View from our living room
Kevin's Entry: Day 3 we called an audible…
We slept in and woke up to a nice sunrise over the lake. The skies had cleared and we were able to see Lake Tahoe’s distant shores and snow covered mountains. We had some breakfast and headed out to get a Starbucks. Just a short distance from our condo there was plenty of shopping. We stopped in to a shop and bought Bentley something to keep him occupied. We went down to the beach and looked around and saw the crystal clear waters close up. With nothing else to do, we went over to the casinos and looked around. These casinos were definitely down a tier or seven from Las Vegas! Oddly enough, they allowed smoking. Played a few slots—Nancy won a little, which I promptly lost for her. While looking for something to do, we stopped by one of the concierge desks to get some suggestions. She mentioned that there was a fairly large snow storm coming later in the afternoon so a boat tour was not a good idea. Upon hearing about more snow and confirming that there was indeed a large storm headed our way, we decided to cut short
Lake Tahoe State Park Beach
We walked along the beach in the state park
our stay in Lake Tahoe and get out ahead of the weather. The drive in had been no fun and neither of us really wanted a replay of that. So we came back to the condo and cleaned it up and speed packed and headed out. The drive back to Reno to I-80 was great. We’d gotten out ahead of the storm and the roads were dry and warmed from the sun. The Porsche carved up the roads that the day before had challenged it. We stopped off in Reno for an In-n-Out burger and then got back on I-80 heading up to the infamous Donner Pass area which was getting hammered with snow. It was interesting to see the effects of the snow-chains the big trucks use in the snow. They had worn off the top layer of pavement and created huge ruts that made it difficult to find a comfortable groove for the car. The temps dropped as the elevation numbers once again climbed. We pressed on through the white out conditions and soon had crested. We then descended out of the snow into very heavy rains as we dropped elevation.
Once we’d come out of the mountains
We are loving our adventure!
we cruised through Sacramento rush hour traffic and kept on going skirting around San Francisco. The rain continued but we didn’t care since now it was in the mid-60’s. Driving up the coast was awesome. Seeing the ocean reminded me of the north coast of Maui just much bigger. Wine country is great with its gently rolling hills and little dairy farms mixed in I find it was way more rural than I’d expected.
We arrived at our next house shortly before dark. We are staying at the mouth of the Russian River right on the coast in a little town named Jenner. It continued a steady rain as climbed up the narrow little ‘road’ to the house. I kept it in first gear and climbed the steep little street switching directions back and forth as it climbed up the hillside where the house was perched. I was amazed that the car handled it without complaint given that I would have been challenged to take my old quarter-ton jeep from Army days up a similar route. I only scraped the bottom of the front spoiler once.
After an unexpected day of driving we finally settled in, turned on the heat
Reflection in Lake Tahoe
Here we are being artsy!
and had some snacks and rested up for a fun stay in wine country glad to be out of the snows. Tuesday we’ll visit some vineyards and be tourists.
Nancy's Entry: We got up early and stopped at Starbucks (of course) in Lake Tahoe. It was situated in a little shopping plaza that had a cute pet shop in there where we bought Bentley a NEW BALL! Then we drove around town and into the state park to walk along the beach of Lake Tahoe and enjoy the gorgeous mountain views. We tried to get a Gondola ride to the peak of the mountain, but none of the gondola services were operating. We went to the Nevada side and hit some of the casinos. Won a few bucks then lost them -- no major winnings OR damage. At noon we visited the concierge in the hotel/casino we were in and asked her about lunch options and about the possibility of taking a boat ride on the lake. "There's a lovely dinner cruise around the lake, although I'm sure it won't be operating tonight." "Why?" (Inquiring minds want to know.) "We're expecting a bad snowstorm. It's going to start
Snow in the Park
Kev & his car in the snow in Lake Tahoe. Little did we know this was the calm before the storm.
snowing here at 5:00 p..m. and stop around 10:00 a.m. tomorrow." Oh crap. We knew we would not get out of Lake Tahoe for a couple of days because we couldn't drive the Porsche with its summer tires through a snowstorm on those mountain passes. We had to get out -- fast! We stepped outside the casino. The weather had already changed in the past 2 hours, and the clouds were on the horizon. We rushed back to our townhome, threw everything in our suitcases, scooped up Bentley and jumped in the car. We weren't sure where we were going, but we knew we weren't staying!
We hit the snow crossing the mountain range as we headed West on Route 80. It was coming down heavily around Donner Pass, and news crews were staged out there to record the event. Fortunately it wasn't sticking much yet, and we got through okay. We were relieved to get down from the elevation where it was only raining in Northern California.
We had a house reserved in Jenner, CA in Sonoma County for our arrival on Tuesday. We decided to drive there and see if we could get in. We drove along the
Grooves in the road from the damage the snow chains have caused!
Pacific Coast Highway (1) and enjoyed the gorgeous (but rainy) ocean views. When we got to our area, we had to drive up extremely steep slopes to get to our house perched on the mountain. The key was in the lockbox and we let ourselves in. I guess we are squatting for the night. Our house is small with panoramic views of the Russian River and the Pacific ocean. The decor here is minimalist -- something I aspire to. My brother (Hi Rick!) is good living in minimalist decor as is my nephew Damon, but I have always had lots of "stuff." I think its too much -- it's nice to live in an uncluttered space. The one major drawback (or maybe it's a plus!) is that we have no cell phone service at all. No texting, no email via phone, no calls. We were able to hook my laptop up for a slow internet connection, which is how we can post this blog. I can get email via my computer also. There is a telephone here, but I don't know what the phone number is. So, we're sort of unconnected which is kind of nice. We will get service
White Out on Donner Pass
Driving was scary for a while
when we visit the town on Tuesday. It will rain all day on Tuesday, but is set to clear up and be sunny Wednesday through Friday. We will leave on Friday and head toward Southern California. In the meantime, it's nice to be settled in one place for a while. We are planning on visiting some wineries and enjoying the ocean views.
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