Friday, June 5, 2009

North Shore of Lake Tahoe

Something bad has happened to the weather here.  We have had some rain just about every day for the past week.  That in itself is pretty unusual for this time of year.  Today, however, the temperatures have dropped to the low 40s.  At the lower elevations, there has been rain most of the day; at higher elevations there was snow.  This afternoon, in Carson City, we have a pretty stout wind blowing.  This has been a day of weather.

Not wanting to sit around the home fires all day, we packed our lunch and got in the truck for a drive.  Our wanderings took us, of course, across US 50 to Hwy 28 which we took up the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe.  We stopped at an overlook near the northern shore.  With the dark clouds looming overhead, the normally calm, blue of Lake Tahoe took on a more ominous appearance.

From this overlook, we quickly got into the developed area of the north shore.  On the Nevada side is the small community of Incline Village.  This small settlement got its start during the mid 1800s when the entire area was a source of timber for the mines.  Timber off these slopes was moved by incline railway to the top of the mountain where gravity took over and the logs slid down the other side on flumes of water ending up in Spooner Lake.

Today, Incline Village is a sleepy little community of upscale homes, condos, and vacation rental units with a great view and easy access to the lake.  There is a very small retail district which is tucked away out of view of the casual tourist making this a rather secluded and private area for the locals.
King's Beach
On around the bend into California is the community of King’s Beach.  It was hard for us to get a grip on King’s Beach.  What we saw seemed to be a relic of the 50s--old hotels and rental vacation cottages.  There were very few shops; certainly no trendy boutiques.  There were even fewer restaurants.   Many of the quaint “cottages” which had been a popular design in tourist cabin motel architecture in the post 40s era are now occupied by long-term tenants.  We drove just one block back from Hwy 28 and found dilapidated shacks which, surprisingly, were occupied.  The upside of King’s Beach was the beach.  The city has developed a beautiful sand beach front park with picnic tables and benches.  There is a pier for sunbathing, fishing, or just enjoying.  There is a rental booth for jet skies, kayaks, beach buggies, and parasailing.  Today, with the wind blowing and temps in the 40s we had the beach to ourselves.
We enjoyed all the old motel signs

After our short walk about town, we stepped into a bakery for a morning treat and a cup of coffee.  We had a nice chat with the owner, whom I assumed was also the pastry chef.  My raspberry danish was good, but not outstanding.  Gene liked his buttermilk donut stick, but would have gotten a croissant if he hadn’t gotten so hasty with his ordering.
Tahoe Meadow

In an effort to see more of the countryside, we drove home by way of Hwy 431 into Reno.  This route took us past Tahoe Meadow then over the mountain at Mt Rose summit (elevation 8900 ft).  The meadow was  beautiful with lingering snow at the perimeter.  Gene got out for a walk around, but didn’t go far.  The air was too cold and the wind too strong for a walk to be pleasant.  We stopped at the parking area just below Mt. Rose summit.  This turned out to be our picnic spot for today.  We sat in the truck and watched it snow as we ate our sandwiches.
Ski Resort is closed for the season

Now, at nearly 4 pm, the skies are finally clearing.  The forecast calls for more of the same tomorrow.  I guess we’ll figure out what to do tomorrow in the morning.

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