Recreational Activities: More Information About Big Bend". Tahoe National Forest. Retrieved 2008-05-11. Krizek, John. Forgotten Journey: The Stephens-Townsend-Murphy Saga. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2008-05-11. Media related to Emigrant Gap at Wikimedia Commons
Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland is a major container ship facility located in Oakland, California, in the San Francisco Bay. It was the first major port on the Pacific Coast of the United States to build terminals for container ships, it is now the fifth busiest container port in the United States, behind Long Beach, Los Angeles and Savannah. Development of an intermodal container handling system in 2002 culminated over a decade of planning and construction to produce a high volume cargo facility that positions the Port of Oakland for further expansion of the West Coast freight market share; the estuary, 500 feet wide, had a depth of two feet at mean low tide. In 1852, the year of Oakland's incorporation as a town by the California State Legislature, large shipping wharves were constructed along the Oakland Estuary, dredged to create a viable shipping channel. 22 years in 1874, the dredged shipping channel was deepened to make Oakland a deep water port. In the late 19th century, the Southern Pacific was granted exclusive rights to the port, a decision the city soon came to regret.
In January 1906, a small work party in the employ of the Western Pacific Railroad, which had just begun construction, hastily threw a crossing over the SP line to connect the WP mainline with trackage built on an area of landfill. This act, protested by the SP and upheld in court, broke the railroad's grip on the port area; the courts ruled that all landfill since the date of the agreement did not belong to the SP. This ruling made the modern Port of Oakland possible. On May 6, 1915, the Admiral Dewey became the first vessel to dock at the foot of Clay street. Captain J. Daniels, master of the vessel, was greeted by Commissioner of Public Works Harry S. Anderson and Harbor Manager W. W. Keith, the two men who had so much to do with the upbuilding of the city's waterfront, were the first aboard the boat. "Captain do you realize that you are the commander of the first big vessel that has tied up to what will be the busiest wharf on the Pacific Coast?" Anderson asked that official. "I do realize that, Mr. Anderson."
Returned Captain Daniels, "and I assure you that I appreciate the honor. I've been many years on the sea, but I have never docked a ship at a better wharf than this."-Source Oakland Tribune May 7, 1915. The project in 1921 dug a channel thirty feet deep at mean low water from the bay to Brooklyn Basin, a distance of four and three quarters miles, a channel twenty-five feet deep around the basin and eighteen feet to San Leandro Bay, an added distance of four miles. However, the port was not named the Port of Oakland until 1927, under the leadership of the newly organized Board of Port Commissioners. Under the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1922, the project produced the channel thirty feet deep and 800 feet wide through the shoal south of Yerba Buena Island narrowing to 600 feet at the end of the Oakland jetties, widening of the estuary channel to 600 feet to Webster Street, dredging of the south channel basin to thirty feet and a turning basin thirty feet to Park street, at a cost to the federal government of $6 million.
In 1962, the Port of Oakland began to admit container ships. Container traffic increased the amount of cargo loaded and unloaded in the Port. By the late 1960s, the Port of Oakland was the second largest port in the world in container tonnage; however and navigation restrictions in San Francisco Bay limited its capacity, by the late 1970s it had been supplanted by the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as the major container port on the West Coast. During an expansion of the Port in the late 1960s, fill material was added to what remained of the old Southern Pacific mole; the fill came from the concurrent excavation of the Berkeley Hills Tunnel during the construction of the BART system. The BART trunk line crosses over part of the port, the east portal of the Transbay Tube that carries BART trains from Oakland to San Francisco lies within the Port. One of the main limitations to growth was the inability to transfer containers to rail lines, all cranes operating between ocean vessels and trucks.
In the 1980s the Port of Oakland began the evaluation of development of an intermodal container transfer capability, i.e. facilities that would allow trans-loading of containers from vessels to either trucks or rail modes. The Port retained VZM, Korve Engineering and Earth Metrics to perform engineering and environmental studies to allow detailed engineering to proceed. In 1987, on behalf of the Oakland Port Commission, Allen Broussard led a group of 72 lawyers, port officials including: then-port commissioner Carole Ward Allen, city officials on a 3-week long trip to China meeting the Mayor of Shanghai, Jiang Zemin Completion of the resulting rail intermodal facility occurred in 2002; that brought the cumulative investment of port expansion to over $1.4 billion since 1962, half of which comprised the intermodal facility. In the early first decade of the 21st century, the new intermodal rail facility along with severe congestion at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach caused some trans-Pacific shippers to move some of their traffic to the Port of Oakland.
