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Forest Life Blog:

  Dog Day Care and Spa

  Climb Castle Rock 

  Dog friendly NV Beach

  Geocaching Treasure Hunt

  High Tech Hiking 

  Meteors in the morning

  Dog canoeing

  Baby Robins hatch

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Life in the Tahoe ForestOur canoes at lake's edge in 2005Our canoes at lake's edge in 2005

Doggie Day Care for Tahoe Vacationers

Posted 10/15/2013

Don't leave your dog at home while you visit Tahoe.  Here's why:

  •  Your dog will miss out on an outstanding experience, hiking, swimming, and chasing squirrels.
  •  You will miss your dog and worry about her.
  • Down deep, she will always know you had a great time without her and resent you

But where do you put her while you're skiing, or in the casino, or at the family reunion where dogs aren't accepted?   You can't leave the dog in the hotel or lock her up in your rental house.   There is a perfect solution: Doggie Day Care.   You need to meet Kyla at Tahoe Tails and Trails.  

Kyla at Tahoe Tails and Trails doggie day care and spa in Lake Tahoe, NV.Kyla at Tahoe Tails and Trails doggie day care and spa in Lake Tahoe, NV.

Kyla will take care of your dog in her spa for one hour, half a day, or overnight.  Little dogs are kept separately from big dogs in a play room of their own.  Big dogs play together in a large area.Big dog play area.Big dog play area.

Little dog play roomLittle dog play room

   Your best friend will be happy and cared for in a cage-free play yard, let out to walk twice a day, warm in the winter.  Golden Retriever just got groomed in the spa.Golden Retriever just got groomed in the spa.When you're done skiing, pick your dog up and enjoy the evening together.  Perhaps you have your dog groomed like this shiny clean golden retriever.

    There are live webcams viewing the dog play areas.  Once your dog checks in, you get a login and password to watch live dog video on your smartphone all day long.  Halfway down the Heavenly ski slope, stop your snowboard, pull out your iPhone, and watch your dog playing or getting groomed.


    We've known Kyla for years and can assure everyone that this is a kind, clean, and well-run spa, staffed by dog lovers.  Highly recommended.Door sign -- tahoe tails and trails.Door sign -- tahoe tails and trails.

Tahoe Tails and Trails is located on lower Kingsbury (Hwy 207) near Hwy 50, close to Heavenly and the big hotels in Stateline, Nevada.  Contact information and website is:

Tahoe Tails and Trails

290 Kingsbury Grade
Stateline, NV 89449

Mailing Address:
Po box 11273 Zephyr Cove , NV 89448
Phone: (775)580-7121
Fax: (775) 580-7123

Kyla at her desk with dogs.Kyla at her desk with dogs.

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Geocaching Treasure at Lake Tahoe with a Smartphone

Posted 9/3/2013

Treasure MapTreasure MapThe smartphone you already own likely has a GPS and if so, you can hunt treasure for free.  There are thousands of hidden treasures around the Lake Tahoe area searchable by hiking or canoeing or offroading.  These "geocaches" are stored in a database available to everyone.  Your smartphone will guide you, just lace up your boots and bring your dog and kids.  I'll give you the exact steps needed to get started in the healthy hobby of Geocaching.

Step #1: Confirm you have a car GPS or a smartphone with a GPS receiver.  iPhones and most Android phones qualify.

Step #2: Sign up for a free database access account and read more about it on the home page.

Step #3: Download the "c:geo" app for Android or GeoCaching Intro for iPhone/iPad.   These are free apps.  Buy an app only after you get serious.

Step #4: Store the user ID you received in step #1 into your geocaching app.  This allows the app to access the database and gives you an online log of the caches you found.

Next, I'll give you an example of a real treasure hunt done recently, with screenshots of what it looks like.

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High Tech High Sierra Hiking

Posted 8/22/2013

That smartphone in your pocket has a GPS that can be used to track your hikes.   Easy.... really.  In this post, I'll show you how to take advantage of free apps that will give you "credit" for every step you take outdoors, even mowing the yard or walking around your neighborhood.  If you're like me, keeping track of all the miles you walk will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation.

Dakota gets a tummy rub on the deckDakota gets a tummy rub on the deck

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Climb Castle Rock in Tahoe

Posted 8/21/2013

Castle Rock is a granite peak visible from most places on the Southeast shore of Lake Tahoe.  Also known as "Chimney Rock", it sticks up like a stony knob.  These photos look up from Nevada Beach and the view down from the top.

Castle Rock viewed from Nevada BeachCastle Rock viewed from Nevada Beach

Castle Rock girls in 2009Castle Rock girls in 2009


Getting to the top isn't a difficult hike but the trails are obscure and unmarked, requiring turns.  This post will show you exactly how to get there and how to take a photo like the one below....

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Dog-Friendly Nevada Beach

Posted 8/20/2013

Lake Tahoe has a few dog-friendly beaches but my favorite is Nevada Beach.  Locals take their dogs to this beach to fetch sticks by swimming in the lake and playing on the sand.  Water dogs, like retrievers, just love swimming here.   This is a "best-kept secret" that I'm going to break the locals' code of silence and tell you about.

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Baby Robins hatch and fly

Posted 8/16/2013

Miracles come at no cost.  Like meteors, which are strikingly brilliant, free, and unpredictable a Robin family decided to build their nest in the rafter of our front porch.  They asked nothing of us and artfully wove a solid twig and mud nest in four days time.  They ignored us as we entered and left our house and we let them build.  But I did set up a webcam, then captured daily photos and sent commentary to friends who asked me to share.  This is that story.

Rafaela the robin brooding on her nest prior to hatch.Rafaela the robin brooding on her nest prior to hatch.

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Canoeing with a Reluctant Dog

Posted 8/16/2013

Take a look at this Golden Retriever, Randee.  This is a perfectly fine dog.  She loves to swim, she loves to fetch sticks thrown into Lake Tahoe from the beach.  She loves hiking in the forest and chasing coyotes, bears, and squirrels.  But she hates canoes.  Not a mild dislike, not a negative preference, pure revulsion for riding in canoes.  Since Randee never mentioned this to us, we found out about it in a challenging way.

Randee on the shore of Silver Lake with life preserverRandee on the shore of Silver Lake with life preserver

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Perseid Meteors in August

Posted 8/15/2013

I woke up at 4AM on August 13 for no apparent reason.   After a few minutes of clearing my head, it came to me; this was the best time of the best day to view the Perseid meteors.  I try to see the Perseids every year, so I stumbled out the front door into the pitch-black driveway.

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