Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lake Tahoe Trip

Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe
For summer vacation this year we decided to head back home and go to Northern California for a couple weeks. This was our first time back since moving to New Mexico two years ago and we set out to cram a whole summer's worth of activities into a two week trip. We had a long list of things we wanted to do but after a couple of days the itinerary kind of went out the door. We decided we didn't have to do everything that we could think of but just the things we (the kids) enjoyed the most. This resulted in us spending the majority of the trip on a lake or river. We haven't been able to find anything quite like the lakes and rivers were were used to in N. California so we wanted to make sure we spent as much time on the water as possible (8 days of our trip was spent at a river or lake).
Aidan enjoying the view at Sand Harbor

One of our favorite lake spots is Sand Harbor on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. It is truly one of the most beautiful places that I've ever been to and it was great being able to experience it with the kids for the first time. We were a little concerned about the water being too cold for them to swim but I should have known better; the kids were going to get into that water no matter how cold it was. As it turned out, it wasn't as cold as I remembered it and it was quite refreshing (cold yes, but definitely tolerable). The other concern was the crowds. I knew Sand Harbor was a popular spot but I was still surprised to see the parking lot just about full when we arrived around 11:00 in the morning (on a week day). At 11:20 when the grandparents arrived, the parking lot was full and they were turned away. Unfortunately, they couldn't find any other place to park and couldn't join us for the day. 

Brennan with his swimmies
Even with the crowds, we were able to find a nice spot next to the water with a little beach and some rocks. The kids had a great day playing in the sand, climbing on the rocks, swimming and floating on a rafts (you know, all the normal stuff you do at a lake). One other activity that Lake Tahoe has, that you don't find everywhere, is catching crawdads. There were several groups with little "fishing" poles and some kind of bait (bacon?) and they were catching buckets full of crawdads. I remember seeing crawdads from my other visits to the lake, but I didn't realize how popular it was for people to catch them.

Rylie on the raft
Aidan, Brennan and Peyton rafting
After spending the day on the lake we decided we had to come back... so we did a week later. Although, this time we decided to go rafting on the Truckee river, which comes out of Lake Tahoe. This was the kids first time rafting and they weren't sure what they were getting themselves into. Fortunately, they had a blast. The Truckee river is not quite white water rafting... it is a 5 mile gentle ride with places to get out and swim/picnic on your journey down the river. The only real excitement comes at the end where there are a bit of rapids. That was the favorite part for the kids. They thought it was so funny because we were going pretty fast, got spun around and then got stuck on a rock. There was 9 of us on the trip (3 adults and 6 kids) and there wasn't a raft large enough to hold all of us (and our coolers) so we actually had two rafts that were tied together. This didn't work out too well because we got stuck a few times (we were too wide to avoid all the rocks sticking up) and the kids kept jumping back and forth between the two rafts. When we got stuck at the end, we actually had to detach the two rafts to free ourselves. But we still had fun, so much fun that it was over before we knew it (it took about 2 hours). As we were looking for a place to stop and have a picnic, the rapids suddenly appeared and then we were done. Oh well. Afterwards, we drove up to the lake and had a nice picnic on a beach that I hadn't been to before.

Aidan at Lake Tahoe

Peyton shows us his sandy hands

Sand Harbor

Brennan, Peyton, Aidan and Rylie

Brennan and Peyton playing with a bucket

Rylie enjoys the ride

Rylie, Dad and Aidan cruising down the river

Aidan and Rylie enjoyng the ride

Truckee River

Brennan having a good time on the raft


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  2. wow nice!
    take care guys.. :)