Lake Tahoe

Trip Start Jun 29, 2007
Trip End Jul 15, 2007

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I watched the crystal shallows of Lake Tahoe this afternoon as we idled away sleepy hours on the pebbled shores of this picturesque lake.  The waters, which seem to reflect myriad shades of blue in the distance are deceptively clear in the swimming area of the private beach.  In fact, rather than gazing at the surface of the water, I found myself watching patches of sunlight highlighting reds, browns, and ambers of the pebbles on the bottom three feet beneath the surface.  I watched, and I read, and I understood why Lake Tahoe is such a desirable vacation location.

Truly, what other venue offers multi-season fun, from the skiing and sledding of winter to the boating, swimming, and river-rafting of summer?  The summer homes clustered around the shores must do something to deserve the $3 million-plus price tags, but in all honesty the view alone is worth paying for.  As I type, I am sitting outdoors (blessing the modern marvel of wi-fi), sampling a $4 bottle of Napa Cabernet, looking out at the blue-drenched lake, distant mountains, and glints of sunshine reflecting from moored speedboats.  The raucous calls of children at play echo around the grassy grove, and the sizzling of our barbecued dinner promises juicy rewards.

Our lodgings here carry all of the rustic charms of fairytale chalets.  Cottage Inn of Tahoe City boasts seven or eight cedar-thatched cabins clustered in convivial repose under towering pines.  The green lawns, cheery flowers spilling out of window boxes, swaying hammock, and whimsical Christmas lights contribute to the atmosphere of laid-back enchantment.  In our drives around the lake, we have confirmed that we did indeed stumble across one of the more desirable (and affordable) accommodations in the area.  For any future vacationers, take this B&B into consideration.

Those of you following along with our itinerary will note that we did not originally plan to spend a second night and day at Tahoe, and yes, for the second time in the trip, we had departed from our pre-laid, overly optimistic plans.  Consulting with the atlas spread on the Indian bedspread last night, James and I came to the realization that we had planned two nights in Rapid City, South Dakota to explore the Badlands.  Now, as older and wiser travelers, we realize that places like "Death Valley" and "The Badlands" have earned these ominous monikers for good reason, and we would be foolish to give up the comparative oasis of Lake Tahoe for a toastier desert landscape.  That and the bone-wearying drive to our next destination dissuaded us from continuing on schedule.  Had we decided to drive to Yellowstone this morning, we would still be driving right now.  I think the delay, the naps, the reading, the stroll along the banks of Truckee River, and barbecue picnic will prove to be well worth the disruption.  Tomorrow morning we have every intention of beating the sun to the road and hauling twelve hours to the Grand Tetons.

Next stop: Gros Ventre Campground, Grand Tetons National Park
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