The Port is now reaping the benefits of investment in post-panamax cranes and the transfer of military property, which has now been used for expansion. Deepening of the port from 42 feet to 50 feet to accommodate larger ships has been completed; the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Tacoma were 50 feet deep. The $432 million pr
Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
Sugar Bowl is a ski and snowboard area in northern Placer County near Norden, California along the Donner Pass of the Sierra Nevada 46 mi west of Reno, Nevada on Interstate 80, that opened on December 15, 1939. Sugar Bowl is a medium-sized ski area in the Lake Tahoe region, is well known for its long history, significant advanced terrain, high annual snowfall and being one of the closest ski areas to the San Francisco Bay Area. Sugar Bowl's terrain is 45 % Intermediate and 38 % Advanced. Sugar Bowl was founded by Hannes Schroll and a group of individual investors and is one of the few remaining owned resorts in the Lake Tahoe area. Sugar Bowl was the first ski area in California to install a chairlift and the first on the west coast to install a gondola lift; the mountain peaks of Mt. Judah and Mt. Lincoln, that became the ski slopes of the Sugar Bowl ski resort, were a part of the American pioneers route, back in the 1800s. A part of the California wagon trail called Roller Pass ran between Mt. Lincoln.
It was one of the wagon trails through Donner Pass, used by settlers and prospectors, on the Emigrant Trail, coming from the eastern United States across the Sierra Nevada. Today the same pass can be reached by way of the Pacific Crest Trail or a new trail created by Sugar Bowl ski resort, in 1994, called the Mt. Judah Loop trail; the Central Pacific Railroad first began train services to Donner Pass in 1868 after the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States. A new tunnel constructed two-miles through solid granite, dubbed The Big Hole tunnel, was constructed through Mt. Judah in 1925, offering trains better protection from snow storms on the summit; these heavy snow storms and blizzards during the winters made train service difficult over the years through the pass, which for a period of time was known as the Overland Route. Historian Charles F. McGlashan believed the area's economy would benefit by hosting a winter carnival, in 1894 he built the first hand-crafted Ice Palace to draw in tourists from the passenger trains.
Soon after, the railroad began running "Snowball Specials" to Truckee from the Oakland Pier. The area became more accessible to tourists in 1913 when the Lincoln Highway, the first road across the United States opened over the Donner Pass; this road was upgraded in 1926 to U. S. Route 40, although snow plowing operations by the state of California didn't start until 1932, making travel to the area by car difficult in the winter. In 1924 Charlie Chaplin filmed scenes upon Mt. Lincoln for his silent movie classic The Gold Rush. Six hundred men were brought in by train from Sacramento to serve as extras for the comedy scene; the land that Sugar Bowl ski resort is built on was purchased in 1923 by Stephen and Jennie Pilcher. They paid $10.00 for 700 acres to the Southern Pacific Railroad, who by had taken over for the Central Pacific Railroad by lease and acquired its operations by 1885. During the early 1930s, before Sugar Bowl installed the first chair lift, skiers who wanted to ski the Donner Pass mountain peaks, like Mt. Lincoln, would have to climb up to the peaks on foot in order to get the chance to ski.
By the mid thirties there were several rope tows dotting the hill sides of the Donner Pass area. In 1936, Austrian ski instructors Bill and Fred Klein opened the Klein ski school, serving the Sierra Club out of the Clair Tappaan Lodge in the area and local skiers from Sacramento and San Francisco; the Klein brothers and a few other instructors they had taught, were teaching 100 to 150 students a weekend, taking the more advanced students up to the crest of Mt. Lincoln on foot; this was attributed to the fact that new skiers were just venturing into the mountains more and with an improved Highway made travel easier. The term "leisure" was beginning to take hold in America during this time, after the passage of the Wagner Act and other labor laws of the 1930s. There was an interest in skiing that can be attributed to the 1932 Winter Olympics the first to be held in the US, held in Lake Placid, New York; the following year in 1937, the 700 acres were put up for sale by the daughters of the Pilchers, around Mt. Lincoln and Hemlock Peak.
Bill Klein contacted Hannes Schroll, a famous Austrian skiing champion and ski instructor he knew, working at Yosemite at the time, about the sale of the land. Schroll, a colorful character who would always be found yodeling when he would ski, visited the area; when he and Klein saw the steep boulder field sloping down towards Donner Lake, they could not believe that it would all be covered in snow by winter. By March 1938 Schroll had made a deal with the Pilcher sisters for the purchase of the land for $6,740, but when Schroll tried to retrieve funds from his home in Austria, the war had just broken out and his funds had been taken. Schroll had to borrow the funding to buy the property from Hamilton McGaughey, a local realtor, ice-skating champion George Stiles. Schroll had sent a wire via Western Union, to Walt Disney at the time while seeking funding to purchase the property, but Disney was out of town and did not receive the wire in time. Schroll became president of the Sugar Bowl Corporation in 1938 with the help and support of Wellington Henderson, Sherman Chickering, Donald Gregory.
