One storm exits and the next one arrives.
One storm exits and the next one arrives.
As Spring begins there is already considerable snowmelt occurring in the lower elevations, especially around lake level. In fact many places are completely snow-free.
The lake is only a couple of feet below what’s considered completely full and is expected to reach that level once the runoff from the upper elevations begins. They’ve been releasing water through three gates at the dam and as the lake continues to rise more gates will probably have to be opened.
Needless to say there will be plenty of rafting opportunities this Spring and Summer. In fact there may be too much water for awhile because there are some low clearance bridges between the dam and the take-out point and if the water is too high a raft can’t pass under them.
The roads took a real beating this past winter so be prepared for a lot of delays while the road crews work to repair potholes and such. Hey, if you gotta be stuck in traffic there probably isn’t a more scenic place to sit and wait than Tahoe.
After about a week of warm and mostly sunny days, unsettled weather is due to return to Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada for the next week.
The weather service is predicting a series of storms consisting of rain or snow, depending on the elevation. Probably mostly rain at lake level.
The passes will probably be snow covered however so driving over them may be a challenge.
Here’s a recent view of the Yosemite high country, including Half Dome.
After a restful sleep we were up early and ready for a day of exploring.
After a nice breakfast at one of the casinos we headed over to Emerald Bay on the west shore. There I finally got my first good view of the lake. My reaction was contained in one short word. “WOW!”
We parked the car and took the trail down to Vikingsholm. It turned out to be about a one mile walk. Yet, due to the steepness of the trail and the altitude, our return back up to the parking lot seemed more like two miles. We had to stop numerous times while we huffed and puffed.
We continued our drive, stopping often, but eventually making it all the way around the lake and back to the casino area.
As we sat in a restaurant having dinner we both knew without a doubt that someday we would live at Lake Tahoe.
And sure enough that dream came true in the late 1980s.
We’re in a pleasant time while the storm track concentrates on the states of Oregon and Washington. It looks like the entire week at the lake will be more like Spring, with temperature highs in the upper 50s.
But the weather service says that unsettled weather may very well return next week. It’s too far out for any specifics at this time but their forecast models are indicating a change is likely.
In the 1980s we were on a trip out west. We stopped at the junction of US 6 and SR 120 to get gas. I wanted to go to Yosemite so we asked if Tioga Pass was open. We were told they were still clearing the winter snow so it was still closed.
We headed west on SR 120. That road was a constantly up and down affair, like a roller coaster made up of continuous small dips. When we got to US 395 we followed it north and just outside of the town of Lee Vining we came to the junction of Tioga road. Sure enough, it was closed.
I really wanted to see Yosemite but we would have to go considerably out of the way to get there. My wife said that was ok, we could visit Lake Tahoe on the way. I’d never been there…in fact I’d never even heard of it.
It was already dark as we drove on through Lee Vining and continued northward. After what seemed like forever we entered the little town of Gardnerville and then Minden. Just outside Minden we pulled into a rest area.
I asked my wife how much further was Tahoe and she said it was up in the mountains just west of us. I told her I was exhausted and asked her to drive. We changed places and she headed for the mountains.
When we got over to the foothills things seemed a bit confusing for there was an arrow and a sign that said Lake Tahoe yet there was a partial barricade and a second arrow pointing a different direction. We finally decided to take the road that looked like it headed up the mountain to the lake.
After following what seemed like the narrowest and curve-filled road imaginable we finally arrived at the casinos. Since I had never been in a casino we parked and went into a couple of them for a little while. Soon, however, exhaustion overcame us and we found a nice motel room close by for some much needed rest.
In a future post I’ll continue this with the events of the next day when I actually got my first view of the lake.