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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ensie, Wiensie Mini-Break to Tahoe

[Management points out that Ms. Joann B. is the photographer and cinematographer of most of the photos stolen borrowed for this blog entry. Thanks Joann!]

Being short of the bucks for a stint at a 5 star luxury hotel in Maui, my idea of a nice way to relax and chill, is a Sunday drive - even if it's Wednesday. So at the crack of 11 AM, Joann and I hopped in the car and headed east for Lake Tahoe.

Before too long we were stopping so I could look along the river for Water Dippers, which as per normal, were not there. Rats.

Pretty, even if not dotted with Water Dippers

Oh, cruel happenstance, the only kink in our day's doings was before leaving Fair Oaks I forgot to fill the gas tank. So it wasn't long before the gas gauge hoovered over the bottom red line and I was bugging.

Now, you would think a California freeway would have gas stations every 40 yards, but as Joann pointed out, with groundwater contamination and lawsuits being what they are, no one wants to put gas stations on in the piney woods, even if a freeway runs through it. Happily, the fumes got us all the way to Meyers and the remainder of the day, OK, once we got ourselves fed & watered in South Lake Tahoe, was as carefree as 2 kittens with 6 balls of yarn & a dead mouse.

The view with Lake Tahoe looming in the distance

We stopped briefly in South Lake Tahoe for lunch, so we wouldn't lose it and murder each other along the road. We stopped at our favorite look-see spot: Emerald Bay.

A glimpse of Emerald Bay

At the Emerald Bay vista point, Joann struck up a conversation with a gentlemen who played dulcimer. He played several tunes and eagerly discussed his music and told how he progressed from being interested in the dulcimer, to being able to live off his music. Myself, I struck up an acquaintance with a nice ice cream sandwich at the Emerald Bay snack vendor.

I insisted on a visit to Fallen Leaf Meadow, in part because I saw a bear there a couple of years ago, and in part because, well, it's pretty. I took a miniscule walk in the meadow and it was also quite wet. Ah! Spring in the Sierras! Loads of melted snow; everywhere.

Fallen Leaf Meadow

This meadow will always be for me, 'where I saw a strolling bear'

As we drove north on the California side of Lake Tahoe, we were in awe of numerous waterfalls and damp spots where runoff soaked granite hillsides.

Waterfalls were everywhere along the lake roads

Soon we were off the twisty mountain roads and driving along the waterfront. We were happy just to see the lake, but there were some happier in the water than out.

Two Labs enjoying a wet romp

After Lake Tahoe was behind us, we made one last stop at Squaw Valley, because it always makes me feel like I've fallen off of California and landed in Switzerland.

Joann got a shot I've wanted to take for ages, of the official entrance to Squaw Valley, which still reminisces about it's hey day when it hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics. Joann and I were post impressed that the white truck you see below, actually held up a bit to allow Joann to get a clean snap shot as we sped by, me at the wheel, playing 'bobsled on wheels'.

Can you hear the yodeling?

The Squaw Valley Meadow

Doesn't this look like a Swiss alp?

Joann was pretty impressed with the
awesome-ness of the
cable car bays

Click to see one of the few birdies
of the day, a Western Tanager

So we didn't see any bears this go round at Lake Tahoe, but then again, the bears missed seeing two pretty amazing women sailing by during a drive by photography fest. Don't you have to pity the bears?

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