19 July, 2007
Lake Tahoe, Day Three
there are so many state parks here with camping that there's always plenty of places for people to leisurely and inexpensively enjoy lake tahoe without that yosemite-esque carnival atmosphere; and, the maintenance in these areas are nearly impeccable. you go to state lake park near the dallas, texas area there'll be broken glass in the bathrooms, litter strewn hither and yon, and you'd be surrounded by a bunch of drunk yahoos to boot. anyhoo, our handy-dandy guide book said that d.l. bliss state park has great beach front in lester beach; and, it's the beginning of the rubicon (hiking not the 4wd) trail. the sand at the beaches here is really coarsely ground, pulverized rocks; and for me, overtime it hurts my green feet (boo-hoo)when i walk barefoot on it (in the water as well). the beaches here have nenes (geese) walking around with little fear of humans. in fact, when i was pulling the girls on their floaties, a duck was grooming itself right near us. i gently touched its wing to say, "hello!" it jumped, and maricel and i giggled. i goosed a goose.
okay, the trail. rubicon trail ends at emerald bay. on its shores there's a historical landmark, a house, called vikingsholm. the original owners back in the '40s used old school scandinavian engineering to build vikingsholm. for instance, it has thatched, turfed roof without any nails keeping everything together. check out the topmost pic. in-between lester beach and vikingsholm we would also see: a lighthouse, rubicon point, and calawee cove-a smallish, sandy cove with less of a crowd there. the little bay with the tree in the background's one perspective of calawee cove; the polarized shot looking out towards the lake's another perspective. it's a 4 miler one-way to vikingsholm so we're pushing our timely luck with tenzing daddy portaging mason. we had to ask grandpa to watch the girls on the beach when we went hiking, of course he said, "yes", so off we go for about 2.5 hours, roundtrip. while hiking, the girls were completely content building sandcastles and jumping in the cold water to cool off (and repeating when necessary). calawee cove was picturesque and we made a mental note to hang out there later in the week. rubicon point was gorgeous too and i took a picture of it. from the pictures, it's the big dead tree in the foreground. the lighthouse should've been called the outhouse-it was lame (say lame, using two syllables!)!
after the beach, i went on a solo mountain bike ride on the tahoe rim trail (trt). not the whole loop but the part that started near tahoe pines. the trt was kind of technical and i took skip's advice and the route advice of a bike mechanic in a store called cyclepaths for my sub-2h ride. the ascent from tahoe pines led me to a vista called alpine meadows-a scenic, high alpine forest (with nobody there!). it was spooky quiet and super lush with this great light coming in from the trees' canopies. gorgeous. so i keep taking right handers and you really can't get lost out here-any downhill leads to the lake. so i'm middle-ringing the trail (it's comparable to riding at night, it's a hyper-alert olfactory situation where the legs pedal tirelessly) and geeking at everything. i see a trail marker for tahoe city, 3 miles it says. yup, 3 miles of downhill. it was sweet (again, there's nobody out here)! it dumps me into a private, quasi-posh tennis/ski club called granlibakken. here i tuck into my mt. aero position to take advantage of the downhill, paved streets to take me back to highway 89. wow!
before the in-laws go out for dinner, they agree to watch mason for a wee bit, so the remaining team m go on a bike ride (yup, maricel and maura ride now) to sugar pine point state park. there's endless, paved, two-way bike lanes here so we hop on the trail from our b&b to the sugar pine. at sugar pine, the ehrman mansion overlooks lake tahoe with a medium-lengthed pier going over the lake. when we arrive, it's twilight so the lake seems like it's glowing this faint, blue hue and nobody's on the pier. we walk out and you can see lake's bottom. it's surrealy transparent with this bluish tint, similar to the blue you see on glaciers. man, here's team m just soaking up this beautiful moment. nobody's talking and there's this electric hush around us we're feeling each other's camaraderie, familial bond-energy. it was downright spiritual, it was. you only feel like this in the inside maybe 10 times in a lifetime if you're lucky...