Tuesday, October 4, 2011
I had a few things in mind for our time at Tahoe - like seeing and learning more about the Donner Party - but mainly I was looking forward to being in the same place for three nights, and a beautiful place, at that. I wish now I had taken more pics the day we arrived, as it was sunny and gorgeous, but I was tired and assumed we'd have more time. Well, we did have more time, but not much more sunny time. Still, this morning dawned bright and cheery, and we decided to drive down to the south end of the lake, to see Emerald Bay.
You'll thank me for refraining from posting yet another picture of all three boys sleeping in the van, because they all had their heads tipped back, and did you really want to see up all their nostrils? I thought not. But it reminds me that we had been on the go a LOT, and the time in Tahoe was a nice, relaxing counterpoint to the rest of the high activity and adventure part of the trip.
I love the rock around here. We don't have much granite where we live - lots of sandstone and basalt. The granite always seems so clean, somehow.
And though the mountains, lake, and forests seemed a lot more like home than the desert, still... it's beautiful in a very different way.
From a viewpoint above, we could look down on Vikingsholm Castle - the summer home of Lora Josephine Knight. She also had a little teahouse built on a little island, right in front of the house. I'd never heard of her, but apparently she was the financial backer of Charles Lingbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic. The castle and island are part of Emerald Bay State Park now and you can pay for tours, but we had other plans for the day.
Also at the lookout... There is a rock. We must climb it.
Also seen on our drive... this baffles me.
Yes, we're all familiar with the BART - the Bay Area Rapid Transit, with its subway tunnel under San Francisco Bay. (I've ridden that - a little creepy to be under that much water.) But why-oh-why must everyone copy the name? Really, could the Tahoe area folks not come up with a better acronym?!
Well, they're not the only ones to FAIL at naming their buses. Back home, nearby Skagit County has labeled all their buses SKAT (SKagit Area Transit). Don't they get the the homonym - scat?
Moving on... Squaw Valley, just west of Lake Tahoe, hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics. Gorgeous, amazing location, but not much going on in the shoulder season. We had hoped to ride the tram to the top of the ski area and visit the Olympic Museum, but weren't surprised to find it not running this time of year.
No problem! Because we had an alternate activity the boys probably enjoyed way more - a trail ride! Alpine Meadows Stables closes down this time of year, but stayed open one more day to take us out on a private ride.
The boys were thrilled to be "in control" of their own horses - rather than being led around - though the horses didn't need much in the way of guiding. Gunnar informed me that Deedee was an American Quarter Horse. She - and all the horses - wanted to stop and munch on the grass, and had to be 'encouraged' to keep moving, but they were all gentle and calm. Perfect for beginners like us.
The forest has a different feel than at home. Much drier and less undergrowth. It looks and smells different. I was enjoying the view and the scenery. The boys, being boys, were amused by watching the horses in front of them perform various bodily functions.
You may have noticed that everyone is bundled up, and the boys have hats on. A few sprinkles of rain didn't spoil our fun, but we were starting to feel a definite chill in the air.
We spent the last night at Tahoe, tucked cozily in our rooms, enjoying the view (out the windows on the other side!), playing games, and watching Dirty Jobs.
Day 18 Miles : 74 Total Miles : 3893