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Thursday, November 05, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To...

Photo by J. Bertsch
It was up and out this morning, to Starbucks - then HWY 50 to Lake Tahoe; lovely drive. It's really only this past year I got into my head that Tahoe is not that far from my house; hour and a little bit. Along the way we stopped time to time to stare at scenery.

by J. Bertsch

Our first stop was lakeside at some historic log cabins that once housed the rich and fab, but now house the Tallac Museum. Joann walked down to the Lake Tahoe shore to dig her feet into the sand and take photos.

Joann hiked down to the lake for some photos

In their hay day, the Baldwin cabins were private cabins

Joann's lake-side Photo
gorgeous, isn't it? photo by J. Bertsch

The cabins blend in nicely with the Ponderosa Pines that surround them.

Now it was time for a drive north to see Emerald Bay. But first we had this conversation:

Claire: "Want to see where Don and I saw the black bear back in April?"

Joann: "But's the bear's probably gone, don't 'cha think?"

Claire: "Uh... yeah, see your point. Guess we should make our own memories."

So, we drove about a 1/4 mile, and there, dead center of the road, staring at us - a HUMONGOUS Black Bear!

I did what I sometimes do when stunned - I froze. Stopped the car, but could not grab my small digital camera which was right there. Joann turned on her camera. We stared at the Black Bear, The Black Bear stared back at us, then galumphed off into the shrubbery and away into the woods.

We shrieked, whooped, high-fived and spent at least a half hour lamenting our failure to photograph the bruin. Still can't believe how I missed such an easy shot (and the bear couldn't believe it missed out on two succulent women for brunch). Bugger! Oh well. We now had out own Lake Tahoe memory of a Black Bear - incidentally, not a mile from where I saw a brown Black Bear last May. The photo on the left is a Black Bear I 'shot' in Canada.

Still carrying on about 'our' Black Bear, it was north to Emerald Bay. The wind roared through the pines, and it was hang on to your hat or get a shot of it flying over to the Nevada shore.

Emerald Bay

Joann's photo of the tea party castle on the Emerald Bay island (in photo above)
is so cute it doesn't even look real photo by J. Bertsch

Face of "Just-Saw-a-Bear-woman". photo by J. Bertsch

The rest of the day we drove up to Tahoe City for lunch at a Thai Restaurant. Then on to Norstar, where Joann's family spent a wonderful winter holiday a while back. After that I wanted to check out Martis Creek - a well known birding spot in Placer County. Might just get my Great Grey Owl there one of these days.

Joann got an Autumn look the cabin she's
enjoyed during winter vacation with her family

Martis Creek scenery - sagebrush and a little water

I scored the only shot of a Mountain Bluebird I've ever taken

It was a long, long day of driving and sniggering in the car over silly insider jokes. When we got back to my house I cooked up a chicken with some of my garden rosemary (one of the few herbs growing just now). Came out A-OK. Also baked up a yam and totally destroyed several ramakins of creme brule - uh! Every time I want to show off my cooking for anyone, I get excited and forget steps. So the creme brule tastes fine, but the texture is rubbish. Oh well! Oy are we worn out. When you're over 50, even a long day of fun kinda kicks your arse.

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