Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Portugal - California 2004

Sun and snow!

I had an excellent night's sleep and allowed myself the luxury of a reasonably long lie in bed. I had breakfast at the hotel and was soon checked out and ready for the road, armed with my helpful new road map. The conditions were sunny but a bit on the cool side. I was soon cruising along the freeway in my luxury car, listening to some music and enjoying that not so common, but very satisfying feeling, that all was right with the world. (Some hope!) I found my way through Sacramento on the freeway and soon I was climbing higher into the mountains. Eventually the freeway gave out and I was driving on a fairly fast, but undivided, highway. There were plenty of up and down gradients to contend with and, given that it was a good road, I found that flicking off the overdrive button gave just that little bit of engine braking when needed. As the elevation reached over 7000ft, I thought it was starting to rain. I was wrong - it was snowing! My informative car told me that the outside temperature was 38F. Yikes!

When I arrived in South Lake Tahoe, which is the city name on the Californian side of the State Line, I noticed that a number of cars had a few inches of snow on them, while every building had very noticeable quantities of water dripping from the roof. I got the impression that there had been a reasonable fall of snow overnight. I had a Subway lunch and decided that I would rather be driving than walking. A quick look at my trusty new map and I decided that I would try making a complete circuit of the lake by car. What an excellent decision that proved to be! The indications were good from the outset, with Scenic Drive markers and No Parking signs protecting every spot where the unthinking tourist might want to pull over and cause an obstruction. Clearly, this was not some obscure idea I'd had, but part of the standard tourist trail in these parts.

The views were stunning and, luckily, I was able to pull into organised view points every now and again to admire the views properly. If I were to do the drive again, I'd do it clockwise. This would have made getting in and out of the parking bays so much easier. (They are, naturally enough, on the lake shore side of the road.)

Eventually arriving back in South Lake Tahoe, I checked into the Holiday Inn Express and went for a short walk in the town. I crossed the State Line into Nevada and the city of Lake Tahoe and walked the few inches ( ) to the nearest casino. I had a quick look inside but couldn't get interested. Seen it, done it, don't like the non-Californian smoky atmosphere! I was just about to leave when I spotted a slot machine called Frequent Flyer ... no, really! I blew a few nickels (hey, big spender ) and left to attend to the much more important business of a nice steak dinner.

After that, I had a quiet night in watching a movie, glad of the powerful heating in my room.  

The Lake

The City/ies

Monday 20 Sep

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