We reluctantly put Oregon in the rear view mirror, after catching a glimpse of Thad and Kristin in Bend, and the stellar Crater Lake, and made a dash for Lake Tahoe, our home for the better part of 15 years. It had been a few years since either of us had set foot in the Basin, and boy, did it feel good. Thankfully, Stan and Langosta have a lovely house in Carnelian Bay that they let us invade – we are so grateful to them for that.
This stop was all about cramming in as much face time with as many of our Reno/Tahoe buddies as possible in a really short time. We did send out a last minute rally cry, but it was too short notice for a bunch of people who already had summer plans. So, we missed seeing a handful of the gang, but it was so warm and wonderful to see and hug those we did manage to connect with. These are folks with whom we spent thousands of hours laughing, crying, eating, drinking, playing, lounging, chillin’, and just being. They were a huge part of our lives for over a decade; they celebrated and supported our ultimate decision to leave Tahoe as we moved closer to living life on da boat – so much so that when we left all those years ago, they crowd-funded a big chunk of our pretty sail, also known as an asymmetrical spinnaker. Every time we fly the asym, we think of our Tahoe peeps. Great, unforgettable friends for sure.
It was, again, way too short a time in Tahoe. We managed to squeeze in a hike, some food, lots of laughs, more food, and even some pickleball. But we couldn’t stay, so after we’d soaked up as much love as we could, we packed up the car, hopped on the 395 in the rain and snow, and made our way down the scenic east side of the Sierra (one of our favorite areas in the Golden State). We decided to break up the drive and enjoy one last night in the woods. I mean, who doesn’t love pb&j for dinner while nestled among the pines next to a little creek in the mountains?
It capped off what will go down as an epic road trip – one we won’t soon forget, one packed with so many priceless memories made with our family and friends. We went from lounging in the pool at Flea’s Resort in Cathedral City to hiking among the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon; swimming the chilly waters of Lake Powell; standing at the Four Corners; climbing steep ladders to the dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people in Mesa Verde; spinning out in the rain in Missouri; meeting Vanessa’s family in Niota, Illinois; spending nearly six weeks in Michigan with the Fraser clan; sailing on Rainy Lake with David and Eileen; witnessing the spewing of geysers at Yellowstone; hiking in the Tetons with Jack and Laura; reconnecting with the Hugos and Jeff and Brenda in St. Maries and Spokane, respectively; exploring big and little cities in British Columbia, like Nelson, Vancouver, and Victoria; adventuring around the Pacific Northwest with a boat load of loved ones; experiencing a few days in the life of Thad and Kristin in Bend; and then three months later, boom! There we were in Tahoe, and shortly thereafter, back in San Diego. Crazy, heart-bursting fun!