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Lake Tahoe May 2012 – Misc weird stuff

I encountered a couple of pretty damn wacky things during my Tahoe visit that seemed worthy of being mentioned.

The first wacky thing I encountered was a bike / rickshaw type vehicle that was sitting outside an apartment building near the cabin where I was staying. This bike has to be one of the nuttiest creations I have ever encountered.

No point in explaining further.. this “creation” pretty much speaks for itself.

Another wacky thing I stumbled upon was a bird house, house. I know that seems like a typo but what I encountered is a house, that must hove close to 100 bird houses attached to it and the trees adjacent to the house.

One must assume that the homeowner really like birds.. or is just plain ole’ obsessed with bird houses (or both)

Lake Tahoe May 2012 – Late Season Snowfall

On the last day of our stay in Tahoe we encountered just a bit of snowfall. There wasn’t much of an accumulation but it was quite nice to experience snow during our visit.

Although the Tahoe Basin didn’t have much accumulation and the little bit of snow that fell melted within an hour or so, the higher elevations did retain a dusting which provided great scenery on our drive back to southern California the next day.

Lake Tahoe May 2012 – Pimpin out the Garage

While staying at the cabin of a family member in South Lake Tahoe, I decided to do a bit of garage makeover. The garage had not really been touched since the cabin was purchased and was in need of a serious clean out and reorganization.

The first order of business was to clean out the existing stuff in the garage so I emptied the garage of all its contents. There was a good bit of damaged and beat up furniture, wood, and miscellaneous crap that needed to be tossed, so I loaded up the back of my truck with all the tossable stuff and headed to the dump.

The goal of the garage makeover was to add lighting, provide storage for misc stuff, create a space that had a small workbench and tools, build an area for storing and waxing snowboards and skis, and create an area to store bicycles.

I headed down to Carson City Nevada and hit Harbor Freight for a tool bench and tools, and the Home Depot for misc lumber and supplies.

I headed back up to Tahoe and started the garage rebuild. First step was to build the tool bench. There were a ridiculous number of tiny parts used to build the bench.. it took me about 2 hours to put it together. After building the bench I added all the newly purchased tools and installed a shovel/tool holder next to the bench. In the end it turned out to be a pretty nice little bench and workspace.

The next step was to add lighting and a snow board / ski storage and waxing station on the back wall. A generic fluorescent lighting fixture was installed to cover the lighting duties. I then cut and bolted a couple of vertical 2×4’s under the light fixture. I then drilled holes in the 2×4’s to accommodate some dowels covered with a bit of insulating foam. The dowels would be used to hold the snowboards. Lucky for me my Dad had flown up to visit the day prior so helped me put everything together.

here’s a shot of the newly created snowboard/ski station

The top set of dowels were installed at a bit of angle to hold the snowboard against the wall. The bottom dowels were installed horizontally to serve double duty as storage and a waxing station.

The next step was to create a space to store stuff, and to accommodate free standing skis, snowboards and/or bicycles.

My dad and I once again used some 2×4’s and dowels to create ski/snowboard and bike storage. We bolted a couple of 2×4’s onto the wall and drilled some holes to accommodate more dowels that would be used to hold vertically hanging skis and/or snowboards. In between the dowels we installed a few bicycle hooks.

An existing melamine storage cabinet was placed in the corner to hold miscellaneous stuff.. piece of cake.

At the end of the day we had pretty cool garage created with a pretty small budget. Here’s a photo of my dad showing the finished product with his best Vanna White impression 🙂

Lake Tahoe May 2012 – Wheelin’ on the powerline trail

Today my dad and I headed out in my truck and drove down the Powerline trail in South Lake Tahoe. The Powerline Trail is 99% tame but has a few spots were you can actually utilize four wheel drive.

We of course took advantage of the rocky spots to try and make it look like we were doing some actual four wheeling 🙂

Lake Tahoe May 2012 – Hawley grade hike with dad

Today my dad and I headed out to Christmas Valley to hike the Hawley grade historical trail leading up to a set of falls that contains the longest vertical drop in the Tahoe valley.

Prior to starting our hike we drove down south upper Truckee road, a single lane road that drops from hwy 89 into Christmas Valley.

We dropped into Christmas Valley and hiked along the upper truckee river for a little while before heading to the Hawley grade trailhead.

Ever heard the term busy beaver?.. Looks like there have definitely been some busy beavers around here

After meandering along the upper truckee river we headed to the start of the Hawley grade trail where Izzie was growing impatient waiting for us.

The Hawley Grade trail was initially the first graded wagon road across the Sierra built in 1857 by Asa Hawley. Back in the day it was the primary route into the Tahoe Valley.

From April 3, 1860 to November 17, 1860 the road was also used by the Pony Express until the Johnson Pass Road replaced it.

After only a mile and change of hiking we arrived at Hawley Grade Falls which cascades several hundred feet down from Hwy 50 above into Christmas valley where it meets the upper Truckee river.

