Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lake Tahoe

What an incredible place Lake Tahoe California - Nevada turned out to be for me. The scenery of the lake against the mountains makes this one of the most majestic places that I have been so far. The winding steep slopes up the mountain are so incredibly beautiful. You don't realize that you are riding at such steep angle until you actually see the lake down below.

Maybe I was mesmerized by the beauty of it all, but being from the Gulf Coast where everything is flat, I was very excited to take it all in. However, as I held "Stew" (my friends precious little schnauzer) on my lap, I felt Stew become a little anxious as we made our way further up the mountain. I soon realized that he was getting slightly nervous, which in turn made me nervous as well. When I was able to actually see down the mountainside for the first time, I was surprised to see just how far down it was !

We had rented a 4 wheel drive for the journey just in case of snow, however, we were not so fortunate to be able to use it for that purpose. Although I had hopes of being "snowed in" inside a cabin at Lake Tahoe for the weekend, I had no such luck since it never snowed while we were there . We had arrived there on the evening of Thanksgiving and stayed there through the weekend. The weather during that time was actually very nice, only requiring a light jacket. It got slightly cold at night, but I am sure it did not compare to the typical winter temperatures they must have there when it snows, which happened shortly after we left.

We stayed in a two bedroom cabin in South Lake Tahoe which allowed for us to have Stew with us and it was very close to the lake, along with not being far from the casinos at the state line. It was a two story cabin, which at first glance didn't look like very much, however the inside had been recently upgraded and it was pleasantly comfortable. It did take us a couple of days to actually figure out how to use the heater fan, which we ended up needing downstairs at night when the temperature dropped. Although the cabin we had chosen didn't have much of a mountainous or lake view, it was an ideal location in South Lake Tahoe and so close to everything. We were very pleased with where we stayed, and I will probably return to that same cabin when I go back.

I enjoyed driving up the mountain on our first full day where we hiked lightly up the mountain while I took pictures of everything and everyone. I even ended up with a delightful collection of dead tree pictures, which I will remember fondly from that mountain. (This is a joke and my poor attempt at photographing something that seemed so fitting at the time.) The views from between the trees looking out down onto the lake were absolutely stunning and breathtaking. I will remember how wonderful it was to breathe that mountain air which seemed to fill my lungs so much greater than anywhere else.

We also visited Logan Shoals Vista Point which allowed us to see some very beautiful sights of the water and looking across the lake. We visited the lakeside beach where we walked down to see the water and to take pictures. I was so surprised with the clarity and stunning color of the water that it was almost as if you could dip a cup into it and drink it. The sight of the beach with the mountains in the background represented a very magical place that I had found in Lake Tahoe. It is a picture of such a truly perfect place that I cannot imagine anyone not enjoying the visit there, and I would expect that they would find themselves being as speechless as I was. I didn't have as much time on this trip as I had hoped to have had in order to explore and experience Lake Tahoe further, but it will definitely be a place that I will return to again and again in the future.

Leaving Lake Tahoe early in the morning on our very last day was a very special thing. My friend had taken us the scenic route home and he drove around the lake back towards Roseville where we were headed. He had planned that we would make it around the mountain in time to see the sunrise and it was beautiful gesture since it was something that I truly appreciated being able to see with him once more. When you leave such a beautiful place, it makes it even more memorable to leave it with such a vivid image locked in your memory. I won't forget watching him drive around that mountain and seeing the sunrise as we traveled away from Lake Tahoe, such a beautiful place that everyone should experience.

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