Travel Journal // Lake Tahoe, California

Tahoe Greetings everyone!  Welcome to Destination #1 in my Anniverary series.  The hubs and I ventured to South Lake Tahoe for our 1-year anniversary (2008).  We were very fortunate to stay the week at the Wyndham (through my father-in-law’s timeshare).  The ‘hotel’ was one of the nicest we have ever stayed at!  Besides the (2) days of hiking and exploring (and using Geocache), this was one of the more relaxing vacations we have taken.  In fact, if you want a lil’ bit of activity, I do not recommend the month of May.  We were actually mid-seasons.  It was too warm for the Winter activities (skiing, snow mobiles, etc.) and still too cold for the Summer activities (water skiing, water activities, etc.)  The famous Gondola, which takes you from downtown Tahoe up to Heavenly Ski Resort, was also closed for maintenace and repairs.  Despite the lack of formal activities, we chose to explore the scenic views of Tahoe!  We woke up every morning to have coffee and bagels on the balcony.  We did a little bit of working out, taking walks along the lake front, and stopping by the local grocery stores for fresh food each night.  Here is a photo re-cap. Enjoy!

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Check-in & explore local area around lake.

The Lodge

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Homemade Pizza!

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70-mile scenic drive.

There is a two-lane paved highway that traverses the scenic west shore of Lake Tahoe and follows the Truckee River Canyon.  This drive takes you from South Lake Tahoe to Truckee and showcases some of the state’s best scenery.  The road runs along the lake’s west shore, and then north through the Truckee River Canyon.  Lake Tahoe itself is unsurpassed— a glistening jewel surrounded by snowcapped mountains.  It is twenty-two miles long and twelve miles wide, with a shoreline of seventy-two miles; it is 1,645 feet deep, which makes it the tenth deepest lake in the world and third deepest in North America.  Because of its depth, the lake never freezes, and is famed for its extreme clarity.

The byway is mostly undeveloped, except for the spattering of recreational opportunities, including Zephyr Cove Resort, horse stables, campgrounds, the Tahoe Rim Trail, ski resorts, hotels, casinos, and fabulous golf courses. One small section of the lakefront shows off fabulous mansions!

Lake Tahoe at ‘Romance Point’

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Relax, visit casinos on Nevada side, and watch movies.

No veterans to Las Vegas, we thought we would take a peek at the gambling world of Tahoe.  We walked the streets looking at all the casinos, but ended up stopping at Harrah’s.  Once inside, it was like we were transported back to Vegas! We decided to splurge on lunch and eat at the Harrah’s restaurant: Friday’s Station Steak & Seafood Grill. We were not disappointed!  You get a panorama of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada while chowing down.

Harrah’s Nevada Casino

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Day 5 – Hiking.With both the hubs and I being outdoorsy people, we decided to spend the day hiking!  There are so many trails to choose from, you really have to put a little bit of research into the length, time, etc. you want to spend.  Before we left for Tahoe, one of the guys the hubs works with told him about GeoCache – a Global GPS Cache hunt.  Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices.  The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online.  Since we did not have a GPS device, this friend kindly lent us his!!  And we had a BLAST on the trails hunting for our little treasures.  You basically pick a cache site near you, and use the GPS to guide you on your hunt!  Most of the caches were little tupperware containers full of journals and little knick-knacks.  The best one for us was one that contained a little plastic penguin!  I am a lover of all things penguin – so it definitely made my day!  We came across small rock crevices, waterfalls, rope bridges…a true hiking paradise!

Hiking Trails

Nick: Intense Rock Climbing

Sitting Pretty by the Waterfalls!

View of Lake Tahoe from our hiking trail

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Local Tahoe shops – Downtown Tahoe – Watch sunset over lake.

Lake Tahoe was originally named “Dao w a ga” by a Washoe tribe of Native Americans.  Pioneers who arrived later mispronounced the name as “Da ow,” which eventually evolved into Tahoe.  “Dao w a ga” originally meant Edge of Lake. Throughout history, Lake Tahoe has been called by many names, including Lake Bigler after the California governor, Bonpland after a French botanist and Mountain Lake, until 1945, when Lake Tahoe became its official name.

Gondola

Why not pose with a bear?

View of the Sunset from the Lakefront

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Brought our week to an end…we checked out of the resort and started our 6.5-hour drive back to Bakersfield, CA.

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