Mountains, Lakes and Vikings?
Trip Start Aug 30, 2011
27Trip End Sep 28, 2011
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At around 9am we were collected by a big blue SUV and the 6 of us headed out for the day with our driver / guide / photographer, Mike. Mike recently retired from the Forest Service where he worked for 34 years in the forest surrounding Lake Tahoe so I couldn't have thought of a better person to show us around for the day.
Chis and I were the only foreigners in the party the rest of the guests were American all from the East coast or Florida. The tout took us to some really beautiful local spots that you needed local knowledge and suitable transport to get to
Lake Tahoe and its surround are very scenic and as I have said before even though its yet another combination of mountains and lake scenery there always seem to be highlights that make the trip worthwhile.
The morning started with a stop at Baldwin Beach. I can't imagine what this place would be like in the middle of summer its and idyllic swimming beach. The mountains in the background show the tracks of the ski runs for when Tahoe takes on its alter-ego of winter fun destination.
Mikes knowledge of the local flora and fauna was encyclopaedic and not surprising as he managed the visitor education function for the Forest Service.
Next stop was lower Glen Alpine Falls with really interesting Cedar (not Redwoods a common mistake apparently) and houses which seemed glued to the cliffs
Fallen Leaf lake sits behind Tahoe and although close the two lakes are separate bodies of water. They are surprisingly deep with Fallen Leaf being 430 feet deep in places. After a quick lunch and toilet stop we climbed the Angora Lookout road to the Angora Fire Lookout for spectacular views of Fallen Leaf and Lake Tahoe and the area burnt by fire in 2007. 3100 acres was lost but as Mike said fire is a necessary part of the ecosystem and unless there is threat to life or property they let it do its job and burn. Driving the Angora Lookout road you feel like you are balancing on a knife edge.
From there we moved to a outlook over Emerald Bay probably;y the prettiest part of Lake Tahoe. Vikingsholm Tea Rooms can be seen on Fannette Island. This was part of an estate owned by Mrs Lorna Knight and built by200 workers in one season in 1929. Apart from building Vikingsholm Mrs Knight and her husband were the primary backers of Charles Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic.
We had great day and it was nice not to have to drive for a change
Tomorrow we are off to Yosemite via Mono Lake for a spot of Tufa gazing!