Shortly after Schroll began seeking other investors to help build a Slope side Tyrolean style village and ski resort, he had dreamed of, modeled after those in his home town in Kitzbühel Austria. Because they thought the fine, crystalline snow looked like sugar and Klein decided on the name "Sugar Bowl" for the resort; the Southern Pacific Railroad agreed to build a facility adjacent to the
Nevada County, California
Nevada County is a county in the Sierra Nevada of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 98,764; the county seat is Nevada City. Nevada County comprises the Truckee-Grass Valley, CA Micropolitan Statistical Area, included in the Sacramento-Roseville, CA Combined Statistical Area, it is in the Mother Lode Country. Created in 1851, from portions of Yuba County, Nevada County was named after the mining town of Nevada City, a name derived from the Sierra Nevada Mountains; the word nevada is Spanish for "snowy" or "snow-covered."Nevada City was the first to use the word "Nevada" in its name. In 1851 the newly formed Nevada County used the same name as the county seat; the bordering state of Nevada used the same name in 1861. The region came to life in the Gold Rush of 1849. Many historical sites remain to mark the birth of this important region in California's formative years. Among them are the Nevada Theatre in Nevada City, the oldest theater built in California in 1865, it once hosted Mark Twain among other historical figures.
The Old 5 Mile House stagecoach stop built in 1890 operates to this day as a provider of hospitality spanning three centuries. This historical site still features "The stagecoach safe", on display outside the present day restaurant and is the source of many legends of stagecoach robbers and notorious highwaymen in the California gold rush era; the gold industry in Nevada County thrived into the post-WWII days. The county had historic technological moments; the first long-distance telephone in the world, built in 1877 by the Ridge Telephone Company, connected French Corral with French Lake, 58 miles away. It was operated by the Milton Mining Company from a building on this site, erected about 1853; the Pelton wheel, designed to power gold mines, still drives hydro-electric generators today. Nevada City and Grass Valley were among the first California towns with electric lights; the Olympics, NASA, every television station around the country utilizes video/broadcasting equipment designed and manufactured by Grass Valley Group, founded in Grass Valley.
The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad was built in 1876 and was the only railroad in the West, never robbed though its primary freight was gold. The rail line was torn up for scrap. In Grass Valley the historic Holbrooke Hotel opened in 1851 and housed Mark Twain, Bret Harte, four U. S. presidents. The Community of Rough and Ready seceded from the Union for a time and became the Great Republic of Rough and Ready; the 2001 Nevada County shootings occurred on January 10, 2001, in which Scott Harlan Thorpe murdered three people in a shooting spree. Two of the victims were murdered in Nevada City and a third victim was killed in Grass Valley. Thorpe was declared not guilty by reason of insanity, he resides in Napa State Hospital. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 974 square miles, of which 958 square miles is land and 16 square miles is water; the county is drained by South Yuba rivers. The western part of the county is defined by the course of several rivers and the irregular boundaries of adjoining counties.
