Sunday, May 17, 2015

Family in Tahoe and Driving the Eastern Sierras

Even before the motorhome went in for service, we planned to drive the Jeep to Lake Tahoe for our nephew's wedding. Not knowing much about the venue, and with possible snow in the forecast, we arranged for Tessa to stay with doggie daycare.

Amazingly little to pack for two put us on the road early Thursday morning. Thunder storms and snow were threatening throughout the Sierras so we opted for the boring but quick Interstate 5 to cover the distance. Traffic was light, we hit very small cells of precipitation, and after a couple fast stops we picked up Hwy 50 in just over five hours. Definitely a "destination and not the journey" travel day! 

Half way up the mountain we hit rain that turned into light snow flurries off and on. Temps dropped to freezing but the road remained free of ice and none of the snow made it to the ground or even the car hood. Both of us have been to South Lake Tahoe, but it has been many years. I was surprised at how "developed" it is. The weather made it gray and mono-chromatic, but still beautiful.

We were most looking forward to seeing extended family and the informal gathering at the hotel's conference room was a wonderful start. Lots of hugs and laughs and catching up.

The morning looked a bit different and it was very cold.






After breakfast with our sister-in-law Marilynn, we returned to the hotel to get ready for the big event.

Fortunately the couple had moved the venue from beach front to a lovely lodge overlooking the lake, and although the skies were overcast there was no rain or snow to dampen the wedding.

The couple requested that no photos be uploaded on the Internet so you'll just have to take my word for how beautiful it was :-)  David is Wayne's only son, and it was very important for Bill to be there for David after his father's passing last year. It was bittersweet for all of us to be together again.

We wrapped up our family visiting with bbq and brews at a house one of the kids rented , and of course more hugs and catching up!! 

Saturday morning was bright and sunny so we continued northeast on Hwy 50 rather than backtracking. When we launch in a couple weeks we are heading up Hwy 395 so we thought this would be a good chance to check out the route, a couple campgrounds, and the condition of the road.

I've only been to Carson Valley once and have always thought I could live there. Seeing it from above furthered that opinion - what a beautiful place!  It has everything you need, yet Gardnerville still maintains that small town feel. Breakfast at a wonderful local café in Minden, and we headed south on Hwy 395.


Love the mountains on all sides of town

The Cowboy Café in Minden, cute and tasty
The Eastern Sierras never disappoint, but with the addition of new snow all around the drive was especially beautiful. I probably said "Wow!" at least a couple dozen times.

We stopped and took some pics at the Fremont historic marker at Devil's Gate, made a pit stop at the June Lake cutoff, and checked out a couple campgrounds in Bishop.

My favorite kind of snow - off the highway

At the Fremont marker, Devil's Gate

Mono Lake
With a layer of clouds resting on top of the entire range, it was difficult to make out Mt Whitney as the highest. But when we stopped for lunch in Lone Pine there it was right behind the Totem Café. Actually it's "right behind" all of Lone Pine.


Miles of beautiful
Lunch was very good and the people watching was just as good. From the three young filmmakers editing on their laptop next to us, to the backpackers and horseback riders on the main street, Lone Pine is a very active little town.

Mt Whitney just hanging out in the back

Horses instead of skateboards for the locals
 The rest of the trip saw a decrease of visual interest and an increase in wind. By the time we reached the Antelope Valley we were back to flat and brown, and the winds were gusting at 35 mph. It will be so nice to cover this same route and have 10 days to do it!

Random bump of red

Coming to the end of the mountains

It was good to get out of the Jeep, it was good to see Richie and Tessa, and it was good knowing it's the last time we'll return to the apartment from a trip :-))))

18 more days.

29 comments:

  1. Counting 'em down, Jodee! Enjoy the ride!

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    1. Thanks! We're sure planning on it :-)

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  2. So glad you could go to this wedding. I am amazed that snow showed up for what was to be a beach wedding. Boy is the weather out of whack. It's so very sad that Bill's brother did not get to see his son get married and so wonderful that Bill was there. We are very lucky that David will be at his daughter's wedding next week-end. How casually you say "when we launch in a couple of weeks".............LOVE IT!!

