Last week, we returned to Lake Tahoe in Northern California. We were there last year when Denise’s parents visited last summer, but going to Tahoe is like Mecca for Denise, since she is such a huge fan of the TV show, Bonanza, and because Tahoe was the fictional setting for the show. Bonanza aside, Tahoe is a beautiful place to visit, and was once again made possible due to the generosity of our good friends and next-door neighbors in our apartment building.
For this trip, we were accompanied by one of the youth group leaders at Placerita Baptist Church, Amanda Hovey, who has been instrumental in discipling, and loving on both Victoria and Maddy during our time here. We are very thankful for Amanda and were blessed to have her join us for the week, and for us to get to know her a little better. It sure made the week more fun! Amanda did ultimately triumph as Yahtzee champ, with a phenomenal score of 626, but I am sure we will get a chance to seek revenge!
On the first full day in Tahoe, we went back to Virginia City, which is a favorite of ours to visit. On this return trip, we wanted to do the Stage Coach ride, but this was closed for the season, so we did one of the trolley tours instead. This was particularly informational, and gave us a better understanding of the history of the town, as well as introducing us to some of the historic buildings we missed last time. As a bonus, we saw several groups of wild horses grazing on the outskirts of the town.
Throughout the rest week, we mostly relaxed, and hiked around the parts of the lake that we had not managed to see in our previous visit. A day spent at Round Hill Pines Beach at Zephyr Cove, which is on the south-eastern side of the lake was a highlight. A popular resort for weddings and other gatherings, Round Hill Pines beach is a beautiful, golden beach, that had good amenities and facilities. Complete with a tiki-bar, it had that sense of a real resort. The beach itself consisted more of very small pebbles rather than sand, so it wasn’t conducive for making sandcastles, but it also meant that you didn’t carry home half of the beach’s sand in your gear and blankets. The water was not quite as cold as we expected, and was wonderfully clean and very clear. Although it has now been outlawed, we were allowed to do some crabbing on the rocks along the small jetty, with the proviso that we returned all that we caught. We managed to catch a couple dozen crawdads, which are essentially fresh-water crayfish. The kids loved this and really got into it!
Two further highlights of the week, were the mile-long hike down to the Vikingsholm castle at Emerald Bay, as well as introducing Amanda to a little more NZ culture. For this, we made damper over the grill. Often the main food for bushmen, hunters and campers who spent days, or even weeks in remote bush, the damper turned out great, and we had fun cooking it. A visit to the historic town of Truckee rounded out a fun week, despite the fact that we failed in another attempt to spot a bear.