Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Great Escape - 2011 - Part 6

We took the gondola up Heavenly Mountain. Midway up, you can get off and walk around the viewing platform. Then you get back on the gondola and go to the top to hike (or in winter, ski), or as in our case, have lunch. Glorious!

Views of the lake and mountains!

Such an interesting rock formation!

Rich and Janet can always find something to laugh about!

The next day we took a two-hour boat trip around the lake. The boat reportedly belonged to one of the "old" casinos - in it's heyday. I didn't go below deck, but those that did said it was magnificent. We all surmised that "if these walls could talk" would apply to this boat!

Someone called this shot, "Tahoe Babes". Hmmm, don't know about the one in the white sweat shirt!

Ken and Shannon, Larry and Elaine.

Rich and me, Rick and Janet.

Views of shoreline properties. Talk about beautiful - and $$$$$$$$!

This will give you a "feel" for the vastness of the lake. It is huge!

A bald eagle's nest.

What an amazing place to visit! The next day would be Rich's birthday. Come along for the party!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Great Escape - 2011 - Part 5

Our first morning...we had a three-bedroom condo so we three couples had own bed/bath. Wonderful accommodations! Ken and Shannon stayed in their 5th wheel.

A look around the property.

We took the gondola up the mountain on the next day.

Rick and Janet, Rich and me, Larry and Elaine.

We've known Rick and Janet since the early 1970's. I had their daughter, Stacy, in my 2-3 year old Sunday school class. Now she's a momma with three children! It's always a ton of laughs when we are together.

More views around the property. The landscape was so bright, healthy, awesome colors! A treat for heat-sore eyes!

Ken and Shannon. We met them when they moved to our town around 1970-71. They came to our church and sang in the choir Rich directed, along with Larry and Elaine. The six of us and our children did more dinners and things together, often at the drop of a hat! It was Ken and Larry who helped Rich prepare a travel trailer for our sabbatical trip in 1975. We still have the red tool box Ken put together for Rich's use on that year of travel. Ken and Shannon travel the US and Canada most of the year in their 5th wheel. They play pickle ball with others on the "senior circuit". Never heard of it. Something like tennis, but with a paddle.

Ken and Larry.

The men sitting around the 5th wheel while the gals put a dinner of chicken tortilla soup and corn bread together for dinner. The lake-view was gorgeous! A perfect spot!

Shannon with Rich and Larry. Ken and Shannon and their three kids traveled with us on the latter part of our sabbatical on 1976. Met in Cody, WY, where we awaited word of the birth of Larry and Elaine's son (I told you we have a lot of history!!), then traveled to Glacier National Park, western Canada and then home. We pulled a 26' trailer with a Chevy station wagon and they pulled a pop-up tent trailer with a VW bus. Oh!!!! Could we tell you some stories!

What a wonderful, relaxing evening! More Lake Tahoe to come!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Great Escape - 2011 - Part 4

Driving to South Lake Tahoe from Reno, this was our very first glimpse of the lake. It's almost indescribable! It's 22 miles long, 12 miles wide and over 1000' deep. The color is the most brilliant shade of blue, except for a small part of the shoreline, which is called Emerald Bay - the water the color of emeralds! Breath-taking!

There was still snow on tops of the Sierra Nevada Mountains!

Can you tell we are loving it?! Think it was about 75 degrees this day!

Larry and Elaine.

As we started back up the path to the road and our vehicle, a man was walking his dog, which began to bark rather excitedly. This is why!
The snake was very shiny and we thought had shed its skin. If you look at its middle, it's bulging, and near the bottom of its middle (which you probably can't tell from this photo) it  was a little lumpy. We thought it was something it had eaten! Ooooh!

Our home for the week. Our timeshare at Marriott's Timber Lodge. Larry & Elaine also have a timeshare here. They go to ski around Thanksgiving with all of their children and grandchildren. It's a lovely place!

Timber Lodge is located at the base of Heavenly Mountain, just a block from the California-Nevada stateline. The building with the clock tower is for the Heavenly Mountain gondola, which we took later in the week. Wait until you see the views!

Rich and Larry "plugged in", relaxing after five days of driving and sightseeing.
We relaxed until Rick and Janet arrived from Southern California and Ken Shannon arrived from their RV home at a local state park.  We were so excited to be with all of these dear friends. We all met in 1968-1970 at our little church in Southern California. As I've said, lots of water under the bridge of our history - some of it high, some of it low. All treasured memories! More about these couples later!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Great Escape - 2011 - Part 3

Leaving the Rocky Mountains for Utah, the road became very LONG and STRAIGHT. Terrain totally different, beautiful in a different way.

Looks like Betty and her back porch have been gone a long time! Do you think this was a cafe???

More gorgeous, billowy clouds! Thoroughly enjoyed the drive!

This is the view from the Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal, Utah. Made a stop here, although the visitor's center is being remodeled and won't reopen until October.

We find it very fascinating to see how the rocks are angled from the earth's thrust!

This is Allesaurus Jimmsdseni, on display at the Dinosaur National Monument. This specimen was found in 1990 during a survey for fossil sites in the Morrison Formation. It took 3.5 years to excavate, a helicopter to lift out, two years to prepare and three years to study. Prior to this discovery, only one species of Allesaurus was known to science.

The head of Allesaurus Jimmsdseni. The display said that understanding the Morrison ecosystem is the ongoing focus of research at Dinosaur National Monument. Other info: it died 5 million years before the dinosaurs in this quarry lived. It's full length was 18.5 feet long and weighed 1,350 pounds!

Utah certainly has a beauty all its own! The contrast of green vegetation and red rocks is beautiful!

Mining salt at the Great Salt Lake located outside Salt Lake City. Looks just like snow! If you go to Salt Lake City, beware - they have serious traffic and smog issues!

Next stop - Lake Tahoe. We spent a fabulous week there on the south side. It's beautiful - you'll love it!