Finding Gold

“Summer’s loss seems little, dear, on days like these.”

~Ernest Dowson

On Sunday my husband and I took a break from our outdoor autumn chores and drove the one hour up to the Tahoe area to view the fall foliage. Leaves on our trees at home in the foothills are just starting to put on a show but we had heard that if we wanted to catch the foliage performance in the high sierras we’d better go sooner rather than later. Hiking boots and layers of clothing, a cooler filled with snacks and drinks, our beloved furry companion, check, check, check, and off we went. We chose to hike the new-to-us Cathedral Meadow, near Taylor Creek and a favorite area of ours, Fallen Leaf Lake.

We encountered a perfect fall day with blue skies and warm temps and a whole lotta golden groves of aspens glistening in the sunlight. Beautiful scenery and fabulous views of Mount Tallac all along the trail were free for the taking! I honestly can’t imagine that we could have timed it any better! If you’re in the area, go now!

Meiss Meadows Trail

Near Carson Pass, on the north side of highway 88 is Meiss Meadows Trail. A few weeks ago we set out to hike one of our favorite areas but when we got to the parking lot we were surprised that it was still covered in snow. Yep, snow in July. We still plan to go back to that location, but decided to venture a bit further and to the other side of the highway and discovered Meiss Meadows Trail. The parking lot  to the trailhead wasn’t under snow even with the starting elevation at 8200 feet. That was a good sign!

Though this was not our first choice for hiking on this day, by no means were we disappointed. The views along the trail were outstanding.
Hillsides full of Mule’s Ear, Indian Paintbrush, Forget Me Nots, Lupine, and Creeping Phlox had me stopping to take photos every few feet!Heart rocks and all of this wildflower beauty. These are a few of my favorite things! 
 Mountain beauty as far as the eyes can see.  I just may have spun around with my arms outstretched like Maria in The Sound of Music!Oh yes, the hills are definitely alive!

Celebrating the Snow

Sierra snowpack levels and rain are way above normal here in Northern California this year and that’s cause for celebration in my book. Evidently, many others were celebrating all of the recent storms right along with us by taking a trip to snow country during the holiday weekend! A drive to Tahoe usually takes us an hour. Today it was a v-e-r-y slow two and a half hour drive.

We have a few usual spots where we like to go snowshoeing, but we got a later start on the road than usual and we found those to be too crowded. Continuing on and feeling up for an adventure, we came to Camp Richardson on the southwest side of the lake and found parking spaces available! In no time at all we were layered up and had our gear strapped on.What a sight to behold! Just look at this incredibly beautiful winter wonderland!
It felt so good to be out exploring in all of nature’s winter beauty after being cooped up from our rainy weather for so long.Through the branches is our dog, Gemma, prancing around in the snow where there’s usually sand, with Lake Tahoe just beyond.  Ahhh! Here’s a little snow heart along our pathand another amidst the tree branches! There’s so much to celebrate in life. Hope you’re finding cause to celebrate this winter as well.

Skunk Harbor

No, I can’t answer why this particularly gorgeous hike to a secluded beach with crystal clear waters is called Skunk Harbor.img_1373All I know is that just two weekends ago, my brothers, my husband, and I hiked this winding trail, located on Highway 28, just two miles north of Highway 50, down to this dazzling, yet serene beach.

Hike about a mile and a half down the trail and you’ll come to a fork in the road. Going left leads you to Prey Meadows and veering right takes you to Skunk Harbor.

Look at these striking views you’ll take in!img_1369img_1368img_1700img_1366img_1392img_1393img_1462Close to the shore we came upon this old stone building built by a wealthy San Francisco family who used it as a secluded picnic pavilion in the roaring twenties! Oh, if these stone walls could speak what stories we might hear!
img_1377img_1382img_1381img_1379Brilliant blues!img_1378Beautiful cove, beach and views!img_1460No skunks!

As I write today I am reminded how quickly the fall season passes. On the recent day of our hike, we enjoyed warm temperatures and didn’t even need the sweatshirts we had packed. Watching the evening news tonight I learned that the high temperature in the Skunk Harbor area today was 38 degrees. It may get a dusting of snow tonight. Back at home it’s pouring rain, and our trees are completely aglow with the costumes of autumn’s finery. Another two weeks and the trees may be bare. I’m making sure to get outside and soak up all of the glory this short season offers. Wishes to you for a lovely autumn season.

