Nisei Ski Club Back Paddling with the Monterey Ski and Social Club

~ Fern Uehara Chan ~

What a lucky break that we were able to join the Monterey Ski and Social Club on their summer getaway weekend.  A big thank you to Amy McDonald and her team for planning this great weekend event.

Our final Saturday in June was the perfect window of opportunity between 100-degree days in the central valley. My husband, Kevin, and I who are Nisei Ski Club members drove through the rural hills between Placer and El Dorado counties. We wondered with a tiny bit of anxiety on my part. What will quaint Georgetown and its beckoning outskirts have to offer?

With an expected 45 minute drive one-way, we decided to make it a day trip foregoing the overnight stay at the American River Inn.  Pulling into the parking, I felt intrigue with a tinge of regret; it was obvious what a special place this was.  Situated on the upper level of Main Street at 6600 Orleans, the American River Inn would prove charming not only in ambiance but also in service.  As I wandered through the Inn’s lovely welcome area and gift shop, the hubby began his usual ‘Meet & Greet’ with members of the Monterey Ski Club and assured me that the 15 minute ride down to the banks of the American River with our new found friends/saviors is a simple feat.


So thus began my adventure on the river.  Having never experienced rapids upwards of a level 2, and never on the American River itself, I hoped to return intact and not too soggy.  Due to the unlucky drought we are going through, the river offered perfect conditions for the faint of heart.  My companions with their intrepid spirits, yearned for more, but the river was on my side this day.  In one rapid instance, we were careening toward an out-jutting boulder, and Shirley held me back into the raft.  If not for the skill of Steven our guide, perhaps we’d have found our way out to the blue Pacific.  Still, for me, it was all a delightful whirl!

C:\Users\ksoo\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\U7OUVAT9\white water rafting 6-28-14.jpg  

Needless to say, back at the Inn, I was grateful for some leisurely time to freshen up before the wine tour bus would return with my husband.  We soon made our way to the back lawn and patio where scrumptious appetizers accompanied by reds and  whites would welcome us – followed by a summer buffet supper of chicken, ribs, corn on the cob, salad, and luscious chocolate lava cake!  Then a quick stroll down to the corner bar with some die-hard MSSC friends allowed us time to share a few more stories & drinks and karaoke voices which either impressed or fizzled…depending on the ears of the beholder ….or how many drinks were had.   All too soon, it was time to say our goodbyes and take our leave of Georgetown heading back through the hills bound for home.

Thanks to Bob & Lucy for the safe transportation , Shirley for helping prevent my meeting up with the rock, Steven for his guidance, and to both Amy McDonald  and Karen Soo for their joint effort in reuniting the 2 clubs for such a lovely day/weekend in the hills.  Aloha & Mahalo to all until we meet again!

 

SF LAND’S END HIKE ALONG THE HEADLANDS, Sunday – Aug. 17, 2014

 ~ by Hoyt Nelson ~

Hike Date : Suday, August 17, 2014

We will meet at 10:00 AM in the parking lot just uphill from the Cliff House (at the Visitor Center next to the Merrie Way parking lot).  We will explore the old Sutro mansion site and bath ruins before following the trail east along the headlands towards the Golden Gate Bridge.  Trails are mainly flat with some stairs and 5.5 to 7 miles round trip – depending on where we elect to turn around.  Time is 3.5 – 4.5 hours depending on our preferences.  Bring layered clothing, camera, strong hiking shoes, water and snacks.  Bathroom facilities are at Visitor Center, but very limited elsewhere.  There are several restaurants I can suggest after the hike for lunch.  If you are game, I will also lead an optional short walk up Strawberry Hill in the middle of Stow Lake (in GG Park) for some surprises many have never seen.

To sign up or request carpool help, contact Hoyt Nelson at landsend@niseiskiclub.org.  Some can carpool at my place.

Do you want to play Bocce Ball??

~ By Hoyt Nelson ~
 
Bocce Balls in GrasseI recently visited Cuesta Park (next to El Camino Hospital in Mountain View) and checked out their bocce ball court. It has been upgraded with new concrete sidelines and looks great. It even has a plaque with all the rules and it’s under the shade of redwood trees. There is easy parking at the Y MCA lot next to the park.  Most don’t have bocce balls, but I have a set and would like to help arrange an occasional game with whomever is interested.
 
