Sandy beaches mixed with snow-capped mountains. 85-degree sun mixed with turquoise water. National forests mixed with a beachcomber atmosphere. And you ask: “Where do you get all this in one place?” … Lake Tahoe.
This past week, Ben and I both made our first visit to Lake Tahoe. What a beautiful place! It really is all those things I listed above. The first thing that struck me was how big it is. To drive around the whole lake is quite a journey… over 70 miles of curvy roads that seemed like they were just made for my Mini. And there are so many places to stop along the way that we couldn’t possibly see everything. So I’ll tell ya about what I DID see this past week.
First off, it was Ben’s birthday last Friday, and to celebrate I took him to the Tahoe City Wine Walk. Over 30 wineries stationed themselves around Tahoe City offering tastings, yummy eats, and live music. Each of the wine stations was located in or outside of a shop or restaurant, so we really got a feel for the whole vibe of the town … as we strolled around sipping wine. Rough life, eh??
I returned to the lake again while Ben was away and focused on Sand Harbor, which was beautiful. I had read that it was one of the most visually stunning areas of the lake, but unfortunately the number of tourists there was staggering. It looked like the inside of an Apple store on the launch day of the newest iPhone. There were some little nooks to explore, though, and I managed to get a few nice shots without any people. In this locale, I just loved the giant rocks that lurked both above and [visibly] below the turquoise water.
On my third day in Tahoe, Ben and I decided to drive around the whole lake, stopping at anything that seemed interesting. The highlight was Emerald Bay, where we stopped at an overlook/hiking spot that overlooked both the bay and a beautiful waterfall descending down into it. We were also able to get to the very top of the waterfall, a multi-level series of mini falls that you could easily get right up to and even put your feet in.
Now unfortunately, there was a casualty here. Ben’s camera. He was shooting on a tripod, standing on the edge of one of the smaller falls. I was at the lower level, about one story down, photographing him. As if in slow motion, I saw him walk away to go do something, and then his camera take an Olympics-worthy high dive, tripod and all, off the small cliff and down into the lower falls. $#%^^&*!!! Needless to say, Ben will most likely be shooting with a shiny new Canon by the time our Alaska trip rolls around (which is in a mere two weeks!). RIP 5D Mark II… You went out with a bang (and a pretty decent splash).
While we’re still in the Tahoe area, I’m not sure that we’ll be back to the lake this time around. (Though I know we’ll be back in the future. The place is just awesome.) Chances are, we’ll be heading back to the Mono Lake area to shoot there some more, and then try to make it to Yosemite.
More to come!
Oh, one last thing…
We just got a new video camera and tested it on our first drive around the lake. It’s just driving and scenery, but hey, it’s fast and there’s cool music! (I know … I’m on my way to an Oscar in cinematography.)