Great friends + the great outdoors = an amazing weekend. Despite Tahoe being so close to San Francisco, Brian and I haven’t been there in years….I think the last time we were there was for the Tahoe Marathon/Half Marathon. The one where I don’t remember the last two miles….I mean, there are photos of me looking pretty green near the end, so I got there somehow. Anyway, I digress….
Brian and I haven’t been to Tahoe in years, so we were really excited when our friends Sean and Chiara invited us on a weekend away. I was a little worried about getting out of work to get up there in any sort of reasonable time, but it actually wasn’t as big of an issue as I thought it might be. Traffic was….bay area traffic, but wasn’t as terrible as I thought it might be. After grabbing a bite at one of the sketchiest, slowest Wendy’s I’ve ever been to and a dark drive down some winding roads, we arrived at about 11:30. Enjoyed some celebratory beers before settling into some bunkbeds. So tired…..
I got up Saturday morning to a group of friends preparing breakfast (I knew better than to jump in and touch anything ;))….it was as if we’d all known each other for years, rather than just met the night before. And the food was delicious…..no one was going to go hungry on this trip.
After breakfast, I decided I needed to explore – busted foot and all. Brian went out on a run, I swapped the ankle brace from my left foot to my right, and off I went. It started out simple enough…planned on two miles out and two miles back….staying in a simple straight path – out and back. Of course, I wasn’t planning on finding a trail. Cause when I find a trail….I wonder where it goes. And I have to find out. I mean, I have Strava, and it will route me back, right?
The trail was great….pretty flat, through some gorgeous trees, I even found some trail race markers….and then it ended. So, I ended up on the road….which was fine, I had a fine time exploring the nearby neighborhood. Other than not really knowing where I was….typical me….haha. Thankfully, I had Strava going and was able to route myself back.
Once I got un-lost and got back from my walk, we headed out to Camp Richardson to meet the rest of the group. If you go to Camp Richardson, make sure you bring cash for parking….or stop at the general store once you get there, but before you pull in. I think we had $4 on us…oops. Luckily, it was an easily solvable problem and I was able to pick up some snacks at the store too. No keep Tahoe blue sticker though.
The plan for the day was to rent kayaks and head over to Emerald Bay. Since Sean and Chiara had decided to go for a double kayak, I decided Brian and I would do the same (he was parking the car)….I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend the day in a kayak with me. haha. Our new friend Anna took a single kayak and the rest of the group went the stand-up paddle board route.
And, what a great day….good friends….cold beer….an adventure on the water…on a beautiful day. Of course, I ended up with a new running pants tan line and flip flop tan line, because, well, why wouldn’t I….haha.
Saturday night, we hung out at the house and made good use of the BBQ, the hot tub, and the sauna. We all brought our own food, but shared everything, so dinner was a buffet of all sorts of meat and veggies and cocktails and wine. I’m not sure I ever had flank steak, but wow…it was delicious. As was the lamb and the rest of the steak I tried. Such a fun night with old friends and new friends.
I decided I need to sleep on the top bunk of the bunk beds that night. Not sure why that was a good idea….maybe it was the wine. Or that I hadn’t been on bunk beds since Sarah and I went to London in 2004. Anyway, I survived the top bunk experience and even remembered I was up there the next morning. haha…..
We kicked off Sunday with yoga on the porch….what a great way to stretch out after a day of paddling on Saturday. It was a great start to a warm and gorgeous day….even if I’m less than stellar at yoga….haha. Anna was a great instructor too :).
After yoga on the porch, we decided to have a relaxing day at the beach and headed over to Falling Leaf Lake. It’s another lake near lake Tahoe, but a little further up the road. And, well, we all know how good I am at relaxing. I was considering wrapping up the busted foot and shoving it in a hiking boot so I could go explore the trails around Falling Leaf Lake, but instead decided to have a second go at stand-up paddle boarding with Nathalie and Chiara. June and I had a blast when we went a couple summers ago, so I figured this would be fun too (and far less taxing on my ankle). And it was amazing. Well, once I remembered how to do it…haha.
We paddled over to a private beach, then over past some Stanford cottages, relaxing and hanging out along the way. The cold water felt great on my foot too. Sadly, our hour was over far too soon and it was time to head back. After paddling against the wind to get back to the protected beach, we just stopped and coasted in….we didnt want it to end. I had visions of riding in like a surfer, but apparently that’s a bad idea…..luckily, Nathalie let me know and I scrambled to my knees just in time.
But, like all good things, our trip had to come to an end…and we had quite the drive in front of us. So, we said farewell to our new friends and jumped in the car with Sean and Chiara to head home.
Of course, despite leaving at a reasonable time, there was an accident on 50 impacting all four lanes of traffic. So we sat….and sat…and sat some more….two hours and less than two miles later, we got through it. Annoying, but not the longest trip back from Tahoe I’ve heard of and a small price to pay for a fabulous weekend adventuring with friends.
Until next time….over and out…