Day 09 - 14 March
Lake Tahoe was the only part of our trip that was uncertain until the very last moment because we were always a little behind schedule. When we were faced with the choice of getting to the Bay Area on Friday night or visiting Tahoe and reaching sometime on Saturday evening we naturally chose the latter. Again, good judgment there! *snicker*
The drive to Tahoe was distracting, to say the least. It's not always that you get to see deep blue water and sandy beaches on one side and snowy slopes on the other. We drove up from Carson City to Kings City in Tahoe.On the way up we stopped to chat with some locals who had a great big Golden Retriever. He was a really well groomed dog. I spent the longest time petting him and playing football (or noseball) with him. He was such a darling. Even Arun was tempted into touching his coat and playing with him. I might have almost convinced him about the pleasures of having a dog at home.
The dog's owners directed us to a snowmobile rental store that offered a 2 hour self guided tour. We jumped at the proposition, albeit slightly expensive. We are all about bolstering the economy, as always. The snowmobile ride was nothing like we expected. Years of driving motorcycles in India did not help one bit. First of all, this machine need not be balanced. It runs on wide chainlike structures. Secondly, it is a little too heavy to topple over. It was too heavy for me though. I kept driving it up the slopes on the side of the trail and just could not steer it. Arun, with all his power, managed to tame it and off we went bouncing up and down the slopes. We followed a trail of bright pink ribbons tied to branches and tree trunks along the way. The patches of blue lake between the trees became tiny specks as went deeper into the hills. We made many stops to click some fun pictures.
We had the hills to ourselves except for a couple with a child who we met on the way. So we made complete fools of ourselves. We played cricket with snowballs using the helmet as a bat. We hit sixers and threw wide balls. It brought back fond memories of street cricket, it was like a quick flashback of our childhood. We had a snow fight and a contest to see who can hurl snowballs the farthest. We played till we got snow all over ourselves and were totally out of breath, before we completed the rest of the trail. It was fun speeding at 50mph on a snowmobile with a mind of its own.
The snowmobile did not sate us. We tried to rent a motorboat and go into the lake. Unfortunately, although the river was not frozen, it was too cold for boating and all the rentals were closed. So we drove down to the bottom of the hills to get a closer view of the lake and the beaches. The view of the lake was a little too obstructed, so the drive down was nice but not too fruitful for Arun.
We then drove towards San Jose where my uncle lives, our final stop. We were to meet him for dinner and spend the night at his place. We had thus far only heard of the informal 80 mph speed limit of the Californian freeways. I'm glad I caught a bit of the action. I was pelting at 85-90 mph to keep up with the flow of traffic. East Coast cops urgently need an upgrade! Arun sat by my side with his heart in his mouth as I shifted in and out of lanes. I thoroughly enjoyed the adrenalin rush. And of course I miraculously got us to my uncle's place in one piece.