Early start as we need to check out and drive over to Lake Tahoe, a seven and a half hour, 444 mile trip. Packing up the room was our first priority – a quick shove into our bags and we were done.
The checkout was quick as was getting out of Vegas. We started across the desert on the Veterans Memorial highway. There were a lot of empty shops but it was hard to tell whether they were seasonal or closed for good.
The first part of the drive was featureless like the moon with salt pans and not much else. With few directions Angus shot past the turn and didn't notice for 5 minutes of the GPS furiously replanning the route.
Returning to the route we turned west and entered California from Nevada towards Bishop. As the road rose the temperature dropped as we came to Bishop. The illuminated road condition sign confirmed what we noted before – we were being advised to carry chains to go up the US395 due to snow. The small towns and lakes along this way were all amazing and the weather changing between sunny and cloudy drew amazing contrasts.
We stopped to refuel the car and tossed up whether to buy chains or not – we decided it was best to have them and not need them (rather than get stranded). Lunch was Carls Jnr which was really good actually – while eating it started snowing really hard – we were getting a little worried. But we had chains right!
Out of Bishop the roads got twistier and the elevation rose and it snowed. No wind so it was magical. We stopped for a bit on the deserted road and just wandered in the snowfall.
The last stage of the trip was through some amazing farmland and fabulous homes in Garnerville. Somewhere along this leg we had drifted from California back into Nevada at Topaz Lake. The only way you can tell is that there are casinos and slot machines all over Nevada and there are none in California.
The final climb up and over the mountains was steep, snowing and in shadow. The last part had the road berms full of snow and then we’re over the top. The trees were all laden with snow and there are log cabins nestled. And then there was the lake. The setting sun was reflecting straight off it. The drive through the town proved it to be an alpine fantasy of up-market ski shops and stores all the way to the water’s edge.
Checking in to the hotel was quick. We had a bit of a wander as the sun went down making the remaining snow shine. Our hotel is right on the lake’s edge and we could stand in the snow and the sand at the same time, the view was awe inspiring. We had a look at the supermarket (which is always one of Angus favourite things) and Rosie got some snow boots to supplement the thongs she had.
Dinner this evening was at Applebees, very cosy restaurant with lovely budget priced food. We shared an entrée (we are learning) and also a desert. Then back to our room which was cosy with the gas fire burning. After a long day off to bed. Tomorrow is exploring Lake Tahoe (in our Chev Tahoe lol) in our cosy warm boots, hats, gloves and jackets.