This morning we had a relaxing breakfast in the RV before heading into town at 10 AM. Our plan was to try an beat the crowds using the Gondola to get to the top of the mountain. We were a little surprised to see they were offering snow tubing as an option to the trip an we certainly did not have the clothing on for that adventure. So we opted for the round trip gondola ride only.
They put us in our own car as it was not busy and the ride up was spectacular. The lake is dark blue lake surrounded with mountains that are covered with large pine trees. The town seems very small as we rise up to a view of the surrounding area and the whole lake. This 1645 foot deep lake is so large that it hold enough water to supply everyone in the USA with 5 gallons of water a day for 5 years! We also discovered that there are 12 streams / rivers feeding the lake and only one river flowing out. That river feeds another lake but none of the water flowing from here ever makes it to the ocean. Our first stop is an observation deck which is a steel grate platform built on the sideof the mountain.
The platform offers beautiful views and keeps us high enough off the ground so we don’t walk in the snow below. after a brief time there we climb back into the gondola for the trip up to the ski lodge. Here we get out and walk around a little we are now at 10000 feet and the thin air is cold (50). The snow is still frozen under foot so we do not sink in but we are still slogging around in cold snow as we make our way to the cafeteria and gift shop. It is almost June, one of the workers explains that there has been so much snow that Squaw Valley, a ski resort on the north side of the mountain plans on staying open for skiing all summer for the first time in the 15 years he has been here. That being said of the 400 inches of snow they received this year only 60 remain on the ground.
Or ride back down is equally enjoyable and we are happy to be back in 70 degrees. Here at the shore of the lake there is a good sized village with restaurants, live music, games for children and all manner of shops. So we decide to do a little shopping and have lunch. In one of the shops Rick strikes up a conversation with the owner about the bears in the area. She says she sees bears almost every day and some times after dinner they take the kids and go for a walk knowing they can watch the bears raiding the garbage cans around their neighborhood? After lunch we head back to the RV and relax in the warm sunny afternoon (Rick naps in spite of all the kids playing in the campground). We walk to an early dinner at a rustic pizza joint about a mile from our site before we sit around the group campfire listening to live music as the sun goes down. Tomorrow we plan on a 2 mile hike “Eagle Falls Trail Lake Tahoe is a short and moderate hike that provides outdoor enthusiasts breathtaking views of some of California’s most gorgeous landscapes” says the guide book. Hard to imagine after all we have seen that this is “some of most gorgeous” but we shall see.