So we decided while we were in the area we ought to drive up to Lake Tahoe. We haven't been there for quite a few years and we're not sure when we will be back. Much of the Gold Country we had just toured a few years ago and Vicki thought it was too soon to do all that again. So we packed the puppies in the car and headed east on Highway 50. It was a beautiful, partly cloudy day and the drive up hwy 50 is gorgeous but it seemed odd that there was so little traffic on the road. Surely we were not the only ones who thought springtime might be a nice season to see the California side of the lake.
We got to South Lake Tahoe and headed north. Just north of town we hit Camp Richardson. We were kind of surprised that the campground and cabins were all still marked as "closed for the season". Still, there was a nice beach with picnic tables and the Beacon Bar and Grill, which sits right on the water's edge. It was about 11 o'clock and the restaurant did not open until 11:30, so we took the dogs for a walk through the picnic area while we waited. They enjoyed barking at the ducks and generally being as mischievous as possible on a six-foot leash.
We had lunch out on the veranda which was a little on the cool side, but the inside dining area was being dominated by a family with multiple ill behaved and screaming children. Sitting by the lake was nice, the food was only passable but the Rum Runners were excellent. Kind of like a mai tai but without the orgeat syrup. With our tummies full and our heads slightly swimmy, we climbed back into the car and continued our journey North.
The plan was to visit Emerald Bay, DL Bliss State Park, Sugar Pine Point, Barton Creek… all the state parks along the west shore of Lake Tahoe. And they were all "closed for the season". I mean closed as in gates across the entrances with big chains and padlocks on them. There were even signs along the road side bike path saying it was closed, although there were bikers willing to risk whatever potential legal complications peddling along the bike path might entail. No wonder nobody else was visiting. There was nothing to visit. I don't know if these parks have always closed until Memorial Day or if the season was cut back due to California's chronic flirtation with bankruptcy, but my tax dollars were definitely not at work for this trip.
|Fallen Leaf Lake|
They had not closed the roadside pullouts, so we could get out and take a few pictures but the clouds had been multiplying over the last couple of hours and in the midafternoon it started raining. That did not stop us of course, but it did put something of a damper on the proceedings.
We took Highway 89 up to Truckee and then got on I-80 to go back down the hill. About halfway down, we once again drove out from under the clouds and it was sunny and pretty warm. We got back to Ghost Mountain at about dinnertime, heated up some leftovers and then kicked back in our recliners to relax a bit after our long day of… mostly nothing.