From Susanville, we continued south on US 395 to Sparks, Nevada, where we parked at Baldini's Casino. We met up with sister Diana and Phil whom we will be joining on a trip along the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains in southern California. We plan to do a lot of pretty hikes so we spent a couple days running errands and stocking up on supplies. I even bought a pair of Merrell hiking shoes - brand new, not from a thrift store! You can tell I'm serious.
We also crossed paths with Sandie and Jim whose blog both Diana and I read. They also winter down in Arizona near us and we've joined them for a couple of outings there. The six of us had a nice dinner at the Black Bear Diner, probably distracting the other diners with our hilarity.
But one day Ron and I made the trip over the mountains to Lake Tahoe. It was a gorgeous day, although a bit windy. Ron snapped this of me in front of the lake.
Some interesting facts about Lake Tahoe, billed as the largest alpine lake in North America:
Area - 195 square miles
Circumference - 71 miles
Maximum Depth - 1644 feet
Natural Elevation - 6223 feet
Tahoe City is a cute, touristy kind of place.
Although they seem to have a bear problem.
Here's something I found interesting. Since Lake Tahoe is a natural lake, the dam only raises the water level a maximum of 6.1 feet. Now I realize six feet in a lake that huge is a lot of water, but look at the cute little dam that controls the output into the Truckee River.
The day we visited, they were releasing 100 c.f.s. (cubic feet per second.) They are required to maintain minimum flows of 50 c.f.s. from October to March and 70 c.f.s. from April to September.
The dam is 100 years old this year and, just like the Hoover Dam, access is restricted.
But, although I didn't question it, I really wondered why Ron wanted to make the 100 mile round trip from Sparks to Lake Tahoe. Finally, the reason was revealed and here it is.
When Ron was here 50 years ago, he was amazed by the giant trout that hung out just below the dam. Well, he says they've gotten smaller. Although these fish were well over a foot long, they were nothing like he remembered.
Also, see the shadows at the bottom of the picture? The bridge we were on is called the Fanny Bridge. Some say the name was to honor a woman named Fanny, but it could also indicate what the motorists crossing the bridge see when everybody leans over to watch the fish below. Your choice.
One more picture of part of the shoreline around lovely Lake Tahoe.