If you are interested let me know at Bocce@niseiskiclub.org and I will put you on a list. I will contact the rest of the people on the list and try to set up a time when either I will bring my equipment or arrange for you to pick it up from me for a game.

 

Hoyt Nelson
Email : Bocce@niseiskiclub.org

July 2014 – Editor’s Message, Independence Day Edition

I trust you all had a great Independence Day!

In this month’s newsletter, we have Armand’s  monthly President’s Message and his regular Membership & Jackson Hole report.  Armand’s Jackson Hole trip is proving to be very popular – WELL DONE ARMAND!!!  As a result, our membership numbers are on an upward trend! Perchance, this portends better things to come!

Also in this month’s reportage, we have a Margaret Wong’s write up of Hoyt Nelson’s latest hike, Fall Creek Hike in Cowell State Park on June 22.   Read Margaret’s report  here: Making New Friends at the Fall Creek Hike.
(Editor’s note – seems like they ate more calories than they hiked off in true time honored NSC fashion!)

Don’t forget to volunteer for or attend the Mountain View Obon festival where NSC will be staffing the beer booth – but please, don’t drink up the profits!!!

PIcnic BasketAnd last but not least, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the annual NSC picnic at Las Palmas Park in Sunnyvale on August 9th.  Practice your ability to keep mustard and ketchup off your shirts! An Evite to members is forthcoming.  Keep your eyeballs peeled and glued to your email!

 Until next month, happy trails…
N.E….

July, 2014 President’s Message

~ Da Prez, Armand Gutierrez ~

Summer is officially here and the recent temperatures in the Bay Area  are a testament to the typical summer weather pattern. By now most everyone is enjoying golfing, hiking, biking, and other outdoor events. For me, well I don’t golf, hike, or bike. Instead, I take to the air for some hang gliding and soar with the local hawks and falcons.

Between membership sign ups and the Jackson Hole sign ups, I am really enthusiastic about this season, and our membership has already surpassed that of last year. With new members, former members, and returning members, our club is off to a good start.  Yes, part of that is due to the popularity of the Jackson Hole trip for next year, but I can’t help but think that with the new and returning members, NSC will continue to grow and our scheduled summer picnic will have a greater attendance, and perhaps we can actually have two weekend bus trips this season. Of course, the latter does depend on a bountiful snowfall, and that is being encouraged by the weather forecasters that are calling for an El Niño season.

Mt. View Obon Festival July 19th and 20th

This festival is coming up soon and if you want to participate as a volunteer then be sure to contact Karen Soo (tripdirector@niseiskiclub.org). As a side note, our community and volunteer efforts are made known to BAC so they can recognize NSC in their newsletters and website.

Picnic AntsNSC Picnic, August 9th

Yes, this event is next month and the board is already working on the details (food, drinks, etc.). See the Picnic flyer on the club website plus there will be an Evite invitation in your email by mid-July.

Jackson Hole, a Big NSC Ski Week?

Jackson Hole Mountain ResortWhat can I say about Jackson Hole? This trip is turning out to be bigger than I expected, which is great news. So far ,we have close to 50 confirmed sign ups and I expect at least another 10 to sign up before the end of the month. That puts us at 60+ people. With the stream of applications coming in, I increased our head count from 40 to 50, and now it’s up to 60. This kind of attendance is usually found in the ever-popular Vail trips. In fact, our membership is just a little over 60, so it’s possible this trip will be attended by 90+% of the membership. Now, when was the last time that happened? If you haven’t signed up yet then look for the Jackson Hole flyer in the newsletter and other details in the Jackson Hole Report.

July, 2014 Membership Report & Jackson Hole Report

~ The Prez, Armand Gutierrez ~

Membership Activity

June was like May, a flurry of renewals, former members re-joining, and new memberships.  There were a total of 33 sign-ups, with seven new members joining NSC for the first time, and 13 former member signups plus 13 renewals.  Currently we have 75 members, which also includes a few signups in July. For the past couple of years our membership has been on a declining trend and this year we have already surpassed our total of 52 members for last season. No doubt that it’s due to the Jackson Hole trip, but it is still encouraging to see our membership on the rise again. Hopefully this trend will continue in the years to come.

I would like to welcome the following new members from Fremont, Sacramento and Saratoga:

Carolyn B. 
Joanne N. 
Patrice L.
Judy and James W. 

