There was a small hill I traversed and the, finally, lake’s edge it was! I enjoyed the view, and the sound of the water lapping up against the shore. More people than I thought were here, enjoying the warm day, the sun, and the refreshing water. I spent a few minutes here before journeying back up the hill. Although I couldn’t find the path I’d taken again, I went in its general direction and eventually found my way to a large house. It had a name, too. The Hellman-Ehrman Mansion. I couldn’t go in it for reasons I don’t remember, so I just walked around it and then headed back to my car.
But before that happened, I went inside a nearby visitor center in the park. Looked at what souvenirs one could by and ended up getting a cute pair of bear earrings. And then I went to my car.
I thought about eating my sandwich then; but I thought, “Nah, let’s wait until I get to Emerald Bay! I can park, eat, and enjoy the view!”
The joke was on me.
I couldn’t find a parking spot within a mile of where I wanted to be, so crowded were the roads. By sheer luck I found a spot maybe a mile and a half from where I originally wanted to stop. And it was too hot to go walking around any significant distance. Right then, I swore to myself I’d come back up here in the off-season (ie, school year) so I could more fully enjoy it. And actually explore it. As it was, I had to battle scores of my fellow humans.
But hey: I was still technically in Emerald Bay, at least.
I didn’t realize it would be so popular, but I was wrong. I could have mistaken it for an amusement park given the crowds. I mean, sheesh. The north end of the lake wasn’t this populated with sight-seers. Hey, at least I got to snap some cool pictures. That’s something, right?
I moseyed my way around the lake, stopping once more at this area that I honestly can’t remember the name of. It may have been the Taylor Creek Visitor Center. But it had a visitor center and an area where you could go on a short hike on this one loop. It was still too hot outside to do this- next time, Tahoe- but I was pretty darn hungry by this point so I took the opportunity to eat. Finally. That sandwich was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever had right at that moment. I washed it down with some warm cherry coke.
South Lake Tahoe and Stateline are much more cosmopolitan that I thought they would be. I was under the impression they’d be sleepy mountainside towns, but I was wrong. I didn’t stop, but eyed each side of the road as I passed through. I only got caught in a little bit of traffic.
I wanted to stop at a couple more places along the Nevada side of the lake, but cars lined the sides of the highway like ants. Despite my desire to stomp on them, I moseyed on by. But hey- at least the scenery made up for the wanting-to-park-my-car-but-couldn’t frustration. When compared to the California side of the Lake Tahoe, this side seemed positively desolate. It was just me, the trees, and the water. And the many cars around me… sort of relaxing.
I stopped in Incline Village for gas. I was exhausted by this point. I pulled up to the gas pump and went inside to give $20 cash to the attendant. When I got back outside, a guy towing a boat was trying to back into the pump just behind me. Being the gentleman that he was, he got angry that I wouldn’t move my car.
Oh. You want MY spot. You think I’m leaving? Hah. Guess again.
I triumphantly unscrewed the cap from my tank and stuck the pump in. I joyfully triumphed in his shout of frustration that, while I couldn’t hear, was painfully evident by the expression on his face.
Lovely fellow, amirite?
I basked in the moment while the gas flowed and, when the tell-tale click reached my ears, I carefully (i.e. slowly and not at all passive-aggressively) placed the pump back in its home. By now, the delightful gentleman had given up trying to back his boat into the pump behind me and instead had opted for the row of pumps next to me. I went inside to get my receipt and when I got outside, he was finally putting gas into his boat.
Good for you, friend.
I tried to get to the Starbucks across the road, but couldn’t find an easy way to get there. So I gave up. I was too exhausted to care after driving all day. I ended my trip in Truckee, where I walked the street, down the sidewalk alongside the old town with shops and cafes and tourists galore. I even got a pretty pink, floral shirt from this one store on the main drag.
All in all, it had been a nice, if curious, day. I probably won’t be driving the perimeter of the lake again any time soon; but if I do, it won’t be during the busy season!