Lake Tahoe: Heavenly - Winter's Glory and Skiing Too
Several years ago, my husband announced he couldn't face another Michigan winter. Yet the mere mention of skiing and his eyes twinkle brighter than Times Square on New Year's Eve. He prays for snow. To his way of thinking, mountains and ski gear transform the ice and cold into a bit of Heaven (or is that Heavenly?). My idea of enjoying the bone-numbing chill is a cup of hot chocolate and a roaring fire. Lake Tahoe accommodates us both; Bob schusses down a steep incline while I get comfy with a good book and try not to worry he'll break a leg.
The mountain awaited
Skiers thankful for the snow
Heavenly boasts 4,800 acres spanning two states, the highest elevation in Tahoe (10,067 feet), a vertical drop of 3,500 feet, 30 lifts, 9 runs (a five mile descent, longest on the West Coast), tree runs in the backcountry, terrain park adventures, 9 restaurants, lodging, ski school, snowboarding, and spectacular views of Lake Tahoe.
You don't have to ski to enjoy the natural beauty
South Lake Tahoe, the largest lakeside community, is a study in contrasts. Modest motels, beyond modest motels (downright disgusting), and right across the State line, those glitzy dens of iniquity known as gambling casinos. Often times the difference in price for a room isn't all that significant. You can get specials at the casinos and pay as much for a massage as you do for the lodging. Same thing goes for food. McDonalds can set you back as much as a buffet at Harrahs or Harveys. Always check for specials and read the fine print. Our last trip we thought we booked Harrahs in Tahoe because we were on their website, but they showed special deals and we mistakenly booked Harrahs in Reno.
I'm the kind of gambler who takes a roll of nickels, plays slot machine poker for an hour, and feels the five dollars I dropped paid for my free drink minus the tip. In other words, the casinos don't stay in business on what I lose.
Heavenly Village is the spot to indulge a bit of shopping, maybe enjoy a cup of coffee, It is also the place to catch the gondola that carries you to an elevation of 9,136 feet and breathtaking views at East Peak Lookout or Sky Meadows.
Stop here for the Heavenly Gondola
Spectacular views ahead
A mountain backdrop
A chance for Bob to make new friends
We packed up ready to leave on Sunday morning. The weather forecast cautioned a winter storm was blowing in, and chains were required across the mountain pass. From the warmth inside the car, I took pictures of the storm and trusted Bob to keep a firm grip on the wheel.
Winter in all its majesty
Glad I'm not driving
Slow going drive home
skiheavenly.com and cityofslt.us for additional information.
Julie Albrecht Royce, Travel Adventures Editor, is the author of Traveling Michigan's Sunset Coast and Traveling Michigan's Thumb, both published by Thunder Bay Press. She writes a monthly column for wanderingeducators.com.
On her blog, Julie is currently writing two weekly series.
On Mondays, she posts in her series entitled, "Ugly Shoes and Boomer Do Europe." This series captures the humor and adventure of her rail trip from Amsterdam to Budapest and then return river cruise back to Amsterdam.
On Thursdays, Julie writes about PILZ, the legal thriller novel she has written.
Log on to www.jkroyce.com/blog to follow along.
All photos courtesy and copyright Julie and Bob Royce