Jewel of the West

Published: May 6th 2012
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I can see why Ben Cartwright chose this area for his huge ranch "The Ponderosa" of Hollywood fame. What a gorgeous high alpine Lake. Ringed by snow-capped mountains and filled with clear blue water it is a picture perfect scene.

Our stay was short, but sweet. We spent the night at one of those cute little 1950's style Motels that I love where you pull your car right up to the door to your room. Clean and quaint the nice Indian Family that owned the place were all smiles. The thirty-five dollar price tag was just right and even included a refrigerator and free wireless internet. Internet was extra in Las Vegas!

Morning dawned bright and clear and we drove around the Lake at a leasurely pace. Emerald Cove was pristine, uncrowded and divine. There was still snow in some areas on the shady-side of the trails, but everywhere the streams were bursting with the flow of clean, clear snow melt. The combination of huge trees, clear undergrowth and long range mountain views is something that you don't find in too many places in the world. The lake was basically devoid of human habitation with only one tour boat out on the water.

We ate lunch at a wonderful little waterfront restaurant called the Beacon. Famous for their "Rumrunner" drinks, they are a part of the Camp Richardson Resort. Located right on a sandy white beach, it is hard to imagine that you are at 6000 feet of elevation in the mountains, until you feel the water- wow it was cold! Camp Richardson is a collection of rustic cabins and a Historic Inn nestled among the pines and it looks like a fantastic place for a family reunion. Just make it in August when the water is warmer.

The thing that really struck me about the Lake Tahoe area was how wonderfully preserved it was. From the clean unpolluted lake to the multitude of well managed vintage accomodations it has a wonderful timeless feel. Now, there were plenty of brand-new buildings as well, but they have not foresaken all of the older buildings in a rush for development. Also, I am talking about the California side of the Lake. We came through the Nevada side and I recall plenty of Casinos along the way, but it didn't strike me with the same nostalgic feel.

Lake Tahoe is definitely a world class location that would support a much longer stay, but alas our nephew was awaiting our arrival at his home. So, we headed west on Hwy 50 down the mountain and into the California lifestyle.


7th May 2012

Lake Tahoe
Just so you know, the water doesn't get warm in August either!

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