1 Just finished our first week of school. It was good.
2 California has more natural beauty in greater variety than any place else I’ve ever been. America is beautiful, yes, and every state I’ve ever been to (all but a handful) has places of great natural beauty. But no other state has as much variety: the Mendocino Coast, the redwood forests, the SoCal beaches, the high deserts, the low deserts, Yosemite, the Sierra foothills, Mt. Shasta, San Francisco Bay – all very beautiful, all very different.
Then there’s Lake Tahoe:
My pictures don’t do it justice, as from the ground or surface, one can only capture a very small part of the lake and landscape with any one picture. We spent a few days in Truckee, just east of Donner Summit of Donner party infamy, attending my wife’s family reunion. (She is oldest of 11, and so family reunions tend to run LARGE.) Several of her brothers kindly located and rented a couple cabins, so that everybody from Grandma down to my granddaughter – 4 generations! – could spend some time together. (The first such grand reunions happened 10 years ago, just a couple weeks after our eldest son’s death. This one was more fun.)
Driving from the Truckee at the north side of the lake to South Lake Tahoe, where the only real town on the lake is located, takes an hour – a beautiful hour, driving winding mountain roads through forests, with the lake popping in and out of view.
Tahoe is deceptively huge: 18 miles long, 12 miles wide may not sound that big, but it’s deep, with an average depth of 1,000 feet. People love to toss around Tahoe facts, like: there’s enough water in Tahoe to cover the entire state of California to a depth of 14″, and that the deepest parts of the lake, at over 1600 feet deep, are lower than the plains of Western Nevada just to the east.
So, if you get to visit Golden State, avoid the insanity of the cities and just see the natural wonders. For my top 3, I’d go Yosemite, Redwoods, Tahoe in order of preference, based on a combination of sheer beauty and you’re not going to see anything like it anywhere else. Then – the other stuff.