Monday, January 7, 2013

Circumnavigation (Lake Tahoe)

“Sort-of-Sabbatical” Day Twenty, Friday June 22

It’s taken over two hours, a walk to the drip coffee bar and barely functional computers at Vicky’s Cyber Cafe, lengthy consultation with my camp hosts, and the shuffling of my possessions across the campground, but I have tent space secured for the next two nights.  Today I’ll be at Tahoe State Recreation Area again, but in a different slot, and tomorrow I’ll move to Fallen Leaf Campground on the south end of the lake.  So while I am not free to change my plans on a whim, I can set aside the worry of where I’ll spend the next few nights, and simply enjoy my activities.  Around the lake I go!

I make my way toward the north end of sparkling, blue Tahoe.  A detour on the far side of King’s Beach has me wandering through wealthy neighborhoods, and as I finally make my way down the steep hill to the main road, my bike makes one brief, loud “clunk.” Hm. Perhaps I was sloppy in shifting?*

It seems wrong not to explore the twisty line on the map called NV 431/Mount Rose Scenic Byway, so I oblige. I chose wisely -  aside from good riding, there’s a fabulous vista of the lake.

Lake Tahoe from NV 431
Okay, yeah, I cheated and showed you this photo yesterday, but I actually took it today. Love the time warp that is the blogosphere!

I return back down NV 431 and head south on the Lake Tahoe Eastshore Drive National Scenic Byway.  I can see why it’s a candidate for “the most beautiful drive in America, ” and, as is so often the case, I suffer with the ever present question of whether to stop and take photos, or just sit back and enjoy the moment.  I may regret it later, but it seems for so much of this journey, I am choosing the latter.
Memorial Point Lake Tahoe
Memorial Point

Crash!  It's physically startling how the majestic beauty of Lake Tahoe is abruptly shattered by the city of South Lake Tahoe, with its traffic and casinos, but it’s not long before I reach Emerald Bay. Inspiration Point is crowded, for good reason.

Tahoe - Emerald Bay View at Inspiration Point
It’s hard to get the camera to peek through the trees at the lovely view beneath me.

Vikingsholm Castle is down below, but I know if I stop at every point of interest I’ll lose my flow.  There are just too many for one day.

DL Bliss State Park Tahoe
Tahoe’s waters run clear, deep, and dangerously cold.

DL Bliss State Park Tahoe (2)
A short walk on the Rubicon Trail at DL Bliss State Park.

DL Bliss State Park Tahoe Lighthouse
Rubicon Lighthouse: While it looks more like an outhouse than anything else, turns out it's the highest lighthouse in the world.

After my two-wheeled circumnavigation is complete, I decide to tackle it on two feet, or at least as much of the 165 mile Tahoe Rim Trail as I can manage before nightfall.

The few miles I do hike through tall trees is pleasant, although not remarkable. Even so, the physical exertion feels fantastic after having butt in seat all day.
 Tahoe Rim Trail

My short trek may lack wide vistas, but I feel like a Girl Scout while discovering all the interesting items littering the forest floor.  I find these usual large red sprouts…

Tahoe Rim Trail (1)

… and sticky pine cones the size of footballs.

Tahoe Rim Trail Pinecones

After a short time, I reach what may or may not be the Paige Meadow hinted at by the trail markers. In any case, the meadow and the two mile marker feel like a destination, and my stomach is beginning to gently inquire about tonight’s dinner menu, so I turn around.    My discontent of yesterday has long faded, and I’m more than happy to take advantage of the benefits of urban camping tonight, sipping wine, eating pasta, charging my phone, and having light in which to write.
Zia Lina Tahoe City
Zia Lina.  Pasta with caramelized onion, arugula and sausage.

*Yes, you will be hearing about this again.


redninja said...

Great pictures !!

Eating On Two Wheels said...

*sigh* They don't show the half of it. But thank you.