Lake Tahoe was everything we thought it would be and more. We found a beautiful spot for Berry just on the other side of Carson Pass; which is about 30 minuets south of the lake. It was at a higher elevation than Lake Tahoe and right on the bank of a mountain stream. Olive ran loose and we enjoyed the escape from the crowds on the other side of the mountain pass.
We arrived on a Friday and knowing how busy Lake Tahoe is in the summer, we elected to hike to a few alpine lakes on Saturday and Sunday, saving Tahoe for Monday. The first hike we went on was to Fallen Leaf Lake, just a little south of the big lake. We didn’t know what to expect but damn it was gorgeous! We hiked a few miles to shore and our mouths dropped open. The water was so clear we could see to the bottom nearly 15 feet from shore. The mountains stretched for the sky on the opposite bank and the sky was scattered with just a few clouds. The sun was shining down on us so we changed into swimming suits and dove in. Admittedly, having such clear water is a bit frightening while swimming. It’s such an odd illusion to look down and see your feet moving in the water, along with anything else that swims deeper below.
On Sunday we did a 5-mile loop that included both Round and Winnemucca Lake, two high altitude destinations in the El Dorado National Forest. We climbed roughly 1500 vertical feet before we arrived at Round Lake. The snow was still on the banks opposite of us and the water was similar to an ice bath. It didn’t stop Olive from diving in after sticks but we both elected to stay out. It was so beautiful. It was like a scene you see in a calendar (side note--is Ross the only one that buys wall calendars still!?). We enjoyed the three-mile decent from Round Like along the ridgeline to Winnemucca Lake. Next, we followed the cascading stream back to the truck, heading for the camper and the hammock to rest for the remainder of the evening.
Tahoe awaited us on Monday and we enjoyed swimming in Zephyr Cove, one of the few beaches in South Lake Tahoe that allow dogs. There were a bunch of dogs there and Olive thought that each of them would like to be her friend. We usually allow her to be free to explore but she was on senses overload at the beach. We had to put her on the leash when a man trying to photograph some Canadian Geese gave us a dirty look. Apparently he didn’t want a picture of Olive swimming after them, he wanted just the geese. We stayed until early afternoon before deciding to get a little exercise in. We picked a short hike to Cascade falls that isn’t far from the shore. It was pretty minimal effort for pretty great reward, just our style! The water ran out of seemingly nowhere, down the rocks and “cascaded” over the edge to the lake below.
We spent our last two days in Tahoe sampling some local cuisine with a few more outdoor adventures sprinkled in. One of the diamonds in the rough was Alpina Coffee House. It had a really cozy cabin feel and the ice cream shakes were amazing. Tara opted for “snicker-doodle” and Ross chose the Huckleberry. We did some computer work (you will find out what we were working on soon enough, teehehehe) and Olive slept at our feet, thoroughly exhausted from our big week. Little did she know we had one more surprise for her...
We headed about 30 minutes into the mountains to a small resort that rented canoes for much less than Lake Tahoe. We didn’t want to spend too much money on rentals because we have never taken Olive and weren’t sure how it was going to go. She was less than excited to get into this strange shiny object that floated on the water’s surface, Ross had no choice other than lifting her over the edge. It took her awhile to get her “sea legs” under her. She wobbled from side to side peering into the clear blue water. Thus, when she shifted her 100-pound body both of us got pretty nervous as the canoe rocked from side to side on the lake. Eventually, figuring she would be trapped in this strange water floater, she lied down and took a nap. All in all, we think it went pretty well!
Unfortunately, during our last day in Tahoe we woke up and the air was pretty foggy, only it wasn’t fog, it was smoke. The fires in Yosemite Valley have grown bigger and that was intended to be our next stop. We have elected to not drive into flames and switched courses to go north. Where too? That is yet to be determined. Seriously, as of yesterday we legit had no clue where we were and where we wanted to go… it really is an adventure and we are learning so much about the importance of being flexible and adaptable.
ALSO: OUR STORE IS OPEN! We have had a lot of people asking about getting a The Microtourists t-shirts. Well we one- upped you. You can get even more than t-shirts. We have come up with some cool designs to kick off our store opening!You can find our cool new product designs in the “SHOP” tab on this website! Check it out!