Glorious Glen Alpine Trail

I think it’s safe to say that the best weekends involve some hiking, a chance for a little get away to the mountains or the shore, exhilarating fresh air and the incredibly beautiful vistas mother nature has to offer us.

We recently hiked the Glen Alpine Trail in South Lake Tahoe. To get there you must drive the long one lane road along the south shore of gorgeous Fallen Leaf Lake. I’m certainly not complaining; look at this incredible view from the car!img_1044We parked in the parking lot near the general store and walked a little over a mile to get to the trail head. There is limited parking closer to the trailhead, but we’ve always enjoyed the walk. Along the way we passed the lower falls which were just trickling, and the cozy Saint Francis of the Mountains chapel where a wedding was underway. I refrained from taking a photo, wanting to give them their privacy, but it was truly a lovely sight.img_1053img_1059img_1052img_1063img_1049img_1100Once we got to the trailhead we were gifted with meadows, springs, historical sites, rushing waterfalls, and stunning view of Mount Tallac all along this secluded mountain trail.img_1230img_1098John Muir was just one of the many hikers who found the trail unforgettable, writing that it “seems to me one of the most delightful places in all the famous Tahoe region. From no other valley, as far as I know, may excursions be made in a single day to see so many peaks, wild gardens, glacier lakes, glacier meadows, and alpine groves, cascades, etc.”img_1069img_1074img_1084img_1083img_1082img_1107img_1095img_1109img_1110His words are perfect. We found all of that and a whole lot of love!

 

Cheers!

IMG_0016South Lake Tahoe, only an hours drive from our home, is our favorite place to get away to. The list of things to do in and around Tahoe is unending, and no matter what we choose to do while we’re here, time spent in this piece of heaven on earth is always special. Here, our worries are cleared away, and our souls are soothed and rejuvenated.

Nearly thirty four years ago we got married here. Through the years there have been countless family camping trips and days spent on the shores. Anniversaries and special occasions have been celebrated here. This is where we often come to hike in warmer months and snowshoe during winter months. The scenery is astoundingly gorgeous any time of the year.

A week ago we came across this dazzling field of lupine right at the shoreline in Tahoe City while exploring around the Gatekeeper’s Museum. You can walk right out into the middle of all this magic. We learned that when the lake recedes, lupines take over the flat moist area at the edge of the lake. The beauty of this field takes my breath away!
IMG_9970IMG_9974And here we are, best friends and loves of each other’s lives celebrating, once again, in Tahoe. Our special occasion on this day? The first time we met thirty six years ago, on a late June night. Me, just twenty, while he was twenty two.  How did we get so lucky to have found each other out of the vast amount of people in this big, wide world? Thirty six years of holding each others hands and hearts through all that life brings. All the while learning, compromising, growing, struggling, cherishing, forgiving, trusting, and encouraging. Most of all, loving.IMG_0010My heart overflows with gratitude and boundless love for this man. Here’s to many more years of celebrating life in Tahoe. Cheers!

Into the Woods

IMG_7728IMG_7759IMG_7737I’m happy to report that last Sunday we made it back up to the Tahoe area to snowshoe again! Our weekends since that day about five weeks ago when it was eight degrees and we only lasted fifteen minutes, were either full or there were storms and less than ideal road conditions.

We returned to Hope Valley and this time the temperature was forty degrees and we were shedding gloves and coats almost immediately. We could not have asked for better conditions or more spectacular scenery. The bluest skies, the most stunning views everywhere we looked; we noticed it all.

And we had this happy snow bear to greet us upon our arrival.IMG_7726IMG_7734IMG_7756IMG_7741IMG_7755What more could we ask for?

How blessed we are to be so close to one of Mother Nature’s most spectacular gifts.

Scenes From a Day in Tahoe

Sometimes it’s best to set aside the to-do lists and the usual busyness, just let it all go, and head out for an adventure. Yesterday we loaded up the dog and a picnic lunch into the car to do just that and drove up to breathtakingly beautiful Tahoe.

Greeting us upon our arrival were cool refreshing temperatures, and spectacular scenery everywhere we looked. Majestic mountains, the truest blue skies, and towering pines surrounded us. We played with our sweet Gemma in the lake, took walks on the beach and on trails, drove to some of our favorite spots, but mostly just relaxed and soaked up all of this beauty Mother Nature gifted us with. Well, it was just the tonic we needed and we’re now planning our next visit back.
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