NOTE: This post was originally published on my previous blog, Recovering Shopaholic.
I recently returned from a wonderful 10-day trip to the Lake Tahoe area (I extended my original stay by three days), where I used to live and where some of my family members still reside. I was fortunate to encounter beautiful weather for most of my time there. In a post later this week, I will recap what I packed for the trip and how well (or not) it served me, and I will also share the outfits I wore while I was away (check out my last packing recap here). But today I’d like to highlight some of the photos I took during my vacation.
This was my first trip to Tahoe since I began my photography hobby, so I was eager to visit the many gorgeous locales along the lake to capture the sights. It was difficult for me to select my favorite shots, so there are more photos in this post than I generally share in my “photography interludes.” My hope is that you will enjoy the images below and that if you haven’t yet visited Lake Tahoe, you might add it to your “bucket list.” It truly is one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure to visit (and I was lucky enough to live there for a year and a half).
Before I start sharing photos of Lake Tahoe, here are some “fast facts” about the lake. It’s the largest alpine lake in North America at 195 square miles (314 km) in area and a 71 mile (114 km) circumference. Its length is 21.2 miles (34.1 km) and its width is 11.9 miles (19.2 km). The average depth of the lake is 980 feet (299 m) and the maximum depth is 1,645 feet (501 m). The average lake surface temperatures are 40 degrees F (4 C) in the winter and 70 degrees F (21 C) in the summer. If you’d like to read more about the lake, click here.
Here are some views of beautiful Lake Tahoe. Yes, the water really is that blue…
When I lived in the Lake Tahoe area, it was in the town of Incline Village, which is on the north shore of the lake and in the state of Nevada (the majority of the lake is in California). My mom, brother, niece, and nephew still live there and I stayed with my mom on my recent trip. Incline Village is 6,350 feet (1,940 meters) above sea level and had a population of 8,777 people during the 2010 census. The average temperature for Incline Village during September is 68 degrees F (20 C), but it was quite a bit warmer than that for much of my trip. If you’d like to learn more about Incline Village, click here.
One of the great things to do in Incline Village is visit the Hyatt Regency hotel and sit on their lakeside patio. On the second day of my visit, I spent an entire afternoon and evening there and took dozens of photos. My friend Julie and I stayed for the sunset and enjoyed the colorful sky and picturesque lake views. In the afternoon, a wedding was held next to the lake. While I didn’t photograph the wedding itself out of respect for the guests, I did manage to capture the wedding set-up before everyone arrived.
Here are a few photos taken from the patio of the Hyatt Regency Incline Village:
An Amazing Tahoe Sunset
The beach at Incline Village is where I met my husband back on July 4, 1999 (fast fact – we got married two years to the day later on Catalina Island, off the coast of Los Angeles). When I visited that beach on a few evenings during my recent stay, it was deserted by comparison. Only a few people ventured out to see the sunset last Tuesday evening, but those who did were richly rewarded. I was blessed to see what I consider the most beautiful sunset of my entire life. While the pictures don’t fully do it justice, I think they provide some sense of the majestic natural beauty that I witnessed.
Here are some images of the Incline Beach and the magical sunset I saw last week:
South Shore Views
It’s possible to drive around the entire lake in approximately 1.5 hours. My mom and I did that one afternoon and I stopped to take photos in various locations. I like to take photos of piers and have amassed quite a collection of San Diego pier photos (will likely be the subject of a future “photography interlude” post). Here are a few photos of a lovely pier in South Lake Tahoe, as well as nearby harbor:
One of my favorite places along the lake is Emerald Bay, on the southwest shore. It is one of the most popular – and most photographed – locations in Lake Tahoe. The bay is 1.7 miles (2.7 km) in length and about two-thirds of a mile (1 km) at its widest point. Emerald Bay contains the only island in Lake Tahoe, Fannette Island.
Here are two pictures I took of Emerald Bay, along with a photo my mom took of me there. I don’t feel that my images fully do it justice, though. There are lots of great photos of Emerald Bay you can check out HERE.
Heavenly Mountain Resort
The final place I want to show you today is Heavenly Mountain Resort. This is a large ski resort located on the California-Nevada border in South Lake Tahoe. Heavenly spans 4,800 acres (1,900 ha) and includes 97 runs and 30 lifts, including a large gondola that is also open during the summer months. I had hoped to go up in the gondola and take photos at the top of the mountain, but it was closed. It was a cloudy and overcast day when I visited Heavenly, so it’s likely that I wouldn’t have been able to see a lot anyway (at least that’s what I’m telling myself…). I did take some photos at the lake level of the resort and here are two of them.
Family and Friends – The Best Part of My Trip!
While all of the beautiful Tahoe locations were wonderful to visit and photograph, the highlight of my trip was seeing family and friends. I was able to spend a lot of time with my mom and younger brother, Scott, as well as my niece Sydney and nephew Christopher (ages 6 and 12). I also got together with two friends, one of whom (Julie) is shown with me below.
I really need to visit Lake Tahoe more often and the faces below are the most compelling reasons why. My mom moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Incline Village after she retired six years ago and she loves living in the mountains. My brother moved to Tahoe shortly after he finished college and is has been a middle school teacher for approximately 15 years now. I can’t believe my nephew is only 12, as he looks more like 16 to me. He is a caring and sensitive young man and my niece is a little “firecracker.” She has a lot of spunk and definitely speaks her mind.
My friend Julie is the type of friend with whom I can pick up like no time has elapsed since we last saw each other. I can tell her anything and she won’t judge me. Friends like those are rare and I’m lucky to have a few of them. I also got to spend time with a new friend (also named Debbie) during my stay. She’s a fellow writer and we plan to support each other with your writing projects (I see at least one more book in my future).
All in all, it was a wonderful trip and I’m glad I was able to extend it by a few days. Yes, that led to a long time between blog posts, but I hope you can forgive me for that. I will now be back to regular posting and after my travel debrief later this week, I will post my long overdue accountability and “Love It, Wear It” (LIWI) updates.
Thank you for your patience with me during my “modified break” – and actual break – last month. I will share more about what came up for me during that time shortly. I am in a better place mentally and emotionally, but I need to carry that momentum forward. I will be sure to keep you all in the loop as I figure it all out. Working toward having a fuller life won’t be easy, but I’m bound and determined to do it, especially after I got a taste of what that feels like during my Tahoe trip.