I know. I usually write blog posts when I am in another country; however, right here in Northern California, we have a most beautiful place to visit: Lake Tahoe. The lake does sit on the border of California and Nevada, and both side are very lovely. We (Frank and I) decided to take a week, for R&R, and stay (almost) local. This area is a two hour drive from our home. We came up here Friday afternoon, and checked into the Lake Tahoe Vacation Club. This is a very nice resort, and our room has a kitchen that makes it easy to do some cooking, if I want to do that. We weren’t here to cook, however, so we looked at other alternatives, like having fun!
Friday night, we took a dinner cruise on the paddle wheel boat, Tahoe Queen. That was a nice treat. Although it did get too dark to see much of the lake scenery, we enjoyed the dinner, visiting with our table companions and hearing the captain’s commentary on the history of the lake. The history is very interesting, but I would have to do more research to write intelligently on the subject. What I do know is that the lake is 2 to 3 million years old, and that it is the second deepest lake in the United States, surpassed only by Crater Lake in Oregon.
Although the lake is shallower than usual, due to the drought, the boat was able to get through the narrow inlet into Emerald Bay. We enjoyed our little voyage. We had to be bussed from our vacation resort over to Zephyr Cove to take this trip. Usually, the Tahoe Queen sails from a dock not 100 yards from our hotel. Again, the drought is to blame.
Sunday we took a drive, went over the Carson mountain range into the desert terrain of western Nevada. We wanted to see Virginia City, which had been a booming metropolis in the 1890’s, during the silver mining heyday. It is hard, for me, to imagine the hardships people had to go through, to get up to Virginia City during that time. The road up to that city now is twisty, windy, lots of gear shifting and we were driving on a highway.! We had driven over the mountains from the very green, mountainous region of Lake Tahoe, crossed the Carson Range, and went immediately into desert country. However, visiting Virginia City is a step back in time, about 150 years, so I felt it was worth the drive to see this old city.
At St. Mary’s’ of the Mountains.
We parked near this church. This church was built in 1875, burned to the ground in 1875 and rebuilt in 1876. That tells me that the church was a very important part of the silver miner’s life. One block away stands the Episcopal church, built in the same era. So the miners had choices for their religious needs.
The Episcopal church
To get to the city center, we walked 2 blocks, uphill, to the Main Street.. On this street we saw saloon after saloon, a few brothels and an opera house. One saloon had a Suicide Table. I didn’t really investigate that, but we enjoyed our step back into time, without finding how to kills ourselves.
Yesterday, with the wind blowing all clouds away, leaving us with a wonderful sunny day, we decided to drive all the way around the lake. From our hotel, we drove west, then took a right turn onto Highway 89, and started following the highway that goes up the western side of the lake.
There is one of the paddle wheel boats, going around the island.
We continued on our trip. I wanted to stop in Tahoe City, and see the area which is the only outlet from Lake Tahoe to the Truckee River. Usually, we would stand on the bridge, watch the fish swim up into the lake. So many people would be hanging over the railings, watching this, that the bridge became known as Fanny Bridge. Not so, now.
Not so good for swimming or diving.
We continued on our way, stopping at Gar Woods, in Carnelian Bay, for a late lunch, then back on to our home for the week.
Despite the drought, this area is still so peaceful, lovely to see, and lovely to stay here.
Today, the sky is an ominous gray. The temperature reached a high of 60 degrees F. We really hope that the rain predicted for tomorrow, does comes about, although it would impact our hiking plans. We need the rain..
I am happy we chose to do this time away from home. I am so glad to see the beauty of our Sierra mountains, and I am also happy that we only had to drive 2 hours to get here.
As I was driving, I remembered that one item on my Bucket List, is to kayak around the perimeter of the lake. The lake has 72 miles of shoreline. I think, that by kayaking 8 to 10 miles a day, I could do this in 10 days. However, I do not want to sleep on the beaches. I want a boat that has a motor, to follow me, just in case I get into trouble, and also someone to ferry me up to a nice hotel at the end of each day, so that I can shower, have a good meal, a glass or two of wine, sleep well, then be ferried back to my kayak the next day. I also would like someone to kayak with me.. Do I have any takers to join me on this trek?
This gorgeous lake.
Until we talk again,
Ciao for now,