Saturday, June 6, 2009

South Lake Tahoe

This has been another cold, overcast and rainy day.  They say the sun will come out tomorrow.  We’ll see.

Well, time about is fair play, so today we drove to South Lake Tahoe with the intention of looking around at the town, not looking for a trailhead.

On the Nevada side, the community is called Stateline.  There are a number of nice homes dotting the mountainside from the summit to the lakeshore.  Despite this development, many trees have been left, and the homes are barely noticeable.  Apparently, much of the land is still in the hands of the Forest Service and is in its natural (post-logging) state.  For about 4 or 5 blocks east of the CA/NV line there are casinos, of course.

In California, at the state line and extending west for about 4 blocks is a very nice shopping district.  We wanted to go into the North Face store, but were unable to find a parking lot close enough not to get soaked in the rain.  This western side of South Lake Tahoe is relatively new, built up probably over the past 20 years.  There are many nice hotels, eateries, and specialty shops.  As you continue west along US 50 through South Lake Tahoe, you come into the older section of town.  Though obviously not new, most of the buildings have been well maintained.  We did not see the dilapidated structures that were so prominent along the north shore.

The city owns a tremendous tract of shorefront property which stretches for several miles.  This tract of land is the South Tahoe Recreation Area and consists of a very nice paved greenway for walkers and bicyclists, a sand beach, picnic tables, park benches, and a public boat ramp.   Tucked away in the pine trees on the south side of the main street is a city owned campground.  We stopped in to investigate.  The rates are very reasonable given the location--$26/night for no hookups and $36/night for electric and water.  Like many public campgrounds, they did not have sites with sewer connections; however, there was a dump station and for $10, honey wagon service.  Most sites were back-ins, but there were a few pull-thrus.  Interior roads were paved; sites were dirt.  And, like many public campgrounds, the sites were huge.  We also learned that all profit from the campground goes to the senior citizens center.  That was nice.

We also stopped at the Forest Service campground at Zephyr Cove on the Nevada side.  It was also a very nice campground with lots of trees and located just across the road from the lake.  The sites were not as large, but they had full hookups.  Interior roads and all RV sites were paved.  Most of the RV sites were pull-thrus.  They were a little pricey, however.  The fall and spring rates which are in effect now are $41/night.  After tomorrow they will go up to $55/night for the summer.

Sorry, no photos today.  I took my camera, as I usually do, but it was a mistake.  I kept it tucked under my rain jacket with one hand and held the umbrella over me and my camera with the other.  Too wet out for photos.

The sun will be shining tomorrow and we are going to “the bench”.  We really don’t know what “the bench” is, but it has the reputation of having the best views of Lake Tahoe.  All we know is it is a 5 mile walk one way to “the bench”.  We have been waiting for the snow to melt off the trail.  With any luck, the rain will have washed it away.

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