Return to Lake Tahoe…

…about six weeks after our June trip but this time with some of the family in early August. Zack’s family spent a couple of weeks in California including a visit to our home for a couple of days but particularly nearly a week with us at Lake Tahoe. Dennis’ family joined us there during the weekend. It was great having two thirds of the family together; unfortunately, Clint’s family was unable to join this time.

Unlike our drive up there in June, the drive through the valley was quite smoky from all the terrible fires raging in northern California. When we arrived, however, the lake area seemed to be quite clear. I was pleased since I did have plans to get up early to do some sunrise photography.

As the saying goes, “Man plans and God laughs;” pretty much every day after that first one was either smoky or very smoky. On Sunday we took a walk from our lodging to the lake (less than a mile round trip) and found the lake relatively clear of smoke. I decided that I’d take advantage of the clearing by going out early Monday to see what images I could get. I was on the road headed north on highway 50 by 5:30 AM but even in the dark I could tell that the smoke had returned overnight.

I had decided to try a vista point I’d not visited before; Logan Shoals. Normally, that area would have provided a clear view of the western side of the lake and the mountains surrounding it over 12 miles away. Here’s a photo to give you an idea of what the scenery was like that morning.

Taken from Logan Shoals Vista Point looking at the southbound tunnel through Cave Rock. Normally, you would also see Mount Tallac and other mountains miles away in the background.

At that point I decided that maybe taking photos of things that were close might work better but honestly the light wasn’t that interesting either. The photo at the top of this post is one of my attempts at that.

The only other photography I did on this trip was during a hike many of us took on Saturday in the Van Sickle Bi-State Park (this park is partly in California and partly in Nevada). It was a mildly smoky day in that the sun was shining from above but there was plenty of smoke closer to the ground.

This photo is an example of my view180804-1124 during that hike, particularly during the one mile uphill portion of the event. Left to right is Zack, Karen, Leo, Sophie, Chloe, Natalie, Mariah, and Dennis. Mariah is checking to make sure I haven’t passed out trying to keep up with this bunch.

In the downhill stretch, however, I did manage to get in front of Karen and Mariah to catch a shot of them from the front. On the other hand, I never could catch up with the grandkids (l-r, Sophie, Chloe, Leo, Natalie).


During the hike we crossed the border between the two states more than once. The two youngest of the grandkids present on this trip, Natalie and Leo, enjoyed straddling the border between Nevada and California at the end of the hike.

All in all, and despite the smoke and some travel issues, everyone seemed to have a good time. At no time were we in any danger from the fires (in fact, we only saw smoke that had traveled many, many miles – never saw any of the flames even distantly).

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