Lake Tahoe

One day after I got back from Peoria, I decided to drive to Lake Tahoe.  The snow in Washington had been very poor in November/December, and it seemed Tahoe had all the good snow.  Yeah...they sure had alot of snow alright.

I brought the dogs and we stayed the night at Sandy's house. 

Saturday, December 28, we drove to Tahoe.  Our route took us through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada on I-84, and US-95.  It was a nice drive -- scenic, not much traffic, and a whole lot of nothing.

Just inside of Nevada, I left US-95 on a road that went to Humboldt National Forest.  We passed a sign that said "Entering National Forest" yet I couldn't see a tree anywhere!  I found this amusing.  I let the dogs out of the truck for a nice long rest stop.  We hiked around for about 90 minutes.

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PICT0278: Buddy in Humboldt National Forest.

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PICT0279: Some snow covered hills.

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PICT0280: More snowy hills.

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PICT0281: The truck and the view.

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PICT0282: Truck and a view.

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PICT0283: View of distant hills.

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PICT0284: View of a dirt road that goes further into the hills/mountains.

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PICT0285: The dogs, gettin' a drink from a creek.

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PICT0287: Buddy, chillin' out.

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PICT0288: Back in the truck, time to hit the road to tahoe.

We stayed in a motel in Carson City, NV.  Every night, it snowed 18 - 24".  It was crazy.  Many roads were closed.  Most of the open roads required chains.  I had not driven the truck in road conditions as bad as these before.  I was presently surprised.  With 4 wheel drive engaged, I did not get stuck once (although I had a very close call with another car once)...  I never used the chains that I carried "just in case".

Sunday, December 29, 2002: I decided to ski at Mt. Rose...a ski hill popular with the locals not far from Reno and Carson City.

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PICT0289: Looking up from the base area at Mt. Rose.

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PICT0290: Looking down from Mt. Rose.

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PICT0291: Looking NW from Mt. Rose.

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PICT0292: A close-up looking at Reno from Mt. Rose.

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PICT0293: Plenty of snow.

Monday, December 30, 2002: I skiied at Squaw Valley.  The traffic getting to Squaw Valley was horrible.  It was stop-and-go on 28 at the Nevada State Line all the way into the Squaw Valley parking lot.  It took me 2 hours to drive 20 miles.  Some locals from California told me that traffic jams like this are normal.  Yikes!  Conditions were blizzard-like.  Very windy.  I was told later that wind gusts were measured up to 100 MPH.  That's believable.  I was there.  I didn't take any pictures as you couldn't see much when I was there.  We left the ski area early with the intention of doing some snowshoing on Donner's pass.  Unfortunately, there was a traffic jam on I-80 spanning miles.  The source of the jam: chains were required going over the pass and the state police were checking every vehicle.  I was amazed to see that California has professional chain installers that put on your chains for a fee while your car sits on an interstate lane.  Fancy.  Where I live, everyone puts on their own chains...or at least, everyone attempts to put on their own chains.

Tuesday, December 31, 2002: I skiied at Heavenly.  I parked on the Nevada side.  They had received 24" of new snow and had not groomed any runs due to white out conditions.  It took about 45 minutes for me to ski down my first run.  I kept falling in the deep snow and it would take me forever to find my gear and get going again.  Around 11AM, the weather cleared up a little.  The skiing was much better on the latter half of the day.  I didn't take any picture here either.

Wednesday, January 1, 2003: We left Tahoe and drove north on US-395 (I-80 was STILL closed after almost 2 days).  In Susanville, we cut over to state highway 139 which we took all the way to Klamath Falls, Oregon.  We stayed overnight in a tiny little motel 30 miles north of Klamath Falls.  There was a huge casino out in the middle of nowhere 2 miles from our motel.  I had dinner in the casino because there were no other open restaurants within 30 miles.  Before calling it a day, we drove to Crater Lake National Park.

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PICT0294: Believe it or not, this lodge was open and staffed with park rangers.

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PICT0295: Visitor Information is OPEN...if you can find a way into the building.

We snowshoed around for 2 hours, but didn't see the lake or anything very interesting (it was cloudy).

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PICT0296: Buddy and Harley in front of the sign.

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PICT0297: Again.

Thursday, January 2, 2003: I drove to Mt. Bachelor and spent the day skiing.  Mt. Bachelor had plenty of snow, but the weather was windy and it was raining at the bottom.  I spent the night in Bend, OR.

Friday, January 3, 2003: I spent another day skiing at Mt. Bachelor.  Friday was much nicer skiing -- hardly any wind and no rain.  The summit chair never opened, but I had a great time skiing all day on Friday.  I spent the night again in Bend.

Saturday, January 4, 2003: I drove north up US-97 through the rest of Oregon.  Just past the Columbia river and the Washington state line, we saw stonehenge!

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PICT0301: B&H and the stone.

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PICT0302: Again.

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PICT0303: Closeup

We walked around in a park near the John Day Dam.  Normally, this part of Washington is very dry.  However, it looked like they had recenlty received lots of rain.  There were huge, deep puddles I enjoyed hydroplaning over with my truck.  The dogs enjoyed the rest stop.

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PICT0304: Harley

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PICT0305: Buddy