Debra and Gilbert L. 

In addition to new members there were 13 former members that have returned to NSC, most likely for the Jackson Hole trip in 2015.

Jackson Hole logo
Jackson Hole Ski Week (24-31 January 2-15)

The Jackson Hole trip is turning out to be a very popular trip and bigger than I had expected. At the end of June, there were 33 sign-ups and about 14 more who are planning on going. Originally there were spaces for 40 people, then I increased that to 50 when the applications started streaming in. And now? Well, more people have signed up and once again I’ve increased the available airline seats from 50 to 60.  And, at last count we’ve already hit 59, which means there is one space available. Looks like a waiting list will be started and I will  inquire about the possibility of getting additional airline seats. So, if you haven’t signed up for this trip then what are you waiting for? With a lot of former members on this trip this will be an opportunity to re-connect with old friends and have a mini-reunion.

Info & Sign-up link: Jackson Hole Sign-Up

Making New Friends at the Fall Creek Hike

~ by Margaret Wong ~

The hike at the Fall Creek section of Cowell Redwoods on Sunday, June 22 organized by Hoyt was even better than he had promised in the newsletter.  I was apprehensive about going because I am only a wanna-be hiker and the 5 miles round trip was rather scary for me because I didn’t  want to think that they might have to carry me back to the car.  And then I did not know anybody, not even Hoyt.

But I was brave enough to sign up.  I quickly got rewarded when I entered Hoyt’s house and was greeted by a group from Sacramento assuring me that Nisei hikes are just like walking and do not worry.  Some local folks joined us too and it was like we had known each other forever. Hoyt did a great job transporting us south toward Santa Cruz to Felton Empire Road.  There, at near the Bennett Creek trail head, we found another group waiting for Hoyt, this one from San Jose.  In total, there were 14 of us with Sophia whose home (Shanghai, China) was the most far away.group_FallCreek

By then, we were pretty anxious to start walking toward the Redwood, Douglas fir, coyote brush, California coffee-berry and manzanita on the trail.  After a few steps, the chaparral faded and we entered a forest with lots of second growth redwoods.   At 0.16 mile, Bennett Creek Trail met Fall Creek Trail where we heard the tiny roar of the creek waterfall. The trail kept a mostly level course, but there were a few short rolling bits.

Before long, we were at an area with 12 foot high abandoned lime kilns where we took our group photo.  Soon Fall Creek Trail came to a stream crossing, the first of many employing simple planks.  We continued straight on Fall Creek Trail.  The grade picked up noticeably.  At 2.26 mites, a sign on the left marked the Barrel Mill site. We continued a few feet down the trail and found our luncheon place. A sign explained how the downed redwoods were transformed into barrels at this spot, with water-driven staves cutting boards, and hazelnut hoops maintaining the shape of the barrel.

It was a wonderful place for lunch.  We each found our own log.  There was such a variety of food for sharing – homegrown tangerines, homemade cookies, Oreo cookies, farm grown apricots and assorted fruits.  After lunch, Hoyt said we were ready for the return hike.  Because I was so engrossed in conversation, I just kept walking and soon I saw the parking lot.Hallcrest Winery group

Since the nearest restroom was at the Hallcrest Vineyards & The Organic Wine Works in Felton, we just had to go there.  We had a wonderful time chatting and tasting their different wines such as cabaret sauvignon, Merlot, zinfandel, and pinot noir.

The trip back to Hoyt’s place was rather fast as we continued chatting and learning more about one another.

Four of us got together for dinner at Shaburi Shabu Shabu in San Jose’s Japantown.

I had a great day.  What a treat for all the senses – beautiful scenery for the eyes, delicious food and wines for our taste, hiking for our bodies, roaring creek water for our ears, and most of all, wonderful people for our hearts. It was so lovely meeting such wonderful people.  Thank you Hoyt for organizing the hike.

June 2014 Newsletter – Articles & Commentary

So, here we are, the beginning of a new membership year.  In this month’s newsletter, we have:

Editor’s Opinion In Armand’s President’s Message for this month, he describes the board composition and the absence of general elections for the 2014-2015 membership year.  Armand surmises that the membership is happy with the board and its management of the club and the direction the board is taking.  I would like to offer a differing opinion.  I contend that one does not know how the membership feels without elections or taking a survey.  While continuity is good, new blood could be better.  Some of the board members have been tirelessly fulfilling for years.

