We woke up Saturday morning happy to still be on our wonderful trip. Lauren had arrived the previous night (unfortunately I was too tired to stay awake) and it was fun to have our full group here at last.
We finished our card game from the night before and then set off on a hike around the neighborhood, hoping for some good lake views. Luckily, we weren't disappointed by the scenery.
Ed and Bill had fun playing with the icicles and snow, and before we knew it,
we were back at our cabin.
Once we got back, lovely bowls of leftover chili were waiting to be eaten. It was the perfect hot meal after a cold walk. However, before we got too comfortable, Ed and I wanted go for our run. We decided to head down to the town visitor's center to find out where we could go to run that wouldn't be snowed over. While the snow yesterday was fun, we were looking forward to an easier adventure that day.
Lucky for us, the visitor's center was close and very helpful. It ended up that there was a walking trail down by the waterfront that stretched 3 miles in all. Before we left for the run, we headed down to the beach to enjoy the beautiful sights.
However, it was quite cold down by the water, and we soon had to get moving so that we didn't freeze.
We headed down the pathway and got to appreciate the beautiful houses that lined the water. The houses were more castles than lakeside cottages. There were a few others out, also bundled up, and it was fun to see the other runners and walkers out.
We ran the 2 miles to the end of the pathway and then headed back to the beach. We took a short break, enjoying the views until we got too cold. Then we headed off the other way another mile to the other end of the trail. Initially, we were just going to go a little further to make 5 miles, but we missed the mile marker and before we knew it, we had gotten to the end. I was excited to see that last mile marker, since that meant that we were going to have completed 6 miles, my longest since I've started back up.
The last mile home was a little tiring, but not too bad. When we arrived back at our starting point, we realized that the rest of our friends had made it down to the same beach.
We headed back to the cabin and enjoyed a lazy afternoon of games, naps, and reading.
That evening, we got to celebrate the birthdays in style, heading to the Lone Eagle Grill for a delicious and long lasting meal. My healthy eating took a bit of a break, but I did try to, overall, make good decisions. It was a great evening.
A trip to Nevada wouldn't be complete without gambling, apparently, so we headed to a casino to give it a try. This was my first try at gambling (and probably my last). It was a quick way to lose money, but I didn't put much in, and it was an experience to be sure.
All in all, a great day.
On our last day, we Ed and I were really committed to seeking out one more trail experience. Ed called our now friendly visitor's center and got a recommendation for a snow free trail that would be on our way out. We were led to the North Tahoe Regional Park. We all parked and got out next to a big field. After a few minutes, Will and Lauren decided to get back on the road so that they could get home at a reasonable time, and Bill, Ed and I headed off onto the trails.
The maps and trails were a bit confusing, as this is a cross country skiing area in the winter but a frisbee golf course in the summer. Still, we ended up finding a good loop that was much shorter than it appeared. Apparently the scale of the map is misleading, and the 'vista point' that we thought we couldn't be able to reach was just over a mile away.
At the crest of a big hill, we could just start to see the lake, and decided to take a quick break and think about it we wanted to keep going. We weren't sure if the views would get any better and we couldn't afford to spend too much time out there. Still, after a few pictures, we decided to keep going.
We gave ourselves a time limit of 15 more minutes, but in much less time than that, we reached a great viewpoint.
Bill wanted to get a bit of a better view, so he climbed onto a rock.
After a few more minutes of taking in the view, we decided to keep going. Looking on the map, we realized that we would be able to turn this hike into a loop. Luckily, more views were there to greet us before we finished.
In what seemed like no time, we were suddenly at the other side of the field we had parked by.
Finally, we were ready to say goodbye to Tahoe (for now).