USA Travel Diary Day 5 – Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

We survived the night which is a relief as it’s minus 2 degrees and daughter No 2 turned the heating off because the noise was bothering her. Today we are driving around the west of Lake Tahoe to walk some trails and enjoy the scenery. Although it’s stunningly beautiful, its also very seasonal and everything is shut.

Inspiration Point
Inspiration Point

According to its website, our first stop; Tallac Historic Site is closed, but the car park is open and you are welcome to wander around the grounds. Not true – the car park is locked and it’s illegal to stop on the road, so we continue to our second stop; Inspiration Point.

Inspiration Point
Inspiration Point

Inspiration Point is a viewpoint overlooking the lake, Fannette Island and Vikingsholm. The car park here is also closed. I don’t understand why you would close the car park to a viewpoint? There are plenty of people stopping anyway, just parking on the road, which is much more dangerous. It certainly is a spectacular view.

Emerald Bay State Park
Emerald Bay State Park

After a brief photo stop at a roadside waterfall, we continue to Emerald Bay to visit Vikingholm; built in 1929 in a Scandinavian style, it was the home to some wealthy American woman. Here, the house and facilities are also closed, but the car park is open. However, as you need to pay by phone and we don’t have an American SIM, we end up parked on the road (again).

Walk to Vikingsholm
Walk to Vikingsholm

The walk to the house is described as a steep one mile trail. There are multiple warnings about not attempting it unless you’re physically fit and confident of being able to make the return ascent. In my mind, I am imagining something way more hard core than the gently sloping road we encounter.

Vikingsholm
Vikingsholm

We walk down to the bottom, then follow another trail to the beautiful Eagle Falls waterfall. Then we return to the lake for a picnic lunch, which is very pleasant until we come to the attention of some Canada Geese who are very keen to join the picnic.

Eagle Falls
Eagle Falls

Before setting off on the walk back up the hill, I go to the toilet, which is grim. I perch between the poo on the back of the seat and the blood on the front, while trying not the breathe! Daughter No 2 takes one look and goes to the men’s toilets instead.

Guests for lunch

After we have walked back up to the road, which really isn’t that steep or demanding, we drive back down to South Lake Tahoe. This time, we manage to find a parking space at the Tallac Historic Site and take a walk around the various summer residences of wealthy Americans of the 1920s; the Baldwin Estate, the Pope Estate and the Valhalla Estate. Then it’s back to the hotel for curry and an early night as we have to be up early tomorrow.

Valhalla Estate
Tallac Historic Site – Valhalla Estate

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