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    1. Many of us felt Wayne during the ceremony but it was indeed sad he wasn't sitting there with Marilynn. Said casually, but lots of butterflies :-))))))

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  3. I love Lake Tahoe. Sounds like a beautiful venue for a wedding. We so enjoy taking a 2 day drive over a 2 week period. Meandering is the best :-)

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    1. Well said :-) Lots to see when you can take your time - so many little side roads to explore. Of course I'm also looking forward to sitting by a creek and doing nothing!

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  4. Tahoe is gorgeous! And you were about half hour south of us when you were at 5 & 50 :-)
    When Jessica and Mike first starting planning their wedding they were thinking of Lake Tahoe because they're both from this area. But logistics got in the way. They married near DC, in January 2014, and Jessica did get the white wedding she was hoping for!
    Less than 3 weeks!! I'm excited for you two!!!

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    1. You must be closer to Roseville? The Valhalla lodge and grounds are small but just lovely for a small wedding. As long as she got the wedding she wanted the location is secondary :-)
      Woohoo!!!

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    2. We are just at the border of CH and Roseville. I know you were on a quick, no stops route to Tahoe. Another time :-)

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  5. Eighteen more days and counting!

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  6. Looks like you arrived to the Lake Tahoe area right ahead of us. Although we are in Placerville. Nice to be back home for a couple months to see our kids and family. You will come to LOVE the 395 corridor. We love to fish the Walker River, LOVE to hike/kayak the Hwy 88 corridor, Hope Valley. Beautiful part of the Sierras! Wow, you're getting so close to your launch date! Glad you did well with the snow into Tahoe.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Arggh wrong button 😡. So when I told Bill you and Steve were from Placerville as we were passing through he of course asked which ones are they? Poor guy - I need to make him a blogger-chart! We can't wait to fish around Bishop in a few weeks!

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    3. LOL... I have to do the same thing for Ron :-) He'll get it once you guys meet up :-)

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    4. Ha, Ha! Yes, I do the same with Steve. He's finally getting better at who goes with which blog/state/dog/rig/etc!!

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  7. Glad the weather held enough for you and Bill, especially, to make this very important family event:) The snow makes a beautiful picture. I can't wait to travel 395 for the first time this fall:)

    Let the count down continue!!

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    1. You and John will love it! It's definitely popular for hikers :-). We're so close we can taste it!

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  8. Beautiful drive it sure beats the 5 right?, the weather has been different these last couple of years. So soon to launch day, you must be chafing at the bit.

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    1. The 5 has gotten even worse in some areas. I would hate to drive the rig on some of those rough stretches :-( and of course it's always boring. It seems like February and May switched places this year!

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  9. I'll take 395 over 5 any day! We like the Carson Valley a lot too, it'll be on our short list as we decide where to settle down someday.

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    1. Funny how some places just grab you. Bill wants water but he really liked the area too. 395 is such a treat!

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  10. Tahoe is just so gorgeous, but that high elevation can bring very changing weather. Sounds like a great wedding. 395 is a very pretty route. You're almost on the road.

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    1. We want to go back when the sun is shining and we can check out the lake. Of course so does everyone else :-(. So close!

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  11. We love 395, too, and will be traveling it from north to south this fall. I'm looking forward to seeing it through your eyes when you take off in only 18 days! What a wonderful route for your launch into the glorious full timing life. I'm excited for you. :-))

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    1. Thanks Laurel :-) Just seeing the Aspens in the valleys I know that Fall must be spectacular on that route. We laughed about the snow last week because when we were planning we concerned about the heat! It could all change in a couple weeks, but it will still be beautiful :-))))

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  12. Lake Tahoe is such a beautiful area. I'm not sure I'd want to be there during the winter though with all the snow.

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    1. I think the last time I was there was a January and, although beautiful, it was crazy to get around with the snow and the crowds.

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  13. only 18 days left?..the time will go by so quickly!
    looks like the two of you had a great road trip with some beautiful scenery along the way!

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