Some of us would like to relinquish our positions and move on.  We don’t really know how the membership feels, or perhaps, you’re apathetic, assuming that the club will take care of itself while you enjoy all that the club has to offer. Hopefully, this has given you something on which to ponder and make the decision to step up and become a member active in the running of your club. ~ your Ed. ~

Snow activities in summer!

So, the day before Memorial Day, I ran another marathon, but I had this urge for snow, so 4 days later, I was climbing to the top of Mount Shasta at 14,179 feet with crampons on my feet, helmet on my noggin and ice axe in hand.  It was an arduous two day adventure, but very rewarding. Read about my adventure here: << Mt Shasta climb >>

 

June, 2014 President’s Message

A New Season
June marks a new season for NSC and so far it’s off to a great start. As president for a third term it’s a pleasure to announce that we have the same returning board members, which will maintain the continuity we’ve had for the past five years.  Although we have provisions for nominations/elections and we didn’t have any this year, it appears that perhaps the membership is satisfied with the current board and direction the club is taking. But, there’s always room for improvement and the board is going to actively pursue candidates that would be an asset as new board members.

obonDance

Another highlight for the new season is the addition of four new members (and hopefully more in the coming months), and the return of former members. Most likely this is due to the popularity of the Jackson Hole trip, and it’s encouraging to see former members return to NSC. See the <<Membership Report >> for additional details.


Mt. View Obon Festival July 19th and 20th
This is an annual volunteer event that NSC participates in and is always a fun event. After all, there’s a variety of food, carnival-style games, cultural events, lots of people, and the famous Beer Booth. There’s room for a few more volunteers to work the Beer Booth.  Here’s the link to the << Obon Festival flyer >> or contact Karen Soo (tripdirector@niseiskiclub.org).

Picnic BasketNSC Picnic, August 9th
Mark this down in your calendar for the NSC Picnic on August 9th at the Las Palmas park in Sunnyvale (same place as last year). See the flyer  at this link:  <<Picnic Flyer >>  and there will be an Evite invitation in your email sometime in July.

Jackson Hole, a Big NSC Ski Week?
When I first announced on our Sun Peaks ski week that Jackson Hole would be our destination for 2015 there were quite a few positive responses. Later, as news started spreading it came to my attention that this could be a really big event. I also learned that there are quite a few members from the Hawaii Ski Club that are interested. So, in response to the popularity of this trip I’ve increased the 40-person limit to 50. Look for the Jackson Hole flyer in this edition of the newsletter and other details on the Jackson Hole Report.  << Sign Up form & Info >>

World-class skiing and snowboarding at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

June, 2014 Membership + Jackson Hole Report

~ Armand Gutierrez, President ~

Membership Activity

May was just a flurry of renewals, former members joining, and new memberships as members took advantage of the early sign-up discount.  There were a total of 37 signups, with four new members joining NSC for the first time, which handily beats last year’s 26 early signups.  Currently we have 44 members (including the seven board members), which is a record for early signups. Last year we had a total of 52 members and it looks like we’ll surpass that in June.

I would like to welcome new members Teresa and Warren Miller from Live Oak, and David Schultz and Lieu Lieu from San Jose. I’ve known Teresa and Warren for several years and have skied with them up at Tahoe. We also skied and stayed at the same hotel on the FWSA Zermatt ski week this past March. David and Lieu have been on Hoyt’s summer hikes and have wanted to join NSC for several years.

In addition to new members there were nine former members that have returned to NSC, most likely for the Jackson Hole trip in 2015. The return of former members is exciting because it’s always a pleasure to see familiar faces.

 

Jackson Hole Ski Week (24-31 January 2-15)

Jackson Hole logo

Last month the board met Matt Hollis from Sports America at our May board meeting. Matt provided us with  information about the Jackson Hole trip and I’ve been working with him to finalize the lodging arrangements. For details on this great trip see the Jackson Hole flyer in the June Newsletter. This trip appears to be quite popular and I’ve already expanded the available airline seats from 40 to 50.

I’m also getting indications that the Jackson Hole trip might bring in a few members that we haven’t seen in quite awhile so hopefully that will mean more signups in the coming months.

Sign up form and details link → Jackson-Hole Flyer -SignUp