Carson City, NV
For our last hike during this visit to the Carson City area, we decided to go back up to Lake Tahoe and do the Rubicon Trail. When we visited the lake two years ago it was during that severe drought in California. The photo below is one we took along the south end of the lake during that visit.
Below is a photo from around the same spot today. The lake looks to be completely recovered.
The Rubicon Trailhead is in the D. L. Bliss State Park along CA 89 on the western shore of the lake. The road is quite scenic as it winds steeply up a series of switchbacks and goes around Emerald Bay. The trail will take us along the far shore of the bay in the photo below.
The Rubicon Trail follows the shoreline of Lake Tahoe for about three miles. It then crosses over a little peninsula and continues along Emerald Bay for another two miles.
The trail goes up and down as it winds along the shoreline. At one spot early in the hike it goes around a rocky outcropping, but a chain eliminates any danger of a fall.
The weather was perfect and the sunshine made the water even more beautiful.
Much of the hike is through an impressive, aromatic forest along the lake.
We made our way along Emerald Bay and finally came to our turn around spot, Vikingsholm, a 38 room mansion that is now a part of Emerald Bay State Park. In 1928, Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight bought the land along the bay with the intent of building a summer home that would compliment the natural surroundings. Emerald Bay reminded her of fjords she had seen on numerous travels to Scandinavia. She commissioned her nephew by marriage, Lennart Palme, a Swedish architect, to design the home. Vikingsholm was completed in the fall of 1929. The exceptional summer home was enjoyed by Mrs. Knight and her guests for 15 summers until Mrs. Knight’s death at the age of 82 in 1945. The estate changed ownership a number of times over the years until taken over by the State of California in 1953. The house is open for tours during the summer months.
In the photo above you can see a small island behind the tour boat. Known as Fannette Island, it was once the home of Captain Dick “Them’s my toes” Barter from 1863 to 1873. The eccentric captain had moved from England and built his own tomb and chapel on the island. He enjoyed sailing and earned his nickname from his penchant of showing his self-amputated toes to guests. Ironically, he was never interred in the chapel he built, as he was lost in a storm off Rubicon Point in 1873. Mrs. Knight built a teahouse on the island where she could enjoy some privacy with friends (as if Vikingsholm was not private enough!).
The trail makes its way through the Boat-In Campground, where you can tie your boat up and camp for the night ($35/night). The campground was empty and is scheduled to close next week for the season.
As we approached the trailhead on the return hike, we could hear quite a bit of noise on the lake. We rounded a curve and could see a party boat filled with young guys yelling at their buddy perched on the rock ready to jump. In the photo below you can see one jumper in the water, but the one on the rocks soon backed out and crawled down the rocks to the water. That might be the only good decision this group made all day!
We returned to the Jeep after a hike of just under 10 miles. This is a perfect hike to enjoy the beauty of Lake Tahoe. You don’t need to make it a long hike if you don’t want to, as a short hike will still provide many beautiful views.
On Saturday we drove up to Reno to meet some RV friends. We first met Bob and Sandra at a rally in 2010 during our first summer full-timing. We have crossed paths a number of times over the years but it has been a long time since we last met up. They are from this area and are currently spending the summer in Reno, where Bob recently had surgery to correct a torn bicep muscle and a damaged rotator cuff (ouch!). We were in contact with them earlier in the week but decided to wait till the end of the week to meet up, giving Bob a few more days of recovery time. We met for lunch in south Reno and three hours flew by as we caught up with each other. It will not be as long until our next meeting as they will visit us in Borrego Springs in January.
That wraps up our week in Carson City. We’ll now head south on US 395 into California for a visit to the town of Bishop. More on that later . . .