Monday, October 3, 2011
My early riser had a hard time in some of the hotel rooms - no way for him to get up and start his day without disturbing others. But here, at our resort in Kings Beach (north Lake Tahoe) not a problem! We loved this place - the Ferrari's Crown Resort. That sounds a lot fancier than it was, as you can see from the picture. The resort is older, and has been owned by the same family since the 50's. It was clean, family-friendly, and right on the beach. Kind of made me feel like being in Gramma's kitchen. And it was such a delight to have a suite. Kerry and I had our own bedroom, the boys had two queen beds in the 'living room', and the kitchen could be closed off - nice for early risers :D
And this is the view from our window... aaahhhhhhh. We have definitely gone from summer to autumn as we came up into the mountains, and found the pools closed. No problem. Lots to do.
Just a short drive from our lodging brought us to Donner Memorial State Park. For my foreign readers, the Donner Party were a group of emigrants traveling west to California. They met with tragedy trying to cross the mountains too late in the year, back in 1846. They became trapped and had to spend the winter high in the mountains, for which they were very ill-prepared. Only 48 of the 87 survived, and many of the dead were cannibalized before rescuers arrived in the spring.
The memorial statue here marks the site of one of the party's cabins. Do you notice the pole? Actually, that's not a pole, but a tree trunk, cut off quite high. The height of the base of the statue matches the height of the trunk. The winter of 1846-47 was unusually harsh, and that was the depth of the snow. They cut the trees off at "ground level" for firewood.
The park has a wonderful museum full of interesting dioramas and artifacts. Only one problem: it was so dismally underlit I wished I had brought a flashlight or headlamp. Why???
We loved the trails, though, wandering through the pine forest.
This rock was used as the back of another of the cabins, with the fireplace right up against the rock.
Of course, boys being boys, the rock must be climbed.
And this one, too. I bet in the summer people swim here, in the Donner Creek (River?). I bet you can jump off the rock into the water below. There was a campground in the trees, just beyond, but with the nights getting cold I was glad we stayed at the resort.
Fresh pine-scented air, fall colors, and clear water. Happy sigh :D
We drove on to Donner Lake and looked up toward Donner Pass. No question but that the weather was changing...
Still, back in Truckee we still had sunshine.
We were glad to find Jax Diner :D
Our hotel was bracketed by wonderful public parks and beaches - King's Beach and Moon Dunes - practically deserted this time of year.
Wondering how big Lake Tahoe really is? Here ya go.
Somebody in town has a sense of humor...
And here's the kitschy sign for our comfy lodgings.
Of all the boys, guess who insisted that they must go into the lake?
My youngest explorer and adventurer - Gunnar.
These two were quicker to head for the hot tub, though Kerry and Gunnar soon joined them.
Had a much-enjoyed dinner at Jason's Beachside Grill and called it a day.
Day 17 Miles : 44 Total Miles : 3819