Saturday, November 9, 2013

Exploring the Neighborhood: Lake Tahoe

On our way back home from the Farmers' Market this morning, Brett and I discussed our plans for the rest of the day.  Brett thought about weed whacking, I thought about riding.  We both yawned and looked out the car window at the glowing yellow maple leaves leaving day-glo bright spots in the dark pine and oak canyon.  We decided to drive to Lake Tahoe instead.

Lake Tahoe is just about an hour's drive from Oak Creek Ranch.  We live on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Lake Tahoe is located east of us, at 6,200 feet, on the California/Nevada border.  To get there we climbed higher into the Sierras, to about 8,000 feet, and then dropped down into the Tahoe basin.
Ignore the bug on the windshield.
Lake Tahoe was formed by earthquake faults during the ice age.  And, look!  Some of the ice still remains!

The Sierras are rugged granite and towering pines.  The road, at one point, traveled across a huge slab of granite with steep drops on either side.  It gave us the willies.

Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the United States with a surface area of 191 square miles -- it's huge.  The water is very cold, very deep and very blue.
Emerald Bay
 Highway 50 took us to the south end of Lake Tahoe.  We turned north and followed the shoreline up to the north end of the lake.  We wanted to have lunch in Squaw Valley which you may remember (if you are old enough) hosted the winter Olympics.  I was a baby then, but it's reputation for world class skiing is something I have always known.  The village was quiet; the ski season doesn't open for a few more weeks.  We found a pizza restaurant that was open, ate lunch, took some more pictures and headed back home.

The parking areas by every trail head were jammed with cars.  If we had stronger joints (Brett) and feet (me), we would be hiking those trails for sure.  Instead, we drove back over the mountain and dropped down into our golden valley.  There was just enough daylight left to feed the animals.  The last pink clouds faded into darkness as I lit the wood-stove and we settled in for the evening.


  1. wow! such beauty only an hour from you!

  2. Despite living near there for 20 years, I never visited Squaw Valley. It looks quaint. I always wanted to attend one of their writer's workshops.

  3. I'd say there are plenty of beautiful things in your extended neighborhood to keep you busy. Enjoy....enjoy.

  4. Its always wonderful to live so close to places that have natural beauty - and i like you twos' spontaneous nature!

  5. I have been there and it is gorgeous! I do remember the winter Olympics with Leif Ericson (not sure how he spelled his last name). I think he ended up living there. I'm so glad you have so much beauty to explore from your new home.

  6. Loved the photo of Emerald Bay !

  7. I have family in California, and you must live really close to them! They're in Pilot Hill and Cool, when my husband and I go visit them we always make a trip to Tahoe or Donner Lake to go hiking and fishing. It's such a beautiful place!


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