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Food & Wine

Chocolaty character of stout beers blends spicy, sweet ingredients

Chocolaty character of stout beers blends spicy, sweet ingredients


photo Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Aged coffee beans join beer in Modern Times’ bourbon barrel stout.

Dark beers like stout highlight flavors reminiscent of coffee and chocolate, resulting in a great canvas for brewers to blend nontraditional in...

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Your Health

El Camino Hospital expands mental health treatment options

El Camino Hospital expands mental health treatment options


Asher Kohn/Town Crier
Shovels in hand, Dr. Peter Fung, from left, El Camino Healthcare District board chairman; Russ Satake, El Camino Hospital Foundation board chairman; donors Donna and John Shoemaker; State Sen. Jerry Hill; and Assemblyman Rich ...

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Your Home

Holidays by design: Los Altos company provides  seasonal decorating service

Holidays by design: Los Altos company provides seasonal decorating service


Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Amy Fischer of Spectrum Interior Design decorated Los Altos resident Katie Beers’ living room for the holidays last week.

Don’t worry if you have no time to shop for unique holiday decor, decorate Christma...

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On The Road

Matt goes full throttle to fix BMW

In November 2015, one of my newer customers brought in his 2011 BMW Z4 35i because the service-engine-soon light went on.

He explained that the car did not idle well and was low on power. We connected the car to the Integrated Service Technical Appl...

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Senior Lifestyles

Making beautiful music together: Foothill Symphonic Winds inspires members of all ages

Making beautiful music together: Foothill Symphonic Winds inspires members of all ages


Photos by Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Members of the ensemble rehearse at Blach Intermediate School.

Something special happens Wednesday nights at Blach Intermediate School. Seventy or so people ranging in age from 18 to 85, of varied backgroun...

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Wedding To Remember

Got a wedding singer? Musicians and engaged couples work in tandem to orchestrate perfect night

Got a wedding singer? Musicians and engaged couples work in tandem to orchestrate perfect night


Courtesy of Dick Bright
Dick Bright, a veteran Bay Area musician, manages local bands such as the Dick Bright Orchestra, Club 90 and Encore. His bands ramp up the energy at weddings.

A wedding soundtrack draws nearly everyone to the dance floor....

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Your Kids

Back to School

Is Early Decision the right choice for your student?

Is Early Decision the right choice for your student?


Courtesy of Hollis Bischoff
This chart compares the rate of Early Decision acceptances with the overall acceptance rate at various colleges.

As students apply to an ever-increasing list of schools, colleges are challenged to predict accuratel...

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Emigrant Wilderness offers variety of adventure activities


Anyone in moderately good physical condition can access the heart of Emigrant Wilderness. Sudeep and David Rauser and Natty, their Rottweiler/Labrador mix, descend the 10,825-foot Big Sam, which overlooks some of the hundreds of high mountain lakes in the wilderness.

A true outdoor experience is the goal of many wilderness-minded individuals beating the paths around the Bay Area. Unfortunately, the seclusion they intend to achieve is almost nonexistent on the hiking trails nearby. With moderate ambitions, wilderness seekers can attain real seclusion and a true outdoor experience in one of the best-kept secrets in the High Sierras: the Emigrant Wilderness.

While crowds flock to the insanely popular Yosemite National Park, few wander northward to the adjacent Emigrant Wilderness. To hikers, backpackers, horseback riders, mountaineers and especially fishermen, the Emigrant Wilderness represents a paradise of geographical diversity, minus the hordes of people.

If sweeping vistas are what you seek, an individual of moderate physical fitness might consider hiking to the top of the 10,640-foot Leavitt Lake Pass. Anyone with an SUV can drive right up to the trailhead at Leavitt Lake, accessible via a 3-mile-long dirt road that intersects state Route 108 just 3.8 miles beyond Sonora Pass. After a short but steep ascent you reach Leavitt Lake Pass and can gaze at the highest peak in the Emigrant Wilderness, Leavitt Peak, at 11,570 feet elevation. A few more ambitious miles and a couple of hundred vertical feet will take you to the apex of Big Sam, at 10,825 feet the highest spot attainable by trail in the Emigrant Wilderness.

The views are truly spectacular, and from this point you can access nearly every corner of the Emigrant Wilderness.

Hundreds of gorgeous, secluded lakes are easily accessed in the area. A topographical map and a good pair of hiking shoes will get you to some of the least visited, yet most hospitable lakes in the world. The lakes and streams in the Emigrant Wilderness are home to some of the most delicious trout money can't buy. Almost everywhere you go you can spot fish hopping happily out of the water during the evening hatch. Nearly all the campers on the trail have a fishing rod lashed somewhere on their pack.

Considering which of the possible lakes to explore can be a difficult decision. With literally hundreds of perfect lakes of all shapes and sizes to experience, it would be impossible to choose the "best" one. A particularly enjoyable trip is an overnight excursion to the inappropriately named Toejam Lake. Approximately 10 miles beyond Dodge Ridge Ski Resort is the Gianelli Cabin trailhead. The 10-mile hike begins in a shaded coniferous forest and traverses granite rock formations, vast grassy meadows and pine groves before reaching the little, secluded and tranquil Toejam Lake. On a lucky weekend, you might have this lake all to yourself, in which case you'd want to set up camp on a well-arranged campsite on the western edge of the lake.

The Emigrant Wilderness is an ideal location for horsepackers. With so much to see and so little time, exploring the wilderness on horseback or with the assistance of mules can be an attractive option.

For more information on camping, backpacking and horsepacking in the Emigrant Wilderness, logon to www.fs.fed.us/r5/stanislaus/visitor/emigrant.shtml.

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