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Lake Tahoe Nov 1999 Trip Report

Day 2 of 2

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Tuesday, November 23rd
Cascade Falls

After breakfast I started driving east along 50 toward the 50/89 "Y" intersection. The first thing that caught my eye was the sight of Mt. Tallac glistening in the late autumn morning sun. It was positively beckoning me, screaming to me to go get a better look.

Mount Tallac towers rises over Fallen Leaf Lake

So after stopping at the South Lake Tahoe recreation area and finding not much of interest, I returned to the Fallen Leaf Lake trail (even though it wasn't on my list for the day). I wasn't sorry. The green slopes of the mountain stood out against the bright snow. And while the angle of the sun ruled out a reflection of the mountain in the lake, the bright colors made up for it. A beautiful sight.

A closer look at Mount Tallac

Next up was a stop at the same vista point parking lot as the previous day. But this time I walked across the street and hiked to Cascade Falls.

After the hike I stopped at the Eagle Lake parking lot and walked across the bridge to get a glimpse of Eagle Falls (not to be confused with the falls on the way to the lake). I only got to the top of the falls and couldn't get a view of what might have been an impressive sight. While I was there, a man walked to the other side and perched himself on a ledge, cigarette in hand, with a nice view of the falls. I thought about it, but decided I didn't want to risk falling into the water -- considering how icy the surrounding rocks were, how cold the water was, and how expensive my camera was.

So I turned around and headed to McDonald's for lunch, instead. Well, actually, I first drove toward Meeks Bay. Finding nothing, I continued on to Sugar Pine Point State Park. Unfortunately the road looked like it wasn't plowed (i.e., it had snow and probably ice on it). I didn't want to risk it. I had originally intended to go here, and then all the way up to Donner Memorial State Park near I-80. But I changed my mind and decided I'd return via Highway 88 instead.

Highway 89

Creek in the Hope Valley

Hope Valley

After lunch I drove south on 89 and stopped just before the intersection with Highway 88 to take some pictures of the beautiful Hope Valley. I stopped again just down the road, then stopped at the Kit Carson Pass pullout. Deep snow covers much of the pullout, but I managed to squeeze my car in on the side of the road.

Red Lake Peak, north of the Kit Carson Pass pullout

Red Lake from the Kit Carson Pass pullout

Here was the one place I wish I'd brought my snowshoes. My legs sank as much as a foot, but I managed to walk over to a ledge and take some pictures of the beautiful lake and mountains in the area. And then I finally started back home.

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