Monday, July 16, 2007

Lake Tahoe, Trip 2

You really didn't think we could resist going back, did you?

We drove up back to Tahoe, set up our tent this time, and settled in for a few more days.

Our tent at the South Lake Tahoe Campground

Our tent proved water-tight the first day, and the cloud cover kept the days lazy and cool. The third (?) day, the clouds broke, and the vivid colors of the lake resumed.
Just heaven.

We wandered through the area for a bit more and were pleased to follow the suggestion to check out the Lake Tahoe Keys. The marina felt so different from the casinos, the Heavenly ski area, and the overall expanse of the lake. They're restoring a marsh/meadow area, and the birds and wildflowers are just flourishing like crazy. There's a path from the marina to the edge of the water, crunchy gravel underneath. Crunch crunch crunch. We walked along right at dusk and felt like we'd really stumbled onto another facet to this gem of a place, one that most visitors probably miss. I thought to myself, "Now, this, I have to come back and paint."

Meadow and marsh restoration, Lake Tahoe Keys

We actually did quite a bit of wandering, new sites that we'd missed the first trip. So much wandering together that we didn't actually get in any serious hiking (the hike back up the hill from Vikingsholm, while a bit, couldn't qualify as 'serious' hiking. It did make us remember, though, how out-of-shape we are, and that whole thing about how much tougher things are, especially going up hill, at higher elevation. :P ) or painting or sketching. Lots of time to unwind and enjoy the scenery, though, and that's priceless.

We couldn't tell if the number of visitors was down, because of the fire. We could see the burn area, the neighborhoods. So sad. But the air was clean, and the haze that was there didn't seem like it was any worse for the ash. The lake and all its delightful attractions were just as gorgeous as before.

This time, we stopped in Mammoth on the way back for a few days, to cut down on that last day, driving back home. The even higher elevation seemed to sap any serious motivation we might have had, and we wandered a bit, and napped even more. I haven't been to Mammoth in close to 10 years, and even then, it was during the crazy, busy ski season. The mountains really have a different personality, stripped of all that lovely white snow. The mountain biking and fishing looked great, if you're inclined to do so. The view from our room was great. Check out the photos:

Click here to see the Flickr photo set

Still, I think our hearts are set on somehow finding a way to get back to Tahoe.

For longer.

I mean, really longer.

We'll have to see how it is during the dead of winter. Lots of snow.
Brr, sounds cold, hm?

That's where big ol' snuggly bears come in handy.


Wendee Holtcamp said...

that is a gorgeous photo!!! Looks fun, I've never been to Tahoe. I'm just procrastinating... wanted to check in and say hi!