|Along Taylor Creek Trail|
|Mt Tallac, 9735 feet|
We left early for the 25 mile drive to South Lake Tahoe. We stopped only once and that was at the overlook where I took several photos. It is a beautiful spot—one that warrants a thermos of coffee and Danish some morning. We spent several minutes there then were on our way again.
|Baldwin Estate main house|
|Hellar Estate, Vahalla|
Our first hike was the Taylor Creek nature trail. Taylor Creek empties into Lake Tahoe just a few feet from the trail. This was a typical nature trail with benches for resting (or meditating), interpretative panels, and a wide, paved footpath. There was a boardwalk built over the marshy areas and at one point it was underwater. Taylor Creek was a raging torrent of melted snow from the high peaks making its way to the lake. This short 1-mile hike took a considerable amount of time. I stopped to take several photos, we stopped to read the interpretative panels, and we stopped just to enjoy the beauty of the creation.
|Pope Estate main house|
Our second trail started across the parking lot from Taylor Creek Visitor Center and led to the Historic Tallac Estate. In the late 1890s and early 1900s this 150-acre plot of land on the south end of Lake Tahoe became a summer retreat for rich and famous families (and their guests) from San Francisco. Today, volunteers and the National Park Service maintain 3 estates which are open to the public (in season). We were able to tour the grounds and peak in the windows, but the homes and guest houses were still closed. There were several volunteers out (even on Sunday afternoon) trying to get things in shape to open next weekend. Each estate consists of the main home, several guest cottages, servants’ quarters, boathouses, and in the case of Valhalla, a theater. The Pope Estate was like its own little community with a blacksmith shop and separate quarters for the tutor. They all, of course, had grand views of Lake Tahoe.
Although, the walk through this historic site was only 2 miles, it took a couple hours. We had to read every sign and peek in the windows.
|Each estate had a great view of Lake Tahoe|
After our late picnic lunch, we headed across the street to the next trailhead. It was far enough away that we had to drive. I was also in desperate need of restroom facilities. After about a mile we came to an open campground. They always have restrooms, so we pulled in. Besides taking advantage of their facilities, we drove around with an eye for a future camping adventure and Gene went in the “camp store” to ask a few questions. By the time we had finished exploring, talking, and eating our ice cream, it was pretty late in the afternoon. We decided to leave the last hike for another day.
Today is a rest and chore day with maybe a trip to the bookstore this afternoon. Tomorrow—who knows!