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Last updateTue, 26 Jul 2016 5pm

Food & Wine

Citrus-y beers celebrate summer

Citrus-y beers celebrate summer


Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
Session beers offer an alcohol content low enough to sustain sipping through a long, lazy picnic. Local breweries are celebrating the citrus hop style now in vogue with other fruit-forward influences.

With the h...

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Your Health

Reading in sign,  ink and song

Reading in sign, ink and song


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A baby girl learns sign language during a program offered Wednesdays at the Los Altos Library.

Visit Los Altos Library’s community room on a Wednesday afternoon and you’ll see its plain gray expanse descend into ...

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Your Home

From derelict to desirable: House flipper transforms old properties into showstoppers

From derelict to desirable: House flipper transforms old properties into showstoppers


Megan V. WInslow/Town Crier
Amy Randazzo purchases older homes in Mountain View to “flip” after they undergo a makeover. Her transformed houses feature open floor plans and she searches for properties with “good bones.”

Amy Randazzo is improving neighb...

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On The Road

A different kind  of driving school

A different kind of driving school


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The Andersons observe Bixby Bridge – located on Highway 1 near Big Sur – from a dirt road during their recent Land Rover Experience Driving School lesson.

It is always exciting to do something youR...

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Senior Lifestyles

Monkey business: Senior Program volunteers lift spirits of sick kids

Monkey business: Senior Program volunteers lift spirits of sick kids


Photo Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos Senior Program volunteers – affectionately known as The Monkey Toy Ladies – make sock monkeys to comfort sick children.

Last year, nearly 400 children at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital received a special ...

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Wedding To Remember

The Veils of Time

The Veils of Time


Courtesy of Los Altos History Museum

For a new spin on the Town Crier’s “Peek into the Past,” the Los Altos History Museum has been gathering historical local wedding photos and the stories behind them.

Frances Elizabeth Shoup, second...

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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 accurately whether ...

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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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