Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tahoe Rim Letterboxing Trip

I've been trying to find time to finish planting my letterboxes and find some letterboxes planted around the east side of Lake Tahoe. My son is going back to school on Monday, so letterboxing was a great way to spend some time with him before summer's end. The weatherman said we'd have 40 to 50 MPH winds, but we actually ended up having rain on and off with an occasional breeze.

We started out finding a letterbox at Spooner Lake, then drove across Highway 50 to plant our own letterbox near the trail head of the Tahoe Rim Trail. This trail is supposed to be a horseback riding trail, but I found it to be way too steep. It might be better fitted for a mule.

We drove down Highway 50 to Logan Shoals Vista Point to find another letterbox and enjoy the view. A man offered to take our picture together. It astounds me how much taller my son is than I am. He's even taller than his father.

You can see the wind on the lake...

I've been driving around Lake Tahoe to get to and from my jobs over the years, and I'm always jealous of the tourists on vacation who have time to enjoy it. All I can do is drive past on my way to work and home. Today I actually got to stop at a vista and appreciate the view.

Here's a picture of one of the letterboxes we found along the way. We won't show you where it was hidden, though. That's cheating.

We got to drive through that tunnel on our way to our next letterbox hunt...

We located the third letterbox near a market, then drove into South Lake Tahoe to eat lunch at Big Daddy's Burgers, the most delicious burgers on earth. If you are ever in SLT, I recommend you stop there.

We decided to go to the Adidas store at the Y. When we walked in the door we were informed that for everything we buy, a second item will be half price. My son was able to gather a lot of athletic wear he needs for track, and we both found new shoes. I remember there was a clue in which someone planted a letterbox in a store around there, but I didn't print it out, because I didn't think we would travel that far south. I had to guess which store it was. That was rather humorous, because I would walk into each store and ask, "Do you have a letterbox?"

Then the clerk would either say no, ask me what a letterbox is, or point me toward a box that could hold letters. One lady didn't want to let me leave her store until she found me a letterbox, so I had to explain that it's a game. I never found the right store.

We then drove to the other side of the Tahoe Rim Trail off Kingsbury Grade. I had high hopes to bring my horses to this trail until we stumbled upon these stone steps. I'm sure Lisa and Apache could make it up and down those steps since they've been practicing at home, but my horses would probably poop up a storm and break out into a nervous sweat just looking at that climb. They still occasionally spook at rocks. Sigh.

Oh well, no loss. I really didn't think I could haul my horse trailer up the steep grade to the trail head anyway.

Along the way we ran into a Fire Marshall and a Park Ranger. I think they were out looking for fires started by lightning strikes, but fortunately I didn't see any lightning or hear any thunder. We just got rained on.

My son misses taking his gymnastics class, I think...

Along this trail is a series of four letterboxes. The first was fairly easy to find. The second said to look to the right, but we found the letterbox to the left.

We went way too far in our search for the third letterbox and we weren't seeing any of the markers described in the clue, so we turned around and headed back. We halfheartedly looked for the third and fourth letterboxes in the series, but were really too tired by now to care whether we found them or not. We didn't.

After leaving the Tahoe Rim Trail, we searched for one last letterbox, but when I saw the climb, I said forget it. My legs were cramped up after six hours of hiking.

We set out to find 8 letterboxes, added in a 9th, and found 5. That's a record for me to find in one day. If I could give up my entire weekend, there are plenty more letterboxes around the west side of the lake as well. However, I think I'm letterboxed out. I'll look for more next summer.

I told my son that his guardian angel is floating above him in this picture...

But he insists it is a sun spot.


Stephanie said...

What a great way to spend a day with your son!!

fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like a great day! and nice that your son likes to hike with his tiny momma!

Breathe said...

Potato, potahto I see an angel too.

Glad you took some time to revel in the glorious place you live so close to! Are there any Lostine worthy trails?

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What a great day spent letterboxing in a gorgeous area, too. I would love to go exploring and hiking those same trails looking for letterboxes some day.
And good for finding 5 in one day!

Don't shoot me, but I think our record find of letterboxes in one day is 20. lol!
But we tend to go on letterboxing vacations, planning our trips around what letterboxes we can find. It sure takes you to wonderful, different, unique and beautiful places, doesn't it?

I love rugged rocky trails like the one you said that Apache and I could handle. Thanks for the compliment and vote of confidence. You're too nice. :)
Besides the stairs, Apache and I have also climbed up and down several really steep rocky trails while out on trail rides, and I can't help it, but the downwards route always makes me a little bit nervous. Of course Apache has been very surefooted and calm the entire way down.
The one negative thing she sometimes does is try to find her own way down and that's not always good for me, because she wants to squeeze underneath trees and between narrow areas. So I have to be very alert and steer her where I want her to go and not just let her follow other horses or make her own route down.

By the way, all your photos are terrific. I always enjoy seeing your son...ummm...Mr T?....goofing around and doing athletic and unusual movements. Cracks me up!

And if I had never met you before, I'd have guessed that the photo of you and Colt was a young man with his sister. Wow! You look so young and not just because you're short standing beside him.

Yeh, I know what you mean about feeling short now, too. I can see eye to eye with my boys already and they are only 13 yrs old..and as you know, I'm almost 6' tall!

I thought I'd have a few more years before they surpassed me in height...apparently not. lol!


Leah Fry said...

Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite places. I was there twice taking 2 convention groups to the Hyatt Regency. I didn't get a chance to do much exploring, though. My visits were also prior to the time I had horses.

Mikey said...

Tahoe is gorgeous. I wish I had time to get up there too, and just enjoy it. I'm jealous :)
Great pics and good job on the letterboxing. Looking at that one pic, I wouldn't have climbed it either. Although I will say this. I don't hike. That's why I feed horses, so I don't have to walk. They'd be doing the climbing for me. I'm lazy, that's all I can say. I just don't do hiking unless I absolutely have to.
But you make it look like fun!!!
PS, your son is way tall!!!

Stacey said...

Gorgeous pics! Glad you got a little break!

baystatebrumby said...

Just when I think I live in one of the prettiest places in the US, then I see your pictures and want to die! Have you died? Is that heaven you live in? How fabulous.

Once Upon an Equine said...

It has been over 25 years since I've been to Lake Tahoe. It is so pretty there. Your pictures are wonderful and looks like you had a great day with your son. Hmm? I need to check into this letterboxing. Looks fun.