Memorial Day at the lake was mostly pleasant |

Memorial Day at the lake was mostly pleasant

Record Courier Staff Reports

The gas prices were blamed, in part, for fewer recreational vehicles on Topaz Lake over Memorial Day weekend, according to Chuck Fields, owner of Topaz Landing and Marina.

“Jet skis use a lot of gas when you run them wide open,” Fields said. “And it doesn’t look like the Fourth of July is going to be much better, falling in the middle of the week and no fireworks to attract people to the lake.”

Gardnerville resident Dave Sharp praised the work of the Douglas County Sheriff’s boat patrol on Saturday. Sharp, along with his son-in-law and grandson, were fishing at the southern end of the lake on Saturday when several jet-skiers churned up the waters around them, making fishing impossible and rocking their boat from the skiers’ wake. Within minutes the boat patrol was on scene. Sharp said the fishing was good.

“They checked each of them out from top to bottom,” Sharp said. “And then sent them back down to the other end of the lake to leave us alone. They were really good.”

John Nelson, a resident of Topaz Lake, works at the Douglas County park at the north-eastern part of the lake in the registration booth. Nelson said the park had been very busy over the three-day holiday with spaces full and a heavy day use.

“I have worked five days straight,” Nelson said. “It’s been very busy.

High winds, which began late Saturday and carried over into Sunday were also a contributing factor to the decreased number of recreational vehicles on the water. The lake level is a little below normal, in sharp contrast to the opening days for the 2005 season when high water had kept the popular county campground closed. Even when it opened for the Fourth of July weekend, high water left some of the picnic tables in the campground looking like islands where people on rafts took advantage as they floated in the sun and water next to the tables, setting their drinks on them.

By late Monday morning, there was a mass exodus of vehicles, pulling trailers and a variety of water craft, leaving the lake and the park to the day use picnickers and boaters, to finish out the remaining hours of the three-day weekend and the beginning days of summer.

All in all, it was a summer-warm weekend, no major mishaps, fun and safe for everyone. Topaz Lodge and Casino, in the process of renovations, is still trying for a Father’s Day opening but, excellent dining choices were available elsewhere. The Iron Horse Cantina offers indoor and out-door patio accommodations. Nevada Trading Company and Topaz Joe’s served their first breakfast at 7 a.m. on Saturday and lunches continue to be served, deli-style. There were hamburgers on the grill at Iggy’s and Squiggy’s Junction Bar and for those who attended their complimentary 25th anniversary barbecue on Memorial Day, the chicken was incredible.

This weekend:

— Clean up day in Topaz Ranch Estates begins at 7 a.m. at the Topaz Ranch Estates Community Park Building at the end of Carter Way. Time to get out and spruce up around our homes and our neighborhood. Information, Ole Chavez, 266-3212.

— A new Catholic Church fundraiser. A barbecue and rummage sale fundraiser will be 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday on the future site of Our Lady of the Valley Chapel, 112775 Highway 395, Coleville. Donations, Rose, (888) 495-1066 or John Nygard, (530) 495-9859. Checks may be mailed to Our Lady of the Valley Chapel, P.O. Box 200, Coleville, CA 96107.

— The 21st annual Minden Street Festival will be all along Esmeralda Avenue in Minden, Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days. More than 100 crafters, a variety of food vendors, live music in conjunction with the third annual Northern Nevada Chapter of Inliners International’s Rappin’ to Minden from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days around Minden Park and Sixth Street. Information, Minden Street Festival, Roxanne Stangle, 782-2444; Inliners, Dennis Bargman, 782-7074.

— Jonni Hill can be reached through The Record-Courier at or by calling 782-5121, ext. 213, or after hours at