Alpine trees put on annual show | RecordCourier.com

Alpine trees put on annual show

While thousands are watching jets swoosh over Carson Valley this weekend, others will be seeking quieter pursuits, though also at altitude.

This weekend is the fourth annual Alpine County Aspen Festival in Hope Valley.

"Right now, the aspens are exploding with gold, yellow and reds with green background of the timber and the stark mountaintops," organizer Dan Kaffer said on Wednesday. "The West Fork canyon is ablaze with color going into Hope Valley."

While Kaffer said there isn't much color on Monitor Pass, aspens are turning at Blue and Burnside lakes, Carson and Luther passes and Grover's Hot Springs.

Kaffer said the festival encourages people to get involved in conserving the watershed.

"It's important for those of us on the Carson River because 95 percent of all our surface water comes from drainages that start in Alpine County," he said. "Alpine County is at the headwaters of five different watersheds that supply water to 5.5 million people in Nevada and California."

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In addition to the Carson, the Truckee, Stanislaus, Mokelumne and the American rivers all rise in Alpine County.

Kaffer said this year's event will feature tent talks by Laurie Hickey on the history of ranching in Hope, Faith and Charity valleys, Dr. Al Graff talking about the geology of Hope Valley and the Sierra, U.S. Forest Service Fuels Forester Anna Belle Monti and California Department of Fish and Game Biologist Shelly Blair.

East Fork Gallery artist Janice Powell Shedd will be offering a watercolor workshop on painting aspens.

Dogs are welcome at the Aspen Festival, where there will be a mutt strut, which Kaffer described as a kind of K-9 poker run.

"We had more than 100 dogs last year," he said.

Kaffer will be giving the Dutch oven baking demonstration.

Hope Valley is located southwest of Minden along Highway 88 at 7,000 feet. The forecast for this weekend is for sunny skies and highs in the mid-60s.

For information, visit aspenfest.org or call Kaffer at 721-0487.

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