Edge of the Lake

Trip Start May 09, 2009
Trip End May 27, 2010

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Where I stayed
Tahoe Valley Campground

Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Our next stop was Lake Tahoe, where we were lucky to have great fall weather – clear, sunny and cool.

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America and, at a depth of 1645 ft, is the 2nd deepest, after Crater Lake.  The Washoe tribe named this area "Da-ow-a-ga" meaning “edge of the lake.”  Explorers heard this as Tahoe and the name stuck. 

This was a very different experience from our last lake visit (at Crater Lake).  At Tahoe, civilization encroaches along the shores of the lake.  South Tahoe, where we stayed, is crowded with the usual shops and businesses, with hardly a glance of the lake.  Going counter-clockwise along the lake, you next reach the Nevada side of the lake, dominated by casinos.  (And no, we didn't partake – we are hanging on to our precious retirement funds!!).  However, when we took a drive one day around the entire lake, we discovered many areas where you could pull over for lake and mountain views.  It’s a beautiful lake and I can understand the appeal of living here -- if you can afford the real estate and like to ski in the winter.  I’m not sure I could handle the thousands of tourists that descend in summer and winter, though.

To get a close up view of the lake and some of its coves, we treated ourselves to a boat tour -- complete with lunch and liquor.  We really enjoyed the tour (any time we can be on water is always a good thing!) and not just because of the drinks!  Views of the surrounding mountains and beautiful Emerald Bay were top highlights.

One of the most scenic drives we did wasn’t along Lake Tahoe, but nearby Taylor Creek and Fallen Leaf Lake.  At Taylor Creek, Kokenee Salmon were spawning and the creek was chock full of them.  Fallen Leaf Lake was a beautiful lake and we got house envy looking at the log and cedar sided homes along here.  (Hmmm…maybe we should’ve tried to hit the jackpot at Harrah’s???)

Autumn here was beautiful but the most beautiful sight of all was the most spectacular sunset on our trip, which you'll see in the photos.  No color enhancement with these pix - the colors were that intense.

Next stop…Yosemite National Park.
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