New snow reveals stealthy nighttime visitor

Bear tracks in the snow in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

Bear tracks in the snow in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

Early Friday morning, I went outside to clear snow from the driveway and sidewalk in front of our house. As I shoveled snow in the dawning light, I noticed footprints lining the path that leads to our front door and drowsily wondered who would have left tracks there overnight. Upon closer inspection, I realized the prints weren’t what they had first seemed to be and that I shouldn’t have been wondering about a “who” so much as a “what.”

Apparently a bear made its way not only around our yard, but several of our neighbors’ yards, as well. Over the past few months, a number of us have captured video of a bear ambling down the street in the wee hours, and the recent snowfall left tangible evidence of the bear’s presence in the neighborhood.

Though its route was visible across driveways, over fences, and through yards, the bear was nowhere in sight and seemed to have moved on to other adventures.

In spite of the wintry weather, there is clearly still plenty of bear activity in the area. We can discourage repeated visits by keeping anything edible out of cars, making sure pet foods and garbage are inaccessible, and waiting until the morning of pickup to take trash totes to the curb.

More tips on being bear-wise are available from the Nevada Department of Wildlife at

Food truck to make stop in the Ranchos

Northern Nevada Dream Center’s mobile food truck will be in the Gardnerville Ranchos this Saturday with a special Christmas delivery of free groceries, hams, turkeys, and other holiday treats. The distribution takes place at Wink’s Silver Strike Lanes, 1281 Kimmerling Road, No. 8 from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. or until provisions run out.

This is the eighth year the organization has sponsored Dream Christmas events in neighborhoods across Northern Nevada. Last year, they provided meals to more than 800 families.

NNDC Treasurer Jess Carnwright said, “The rise in gas prices and food prices this year has put many people in our valley in a financial hardship, some for the first time.” Carnwright said NNDC aims to help support the community by providing “fresh groceries and all the fixings for a holiday dinner this Christmas season.”

Dream Christmas dinner bags are made possible through the generosity of businesses, churches, service organizations, and individuals. Anyone wanting to help support the effort can log onto NNDC’s Dream Christmas webpage at There are opportunities to provide food donations and/or toys to their 2nd annual toy drive. The organization will also do the shopping for anyone wanting to make a financial contribution.

Families with children up to age 18 can sign up to receive toys at

Formed by volunteers in 2010, NNDC has a “vision to bring hope and relief to individuals and families in need by providing support and services that address hunger, poverty, homelessness, addiction, education and well-being.”

For questions or more information, send an email to or call them at 775-443-4090.

Ranchos light parade this weekend

Sponsored by The Grill Next Door, Coldwell Banker Select Realtor Jennifer Fredrickson, and Rhonda Moore at Country Financial, a Ranchos Community Christmas Light Contest parade takes place December 10 from 4-8 p.m. starting at The Grill Next Door, 1281 Kimmerling Road, Suite 11.

The fun begins with selfies with Santa and the Grinch at 4 p.m., and the car parade leaves from the parking lot at 6 p.m. Nearly 50 houses are entered into the contest and the parade will drive by as many entries as possible. The winner will be determined by community vote.

Cars can be entered into the light parade contest until the day of the event, with the winner determined by judges. Register online at

The Grill Next Door has addresses and ballots available for anyone unable to make the parade but wishing to vote for their favorite house entry. Ballots must be submitted by Dec. 23. Best of luck to all the brightly illuminated entries.

During Saturday’s festivities and through the holiday season, the Grill Next Door is accepting donations in support of several local causes. Contributions to any of the following can be brought to the restaurant during business hours:

• Canned food drive to benefit the Carson Valley Community Food Closet

• Toys for Tots collection box (new, unwrapped toys)

• Sertoma Coat Drive blue barrel for new or gently used warm clothing

Amy Roby can be reached at


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