Bill Gruesz left his home in Redmond, Oregon 9 days ago and is en route to the Mexico border, on bike. The Outside Inn is just one of the many pit stops on his solo journey. Riding his Cycle Genuis recumbant bike he’s got it all decked out, complete with a US mailbox for food storage, “it keeps the raccoons out” and his 1974 Jansport backpack, plus a tent bag with clothes, a tent, tarp, sleeping bag and more. The bike and frame weigh nearly 150 pounds, but that hasn’t slowed Bill down. His average distance is 60 miles a day, and he’s been pleasantly surprised by how friendly folks have been so far. When asked what was the motivation for this trip he replied with a grin that it “sounds like a fun thing to do.”
The annual Sierra Vintners Wine Trail is taking place this weekend throughout Nevada County and if you missed today’s festivities there’s still time tomorrow to visit one of the 15 different venues. In the name of research my trusty wine tasting companion and I managed to make it to 6 different wineries. Each venue is unique in its own right, but all of them were pouring generous samples of their locally grown wine together with amazing hors d’oeuvres and music.
Avanguardia Wines has a tasting room in downtown Grass Valley, see here for more details, but if you have the time to drive out to the vineyard in Nevada City it’s worth the short drive. The property has 3 1/2 acres of grapes, and creates 20 different varieties of hand crafted European blends. Definitely don’t leave without trying the … Read More »
Inspired by the Amgen Tour of California starting in Nevada City, Wanda Shiotsuka and Evans Phelps set off on one of the local bikers favorite rides commonly known as the South County Loop. Starting at the Outside Inn it is a beautiful 60 miles ride with nearly 5000 feet of vertical gain that winds through vineyards, horse country, and oddities only found in Nevada County. They stopped at the town of Rough and Ready to check out the old mining operations, and visited the Indian Springs Land Trust with its dinosaurs and buddhas. About 35 miles into the ride, they could refresh at a local Starbucks before climbing back up the foothills to Nevada City. The country roads are bike friendly and the scenery is emerald green set against snow capped mountains. It is an epic ride. The day after only their sore legs were complaining. Click here to see Evans and Wanda’s Bridgeport Loop … Read More »
This past weekend was the 18th annual Garden Tour of Nevada County, presented by the Soroptimist International Society of the Sierra Foothills. It is always a treat to be able to visit amazing private spaces throughout the county. The amount of work put into these gardens was amazing, some we envied, some we chuckled at, but all of them gave us ideas for our own yards. We gave our own personal bonus points for those yards that were the work of the owners and not the hired help. We gushed over the drop dead beautiful small lake fed by its own year round creek. We appreciated the yard art and sculptures peaking out of the bushes. We oohed at the rhododendrons, dogwoods, azaleas, and irises. We loved the private outdoor spaces etched into every yard. A delightful way to spend the day here in Nevada County. I am … Read More »
This time of year all hikers and bikers should be aware of the poison oak that flourishes on our trails. Poison oak does not grow above 4000 feet, but Nevada City’s vast network of outdoor adventures are mainly below that elevation, so it’s worthwhile to brush up on poison oak 101 before heading out for a hike or a bike ride at this time of year.
Do Not Touch It.
Know what it looks like and try and stay away from it. The poison oak rash is caused by a chemical called urushiol which is present in poison oak leaves, branches and roots. When you touch it, the oil is absorbed into the skin. This is a poisonous substance, and the rash is the result of your body’s immune system fighting against this invader.
You can get poison oak by touching any part of the plant. If an animal, such as your … Read More »
178 of the world’s best cyclists representing 18 teams from around the world kicked off the Tour of California in Nevada City today at 12:25. The organizers of the Amgen Tour of California announced a drastic modification to the start of stage two due to the winter weather and icy road conditions in Tahoe. This decision was made at midnight before the scheduled morning start at Squaw Valley. Stage One was canceled the day before, so the 2011 Tour of California began on Broad St in downtown Nevada City. ”Thanks to the quick action taken by Duane Strawser, organizer of the annual Tour of Nevada City bike race, we were able to make this location change, allowing us a great and practical location to lead off today’s race,” said Andrew Messick, president of the organizing AEG Sports. With only 8 hours … Read More »
If you’re in the Nevada City and Grass Valley area you’ve got a lot of options for buying books, both new and used. We recently stopped by BookTown Books & Tomes in downtown Grass Valley and we unable to leave empty handed. The large and spacious co-operative of independent booksellers is any book lovers’s heaven. And it doesn’t hurt that Summer Thyme’s Bakery & Deli is attached to the shop, so we were able to have a snack to fuel us up for some fabulous book bargain hunting. Today is the annual Good Rush Book Fair at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, so if you’re going to spend your Saturday looking for books, head on out there, I doubt you’ll be able to pass up on a book or two. Click here to visit the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce … Read More »
Grass Valley Grains is a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for grains. Reed Hamilton’s one man farming operation mills wheat, oats, rye, barley, dry beans, and flour corn. His monthly pick-ups could include any flour, cornmeal, polenta, ground oatmeal, cracked grain, or baking mixes. His products can be found in a number of local restaurants, including Ike’s Quarter Cafe, New Moon Cafe and Flour Garden Bakery.
Ike loves Grass Valley Grains because “everything is fresh.” They use a number of products in their restaurant, but Ike says his favorite is probably “the cornmeal.” He loves the flavor and the variety of the yellow, red, white and blue cornmeal. Peter at New Moon’s personal choice is the white polenta.
The Outside Inn product test crew decided to try out the muffin mix and they were a huge hit in our household. Sign up for your monthly … Read More »
Because Nevada City sits at the edge of the Tahoe National Forest, our area excels as a mountaiin mike mecca with trails that wind up and down our river canyons and around our mountain ridges. Local enthusiasts like BONC (Bicyclists of Nevada County) and Forest Trails Alliance spend many volunteer weekends expanding and improving the existing trails. Pictured here is Dieter King and his daughter Emme on his newly finished trail just a quarter mile from the Outside Inn. Most of our trails are not for the faint of heart, but the vistas are worth the climb and summer dip into the Yuba River to cool off make it worth the visit. Feel free to come by the Outside Inn to get maps and directions for many of our local mountain bike rides.
The Outside Inn has been a part of the California Green Lodging Program since 2009, and we’ve done a lot of small things to make a difference for the environment, from recycling to line drying our linens in the warmer months. We also use soap dispensers in all of our rooms with fabulous eco-friendly products. We recently decided to do some product testing with some of the earth friendly cleaning products available at S.O.A.P (Save Our Ailing Planet) and see if we could continue to improve our overall green status. Today I stopped by S.O.A.P and refilled some empty containers and stocked up on some fabulous eco-friendly cleaning products (BioKleen, KDGold, Shower Kleener and Super Pine).