Last weekend Andrew, Elaine and I shot off to Tahoe to join Rob and Cherie at their lodge in Truckee near Lake Tahoe. We were hoping to get some serious skiing done since there is still an obscene amount of snow (nice description Jase!) in the mountains – many areas still have a base of well over 100 inches (2.5 metres)! Astounding really, since it's well into spring now.
Anyway, we didn't get any skiing done. Nada. Zip. Dammit!
Unfortunately there was some pretty strong winds and heavy snowfall. On the Saturday the winds were "100 mph over ridges" (100 mph = 160 kph) so many lifts weren't running and conditions were terrible. Sunday was marginally better but still practically unskiable. We tried though; we were all packed and ready to go when the chains on Rob's car failed – one broke, the other came off. As I said, it was pretty extreme!
Plenty of snow came down though and as always it's a beautiful sight. I would guess about a foot and a half (45 centimetres, sorry for all the ugly units but when in Rome…) fell overnight.
So what did we do?
We walked through the snow and visited a beaver 'lodge'. Pretty intelligent creatures, these beavers gnaw down trees in order to dam rivers so they can build their houses. It's an impressive sight. Walking along the river was fantastic – we were in a protected valley so there was little wind and it was clear during the walk. Lovely.
Tough teeth on them beavers
Rob gazing at the beaver lodge
Andrew navigating the "log of doom"
Some time was spent digging out the cars – first Rob's after the chains came off, then Andrew's which was snow-locked in the driveway. Although the cars were practically buried the snow was so soft and fresh that it wasn't too difficult.
We watched a few episodes of Fawlty Towers. I'd forgotten how bloody funny the series was!
One of the other fantastic events of the weekend was swimming. Yep. Outdoor pool. There's an aquatic centre in Truckee that has a 25 metre (or is it yards?) heated outdoor pool, along with three spa's, a steam room and a sauna. We used them all. 🙂 First we did some laps in the pool and it was just surreal swimming while it was snowing. Then we jumped in the steam room and sauna before relaxing in the (also outdoor) spa. Awesome. Snow falling on you when you're toasty-hot in a spa is an experience not to be forgotten!
Seems that Truckee attracts a pretty international crowd. While in the spa we met a Czech couple, a Swiss guy, a French-Swiss guy and a Canadian! BTW our group consisted of two Aussies and two Scots! Finally, toward the end, an American wandered in. 😉
Leaving Truckee Sunday night was an event in itself – the main road out was closed for some time so we didn't leave till pretty late and didn't arrive home till 3am. Tiring.
All in all, the weekend was bitter-sweet. Wonderful company had ensured that we'd all had a great time but we'd really wanted to get some skiing in. Thanks to everyone for making what could have been a sour weekend fun!
Oh, nearly forgot to mention Rob's bastard-act. He'd also had to stay the Sunday night so Monday morning – which had absolutely perfect conditions – he sends us an email with this photo in it:
Rob & Cherie's Truckee lodge Monday morning
As you can see about another foot of snow fell. The winds had dropped off to nothing and there were blue skies. <sigh>