When the county was created, the founders wanted to include access to the transcontinental railroad, so a rectangular section was added that includes the railroad town of Truckee. What is remarkable about this is that the final shape of the county resembles the Deringer pocket pistol, a favorite at the time of the more urbane residents of this gold rush county. Nevada County is one of four counties in the United States to border a state with which it shares the same name; the county has substantial areas of forest, savanna, riparian area and other ecosystems. Forests include both coniferous- and oak-dominated woodland types. There are numerous understory forbs and wildflowers including the yellow mariposa lily. Sierra County - north Washoe County, Nevada - east Placer County - south Yuba County - west Tahoe National Forest Toiyabe National Forest The 2010 United States Census reported that Nevada County had a population of 98,764; the racial makeup of Nevada County was 90,233 White, 389 African American, 1,044 Native American, 1,187 Asian, 110 Pacific Islander, 2,678 from other races, 3,123 from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8,439 persons. As of the census of 2000, there were 92,033 people, 36,894 households, 25,936 families residing in the county; the population density was 96 people per square mile. There were 44,282 housing units at an average density of 46 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 93.4% White, 0.3% Black or African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.9% from other races, 2.6% from two or more races. 5.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.4% were of German, 16.3% English, 11.1% Irish, 6.8% Italian and 6.6% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 94.0% spoke English and 4.2% Spanish as their first language. There were 36,894 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.6% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.7% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8
Donner Ski Ranch
Donner Ski Ranch is a budget-oriented, family owned ski area located on Donner Summit in the Tahoe National Forest of Nevada County, California. It is owned by Marshall Tuttle, who purchased it after it went into bankruptcy; the area it is on has been used for skiing since 1937. It has ski lifts on both sides of Donner Summit, is located close to Boreal. 25% of its terrain is beginner, 50% intermediate, 25% advanced, but of the 52 runs 16 are of beginning difficulty, 20 are intermediate, 16 are advanced. The rustic lodge, built in 1947, is made of wood, has open pipes, it was renovated after its acquisition by its current owners. At the time of the acquisition, all of the ski lifts were painted as well. Donner Ski Ranch official website
Truckee is an incorporated town in Nevada County, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 16,180, reflecting an increase of 2,316 from the 13,864 counted in the 2000 Census. Truckee's existence began in 1863 as Gray's Station, named for Joseph Gray's Roadhouse on the Trans-Sierra wagon road. A Blacksmith named Samuel S. Coburn was there from the beginning, by 1866 the area was known as Coburn’s Station; the Central Pacific Railroad selected Truckee as the name of its railroad station by August 1867 though the tracks would not reach the station until a year in 1868. It was renamed Truckee after a Paiute chief, he was grandfather of Sarah Winnemucca. The first Europeans who came to cross the Sierra Nevada encountered his tribe; the friendly chief rode toward them yelling, “Tro-kay!”, Paiute for “Everything is all right”. The unaware travelers assumed. Chief Truckee served as a guide for John C. Frémont. Truckee is located along Interstate 80 at 39°20′32″N 120°12′13″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 33.7 square miles, of which 32.3 square miles is land and 1.3 square miles is water the Truckee River, the only outlet of Lake Tahoe.
Truckee has a dry-summer continental climate. Winters are chilly with regular snowfall, while summers are warm to hot and dry, with occasional periods of intense thunderstorms, its location near the Sierra Nevada crest at 1,798 metres provides conditions for winter storms to deposit nearly a meter of snow in a 24-hour storm event and the occasional week-long storm event can deliver 2 to 3 metres of snow. The National Weather Service reports that Truckee's warmest month is July with an average maximum temperature of 82.7 °F and an average minimum temperature of 42.4 °F. January is the coldest month with an average maximum temperature of 40.9 °F and an average minimum temperature of 16.3 °F. The record maximum temperature of 104 °F was on July 6, 2007; the record minimum temperature of −28 °F was on February 27, 1962. Annually, there are an average of 8.4 days with highs of 90 °F or higher and 239 with a high above 50 °F. Freezing temperatures have been observed in every month of the year and there are an average of 228.4 nights with lows of 32 °F or lower – seven more than Fairbanks and only eight fewer than Nome – but only 6.0 nights with lows of 0 °F or lower and 15.6 days where the high does not top freezing.
Normal annual precipitation in Truckee is 30.85 inches. The most precipitation in one month was 23.65 inches in December 1955, the most precipitation in 24 hours was 5.21 inches on February 1, 1963. The wettest calendar year has been 1996 with 54.62 inches and the driest 1976 with 16.04 inches, although the extremes by “rain year” are a maximum of 53.50 inches between July 1981 and June 1982 and a low of 15.91 inches between July 2000 and June 2001. Truckee has an average of 204.3 inches of snow annually, which makes it the fifth-snowiest city in the United States, while snow cover averages 28 inches in February, but has exceeded 115 inches. The most snow in one month was 196.0 inches in February 1938, the most in a season was 444.30 inches between July 1951 and June 1952. The maximum 24-hour snowfall was 34.0 inches on February 17, 1990. The 2010 United States Census reported that Truckee had a population of 16,180; the population density was 480.8 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Truckee was 13,992 White, 3,016 Hispanic or Latino, 60 African American, 95 Native American, 241 Asian, 15 Pacific Islander, 1,431 from other races, 346 from two or more races.
The Census reported that 16,137 people lived in households, 43 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, 0 were institutionalized. There were 6,343 households, out of which 2,135 had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,443 were opposite-sex married couples living together, 411 had a female householder with no husband present, 314 had a male householder with no wife present. There were 502 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, 43 same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,382 households were made up of individuals and 275 had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54. There were 4,168 families; the population was spread out with 3,769 people under the age of 18, 1,139 people aged 18 to 24, 5,030 people aged 25 to 44, 4,986 people aged 45 to 64, 1,256 people who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.0 years. For every 100 females, there were 108.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 111.3 males. There were 12,803 h