We left the comfort of our cabin and beauty of Wyoming in search of a suitable place to camp for the night on our way to Lake Tahoe. Driving through Idaho was perhaps the most uneventful drive to date as we passed crop field after crop field after crop field. I wish we had time to stop in Pocatello or Boise so I could have developed a well rounded concept of Idaho. We ended up in American Falls at Massacre Rocks State Park. Aside from the ticks lurking in the bathroom, it was a totally decent campsite. The coolest part about that evening was listening to the high pitched howling of a pack of coyotes in the distance as we settled in for a fitful nights rest in the surprisingly cold Idaho night air.
After our activity packed stay in the Jackson area we were all feeling a little run down and I was pushing hard for finding a cheap motel in Tahoe. Although Andy and Sean were ready to camp, they didn’t seem to mind the idea too much. We ended up at the Best Tahoe West Inn situated on the South side of the lake within walking distance of the casinos, shops, restaurants, and the lake. Best of all, they had free guest laundry facilities which we took full advantage of totaling five loads. Interestingly, the Nevada/California border goes right through the middle of South Lake Tahoe with the casinos on one side of the street and little motels on the other. Over the course of the two days we were there we were in Nevada one minute and California the next.
These two days in Tahoe were truly dedicated to revitalizing and restructuring; it felt like we were starting fresh by the time we left for Yosemite. Andy got a new tent that was much more compact and easier to break down and store. I bought a Rubbermaid container allowing for better food storage and the prevention of squished bread. We replaced the ripped up garbage bag we were using to hold our pans, dishes and utensils with our old food bag. Andy freed up the top portion of his duffel bag for the storage of miscellaneous items around the car like our shoes, a lantern, Citronella Candles, and toilet paper. Words can’t even describe the relief and satisfaction we felt after condensing and reorganizing.
Andy and Sean dabbled in the gambling culture of Tahoe experiencing both the joys of winning and the disappointment of losing playing slots and blackjack. During our one full day it actually rained but we still managed to make a time of it visiting what seemed like every used goods store in Tahoe. We went to two thrift stores and I felt like I was in heaven. I got a skirt, two sweaters, a corduroy button down, and a long sleeve shirt for 20 bucks. Sean and Andy each got a few choice items as well. Then we went to a used book store where we each got two or three books for an average of 5 bucks total. We ate lunch at Sprouts Café, a totally organic veggie friendly place that was insanely delicious. That night we ate dinner at the Lakeside Grill, watched the sun set behind the mountains as we indulged in a delicious meal and locally brewed beer, and enjoyed the outgoing and friendly nature of the locals.
The morning we left Tahoe we drove up to the Emerald Bay lookout and then hiked our way down to the Vikingstrolm house built in 1929. At one of the vista points I talked briefly with a guy who was fervently knitting and he explained to me that he had biked there all the way from L.A. and he sold the hats he knitted to make money. He asked if I wanted one and I said I was sorry but I had spent enough money over the past two days; then he proceeded to ask me if I had any pot which I attributed to my particularly hippie-ish looking appearance that day. I told him no and apologized once again, wished him luck, and then left wondering what chain of events ultimately landed him in that particular place, in that particular state, at that particular moment.