Lake Tahoe May 2012 – Visiting Eagle Falls and Glen Alpine Creek

Just prior to the weekend my dad flew up from Southern California to spend a few days with me at the cabin. He flew into Reno, I picked him up at the airport and we took the long way back to the cabin, via a route around the west side of Lake Tahoe.

On our trip along the west shore of Lake Tahoe we stopped at Emerald Bay where we took in the views of the lake and lower Eagle Falls.

Dad with Eagle falls in the background

Eagle falls cascade under the highway and are easily accessible from the road. We hopped out of the car and headed down to the falls to get a closer look at the 140ft cascade of water.

After visiting lower eagle falls we headed to to Glenn Alpine Creek which is the primary tributary feeding Fallen Leaf Lake. Just a few miles before the creek hits the lake there is a spectacular set of falls with easy access and very few people, if any.

Here’s a shot of the creek just before it cascades down a large set of falls

Looking down at the top of the falls from above

You can get a pretty good sense of the scale of the falls by looking at how it compares in size to my dad

Dad in Ansel Adams mode.

Lake Tahoe May 2012 – Regan Beach – Lake Tahoe

Today I decided to check out Regan Beach in South Lake Tahoe. Regan beach has a small section of shoreline along Lake Tahoe where dogs are allowed so I grabbed the pooch and headed over to check it out.

It was still early spring, and temps were chilly so we had the beach to ourselves. In actuality there really wasn’t much beach at all since the water level was pretty high.

Could have stayed on the shoreline for hours.. the view was fantastic. After about 30 minutes I peeled myself from the shoreline when a group of 3 or 4 other dogs headed down to the water. One of them was a bit aggressive with my pooch so I decided to grab Izzie and head back to the truck.

Lake Tahoe May 2012 – Cold Creek hike with Jamie, Dave and Annika

My sister and brother in law (Jamie and Dave) headed up to the cabin from the bay area for the weekend, so we decided to head out for a quick hike along cold creek.

We all loaded up in Jamie and Dave’s new Subaru and headed to the trialhead.

The neighborhood greeter / trail guide Fred the dog appeared as we pulled up and helped us prep for the hike

Jamie and Dave brought along their new daughter Annika who was just a few months old. Annika seemed to handle the hike just fine as she was asleep in just a matter of minutes.

Jamie, Dave and Annika along the cold creek trail.

Jamie and me in the same spot.

Lake Tahoe May 2012 – Hiking Hawley Grade

One afternoon while chatting with a neighbor I was informed about a short hike in Christmas Valley that would take me up to a waterfall with the longest vertical drop in the Tahoe Valley. The hike is along a trail called Hawley grade, a single track trail that was once the main wagon train road into the Tahoe valley way back in the day in the mid 1800’s. The road dropped travelers into the upper Christmas valley and down to a trading post where they could load up on supplies

The trail starts in the back end of Christmas valley and ascends along the valley wall just below highway 50. The route starts off on a flat fire road before thinning out to single track.

As usual, Izzie bolted up the trail with me in tow. As we ascended we had to scramble over a number of downed trees. It was still early in the season and the forest service had not had a chance to clear the trail of downed trees.

After just a couple of miles of ascending we came across the falls.. aptly named Hawley grade falls. The falls cascade right across the trail. Since it was early in spring the water flow was pretty impressive.. not sure one would want to attempt crossing the falls on the trail unless they wanted to get very wet.

Not wanting to get wet.. or washed off the side of the trail and down several hundred feet of wet rocky waterfall, we doubled back down to the valley floor and relaxed along the upper trucker river.

It appeared that Izzie was enjoying the scenery as much as I was

Lake Tahoe May 2012 – Hiking Cold Creek with Izzie and Fred

In May of 2012 I headed up to South Lake Tahoe to do some mountain biking and hiking. Fortunately I have relatives who generously allow me to stay at their cabin when I head up to Tahoe (Thanks again Jamie and Dave!)

When visiting Lake Tahoe hiking is always on the agendo, and one of the hikes that always brings a smile to my face is a short 2-3 mile loop along the Cold Creek trail just a few miles from the cabin. Access to the cold creek trail is easy via one of the local neighborhoods, so Izzie (my dog) and I hopped in the car and hit the trail in a matter of minutes.

When we arrived at the trail access spot we were greeted by the neighborhood trail guide.. Fred.

Fred’s home is adjacent to the trail and he never hesitates to join us on pretty much every hike. As soon as we exit the car, he runs up and joins us on the hike… pretty damn entertaining.

We hit the trail for mile or so, then arrive along the section of the trail that folows the creek.

Izzie cooling off in cold creek

Izzie heads down and explores the creek a bit.

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If there are any ripples or small rapids.. she always tries to bite them.

After some creek tromping we continued hiking back towards the truck. About 1/2 mile from completing the loop, out trail guide Fred ran off and headed home. A few minutes later I arrived back at the truck with a wet/dirty but happy pooch!