Bill and I spent a nice, relaxing weekend in South Lake Tahoe celebrating our 1st anniversary. We flew jetBlue to Sacramento on Saturday morning and then drove for about two hours to Lake Tahoe. We both took Monday off to ensure we’d have no trouble flying home. We were a little worried when the weather report showed this for the weekend:
When we were packing on Friday night, Bill was optimistic and said, “I’m packing a pair of shorts!”
Thankfully the weather turned out to be completely manageable. We were hit with temps in the mid 40s and rain as we drove through the pass and were greeted with blue skies once we reached Stateline, NV. Bill got a nice deal at Harvey’s, so we stayed there for two nights. This was our view from the ninteenth floor:
Looking to the right we have a lovely view of the parking garage, Lake Tahoe Blvd and the Montbleu Hotel and Casino. The Montbleu used to be Caesars Lake Tahoe.
For those who might not know, an overview:
Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America and, at 514 meters deep, it’s the second deepest lake in the US. It’s well known for its clarity. A fishing guide once told us that if you drop a white plate in the water, you can see it for about 75 feet. While many streams flow into Lake Tahoe, only the Truckee River flows out of it, and into Pyramid Lake in Nevada, which has no outlet. Lake Tahoe is home to lots of ski resorts and is a popular tourist attractions pretty much year round. Lake Tahoe is a place where I plan to buy a lakefront house, when I win the lottery.
We spent the entire weekend with nothing specific planned. We played some blackjack and penny slots, enjoyed nice meals, slept in and enjoyed the scenery. War was scheduled to play at Harrah’s on Saturday evening and we talked about buying tickets. But their show ended up canceled. Oh well.
Sunday afternoon was free of rain and the temps were in the mid 50s. We drove out to Emerald Bay to take some photos.
A shot of Fannette Island, the only island on Lake Tahoe and home to The Tea House.
Bill saw a chipmunk chilling on a rock.
We were both in a bit of a lazy mood so we opted not to hike down to the water’s edge. It’s a wide, steep one-mile trail down to the water at Emerald Bay. You can take a tour of Vikingsholm, have a picnic in the trees or just enjoy the scenery. We’ll do it another day.
On the way back to Stateline we drove past Camp Richardson where they were celebrating Oktoberfest. We were both too much in vacation mode to deal with finding a parking spot and dealing with the crowds.
Near Camp Richardson, we did stop at a small bridge where a crowd of people had gathered. In the early Fall, Lake Tahoe’s Kokanee Salmon begin spawning. Kokanee is the name of Sockeye Salmon who reside in land-locked lakes and streams. (I just learned that)
A large group (school?) of salmon gathered in the stream. Just before spawning, the silvery-blue salmon turn orange and red. Adult Kokanee all die after spawning, leaving plenty of food for eagles and bears. When Bill and I went on a fishing trip on Lake Tahoe a few years ago, we were told that the salmon don’t taste very good once they’ve gone through this color-change.
A moment when I wish I had a polarized filter on the camera…
It was pretty cool to watch.
Bill, watching the sunset and eating my Peanut M&Ms. It was okay though, he saved some for me.
The sunset wasn’t nearly as dramatic as I had hoped. (quite boring compared to Maui), but it was pretty anyway.
We headed back to our hotel and had dinner at the Harrah’s Forest Buffet. I had gambled enough that I got my buffet comped.
Monday morning was even warmer with temps in the high 60s. Bill wore his shorts! I wanted to get a nice panoramic shot of the lake, but the effect I was hoping for wasn’t happening. This late in the summer the water level is lower and the dramatic color changes weren’t visable from this park.
Monday morning we split a Cinnabon for breakfast and tried to win some more money. Throughout the weekend we both were up and down in waves. At one point I was up $150 and Bill was up a bit more… we should have stopped. I was doing really well on some penny slots winning $80 when I’d put in $20. But, like all streaks, they come to an end. We didn’t come home millionaires, but we had a good time anyway.
Lake Tahoe is still one of my favorite places to vacation. There’s a lot to do or not do, depending on your mood. I love that the lake is so large that civilization seems to blend in with the landscape. We need to visit more often.