Driving the Perimeter of Lake Tahoe- Part 2

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!

That Time I Drove the Perimeter of Lake Tahoe… (Part 1)

So…now it’s the day after I arrived in the Reno/Tahoe area. There was something I’d been wanting to do for a while, I’ve just never had the time.

“What is it? What is it??” You excitedly ask me while hopping up and down in anticipation.

“Well,” says I, knowing grin playing at the corners of my lips. I lean in closer and say- nay, whisper- in the manner of one conspiring, “Driving the perimeter of Lake Tahoe. You know what? Today was that day!”

You hunker down next to the fireplace and pull the checkered blanket up close, to chin level, and wait expectantly. The mug of hot cocoa sits, forgotten, beside you.


I started out driving south on California-267 (also known as North Shore Boulevard) toward the lake. A somewhat hilly drive if ever there was one, through a cleared meadow before plunging into the thicket of trees surrounding everything else. I ended up in Kings Beach, where my parents, sister, and I stayed in a small, four-roomed cabin for a few days two or three times in my childhood. The exact number eludes me.

At the light, I turned right, toward Tahoe City. There was a café called Syd’s that I’ve been to a couple different times before, though the last time was several years ago. They sell these amazingly delicious sandwiches on bagels. I couldn’t erase the memory of them from my thoughts.

Continue reading “That Time I Drove the Perimeter of Lake Tahoe… (Part 1)”

Ye Old Railway Tunnel in Norden

Ah, Lake Tahoe! Quite possibly one of my favorite places in California. I used to go up there every so often as a kid. Happy memories. When my family and I stayed there, we’d camp out at a cabin in King’s Beach. It belonged to a relative. Just four rooms with a steep roof and large backyard, it was the perfect getaway for a few days. Close to the beach, too.

This time, I’d be staying with a relative right smack in the desert: a beauty in its own right. But before arriving there, I’d planned to a few things along the way. I mean, if I’m driving three or more hours (traffic dependent) from wine country to Reno, I may as well make a day of it.


Since it was a Sunday, I went to the early morning service for church and left almost immediately after that. After I stopped to get an iced tea, of course. And then: ROAD TRIP! Ah, the joys of flipping through radio stations you don’t often hear to see which one you like best.

Continue reading “Ye Old Railway Tunnel in Norden”