Truckee-Tahoe Trip

Truckee-Tahoe Trip

Recently we enjoyed a visit for a week at Truckee, California in the North Lake Tahoe area. It’s a great place to visit in the winter with all the ski areas such as Northstar, Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Alpine Meadows, Boreal, Tahoe Donner, and Soda Springs. However, it might be even better during the summer with so much to do.

The weather was perfect all week, except for some wildfire smoke in the area on the last day, and we went hiking most every day. I have included my photos.

Prosser Lake – Truckee

These are photos of Prosser Lake from the deck of my sister-in-law’s house in Truckee where we stayed all week. It was a lovely place to have breakfast in the morning, as well as dinner and wine in the evening. It got a little too warm in the afternoon especially with the sun being so intense at about 6,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The temperatures were higher than normal for July, but it still got down in the upper 30’s overnight. Truckee frequently has the coldest US temperature in the summer. Truckee was named #16 of the World’s 25 Best Ski Towns by NationalGeographic.com.



West Shore Cafe – Lake Tahoe

We celebrated my birthday with a nice lakeside lunch at the West Shore Cafe which overlooks Lake Tahoe.

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Tahoe Rim Trail – Tahoe City

After lunch we went for a hike on the Tahoe Rim Trail west of Tahoe City on the edge of Lake Tahoe. Actually the 165-mile trail completely circles all of Lake Tahoe, but we only went for about an 1 1/2 hours. It shares about 50 miles with the much longer Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail through California, Oregon, and Washington for 2,659 miles from Mexico to British Columbia. It’s on the back side of the Alpine Meadows ski area just south of Squaw Valley, site of the 1964 Winter Olympics.





 Donner Lake – Truckee

On another day we took a hour-long hike along Donner Lake in the Donner Memorial State Park. It was a nice shaded trail with views of the lake, kayaks, rocks, and surrounding mountains.







Legacy Trail – Truckee

For another day, we took a 4 mile 90-minute hike on Legacy Trail along the Truckee River, the only outlet of Lake Tahoe, which flows through Truckee and down to Reno. In addition to the meandering river, it included lovely vistas of meadows, boulders, wildflowers, snow-capped mountains, and a passing railroad freight train.





















Tahoe Rim Trail – Brockway Summit

We hiked another day for 2 1/2 miles (83 minutes) at Brockway Summit on the Tahoe Rim Trail on the north side of Lake Tahoe, above Tahoe Vista and King’s Beach. The trail is about 7,200 ft in elevation, although it was smoky that day from fires along the Pacific coast of California so it’s hard to see Lake Tahoe beyond the trees.

The smoke was coming from the large Soberanes fire near Big Sur and Carmel Valley in Monterey County. It has now burned about 30,000 acres over 50 square miles with at least 57 homes destroyed so far and 2,000 threatened, and it’s still only 15% contained after burning now for 9 days.



















Bocce Ball & Pizza

One afternoon we played bocce ball for about 45 minutes before dinner.


Then I made a vegetarian pizza from Trader Joe’s Pizza Dough, and it turned out pretty good. Of course, I had to wear the silly chef’s hat that my sister-in-law placed on my head. There’s a margherita pizza already cooking in the oven that my brother-in-law made, and an unfinished 2000-piece puzzle on the table.


Of course, we did some walks, shopping, and other activities, but I didn’t take any photos there. It was a fun relaxing week.

Photography 101: Water

Photography 101: Water

When I think of “Water”, I remember all the wonderful and fun places we have visited which all feature water in various forms. I have included a few photos that capture some of these images for this Photography 101 Day 3 assignment.

Here we have frozen water from a wonderful 10-day Alaskan cruise and land tour in Denali National Park we took in 2009.  One of the highlights was visiting this impressive Margerie Glacier in Glacer Bay National Park. It’s about 1 mile wide and extends about 21 miles from Mount Root (12,860 feet high) on the Alaska-Canada border.  We even witnessed it calving icebergs where chunks fall off into the water with a loud cracking boom sound.  Glacial ice is blue because its compacted ice absorbs every other color of the spectrum except blue so that’s what we see .

Margerie Glacier

Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

 

Here the water is massive and provides lots of great recreation opportunities as well as views like this.  We love hiking, especially in scenic areas like the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in La Jolla, California (San Diego) where we visited in 2012.  There are great views of the Pacific Ocean here with the beaches and cliffs, and wonderful hiking trails to enjoy.

Pacific Ocean at Torrey Pines

Pacific Ocean at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, La Jolla, CA

 

Another place we love to go is Lake Tahoe, which is so large and the water is very blue because it’s so deep.  We’re fortunate that my sister-in-law lives there so we get to visit quite a bit and enjoy this great area in the Sierra Mountains of California which borders Nevada.  There are so many great things to enjoy here like hiking, but sometimes it’s just so pleasant to appreciate the beauty while relaxing in a restaurant by the lake with the trees, boats, and mountains in our view. This was taken in 2011 at the Wild Goose restaurant, which I understand is now closed.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe from Wild Goose restaurant

 

Here the water forms the border which separates Mexico and the United States at Lajitas, Texas.  We stayed at Lajitas Golf Resort there in February 2013, and played golf at Black Jack’s Crossing golf course.  This photo was taken from our golf tee looking down to the green where we had to hit.  Beyond that you can see the Rio Grande meandering along between the countries with the Mexican mountains in the background.  It’s not very wide so it’s understandable how easy it must be for illegal immigrants to cross.

Rio Grande

Rio Grande from Black Jack’s Crossing golf tee

 

In this photo from Big Bend National Park, you can see how the water has formed the deep cliffs of Santa Elena Canyon on the Rio Grande over thousands of years.  We hiked on a trail along the edge of the water where we could appreciate the view from the riverbed.  You can’t go much further because you would go into Mexico (illegally).

Santa Elena Canyon

Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park

 

This year we attended my niece’s wedding in Seattle, Washington and the reception was held in the Columbia Tower Club on the 76th floor.  I  took this photo of Puget Sound surrounding the city looking down on all the city’s skyscrapers with the 605-foot Space Needle landmark built for the 1962 World’s Fair in the middle.  It offered wonderful views below in all directions, including Mount Ranier as well as the stadiums for the Seattle Mariners baseball and Seattle Seahawks football teams.

Seattle and Puget Sound

Seattle, Space Needle, and Puget Sound (from 76th floor)

 

Of course, after all the wonderful vacations and fun times traveling to other places, it’s also great to come back home to Lago Vista where we enjoy our lake views and sunsets every day.

Currently, I use an iPhone 5 for my photos, although some of these earlier ones were taken with an iPhone 3G, Canon PowerShot S400, and Kodak C875.  I look forward to share more photos with you.