July 9 (AM)- So I have found one of my new favorite places on Earth. Yesterday we pulled into Lake Tahoe. Once you get past Nevada's Last Gasp (four hideous casino hotels piled on the border), it's fabled blue waters, craggy mountains, towering forests— all the things I love about the Adirondacks, on steroids.
We got to Tahoe without a camp reservation, as the lakeside campground Rob had wanted to stay at filled months ago, so we drove around looking for a promising spot. Here, my innate talent for finding the coolest places won out, as we passed by a couple decent looking places to check out Camp Richardson. Camp Richardson is a historic hotel/cabins/campground/marina with buildings dating to the 1920s. Faced with pressure in the 1960s to sell out to condos, the owners instead GAVE the property to the Forest Service, and it has operated under a Special Use Permit ever since. So in addition to lake access, bike paths, an ice cream shop, and a coffeeshop with WiFi (two great tastes that taste great together), we got to camp under a gigantic Jeffrey pine.
We biked over to the Lake so the kids could play, while Rob got a longer ride in. The water was freezing, but of course Kieran, the kid with no body fat but a part-amphibian constitution, spent more time in it than anyone else on the beach. After the beach we got ice cream cones that violated the Optimal Foraging Theory ("never eat anything bigger than your head." -David Lodge).Some weather rolled in which kept us from doing a hike up to one of the numerous small lakes in the mountains above the camp, but there will be plenty more opportunities to hike in the Sierras. So we took a break to do laundry, then did some more sightseeing along the lake, and came back and -for the first time the whole trip- actually made a campfire to cook dinner and relax for the evening.
This morning we are going to go for a trail ride—it's the first time we've found a stable that will take a six-year-old. After that, Tuolumne Meadows or Bust!
(PS- I didn't take the picture; I've been remiss about uploading photos and offexploring won't let you post a blog without a picture, so I found one from Nevada public lands department.)