Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A Lake Tahoe Thanksgiving

This year we did something different for Thanksgiving. We loaded up the car (three cars to be exact) and hit the road to South Lake Tahoe. 

This was my first time to spend Thanksgiving in Tahoe. My husband has spent many Thanksgiving holidays there but this was our first time together and as a family. This was also my first time travelling to Tahoe in the winter. If you've ever been to South Lake Tahoe or even Tahoe in general then you understand the tortuous road that it takes to get there. You climb to a grueling 7,382 feet at Echo Summit to then fall down into the basin of Tahoe. Oh, did I mention there's no guard rails at some points along the road? All that keeps you from falling to your death is white knuckles on the steering wheel and 2 feet of dirt on the side of the road.

With all that said, that's the main reason why I had actually never ventured over to Tahoe in the winter. However, a few months ago, my husband's cousin and I had the brilliant idea to plan a Thanksgiving out of town and dreamed of loading up 9 adults and 2 toddlers to make the trek for a winter trip at Thanksgiving. What we didn't know when we planned it months ago, was that it was going to become a winter storm advisory with whiteout conditions only hours before we were set to hit the freeway. 

This live camera feed of Echo Summit saved us all because I religiously checked it. We got chains for the cars and loaded them down with all the bear necessities. When it came time to pull out of the driveway we headed into the snow and grueling pace of 20 mph with one lane of traffic moving through chain control and what is usually a 2 hour drive turning into almost 4 hours of being in the car. But hey... we didn't go off the mountain so that worked for me!

When we arrived in South Lake we were greeted with a winter wonderland. It was like living in a snow globe with never ending snow flakes, freezing temps and bears galloping in the background on people's house steps. We not only saw one bear but two along with it opening our unlocked car door to get a piece of gum. At least he left our cash.

We went to Heavenly and the beach which was covered in snow and ice all the way down to the water's edge. 

Presley got to play with his cousin, we all enjoyed the view and company and we made some winter memories in the snow. It was a great time. I think we will do the same thing next year but hey... you never know where life can take you. Also, the place that we rented was great with a wonderful view above the lake. You can see it here if you are interested where we stayed. It was close to the shops and Heavenly and it was pretty easy to get in and out of considering the weather.