Tag Archives: Lake Tahoe

Notes from an Old Volvo Driving South to Tahoe for the 4th of July

Tahoe Blog


It’s a country of alfalfa, potato, and cattle around Merrill, Oregon. Western storefronts still standing. The Wild Goose Lodge. Here Mexican food gets good. Lost River and Lava Beds National Monument, who knew?

Over the border and in California without knowing it. No wonder the green turned gray, Sage Brush and Scrub Pines. All the many Jeffrey Pine with edible leaves and a bark that smells like vanilla.

Bee farms, and rivers running dry. Barns, and farm house architecture inspired by barns. Butte Creek.

Mt. Lassen, site of my husband’s first camping trip with his parents. Their first and last time camping.

Rusted incinerators once used for burning at old saw mills. Now we repurpose the bark and chips in a multitude of ways.

We’re doing something right.

Cactus appears like roadside daisies in the North country where I come from. Ranches with acreage too vast to fence. Cattle crossing signs on the road. I think of the difference between watching for leaping deer versus a big old, going nowhere, bull.


Transformation to an apocalyptic terrain. Looking like Death Valley.

Pit stop: we need to get out. We need to get back in the car and go. Too hot–even the dogs say so.

Eagle Lake. Susanville. Nearing Reno, more ranch country. Nothing like a city do we see. Instead John Steinbeck and The Grapes of Wrath come to mind. “Dust devils” kicking up like little cyclones.

What is that light on the dash?

Bordertown, Nevada. A white salt lake that’s been browned by dirt dust. Boomtown. Truckee River, and I know we’re getting there. Gold Ranch Road. Having grown up on the east coast, how I love these western names.

Tahoe Nat’l Forest. Squaw Valley. We’re in the Sierras here.

All the rafting on the Truckee River alongside us, as we bumper-to-bumper our way in to Tahoe City. Rafts tied up like traffic, laughing all the way. Summer break happens here & now. I’m thinking I could live here.

Freedom of movement. Haven’t I always loved that about this country?




Filed under roadtrip

Good Housekeeping

good housekeeping

We’ve been out on the island for about four weeks working on the house. Well the contractor has been working on the house, and we’ve been doing whatever we can to help move things along. After all, we are expecting houseguests end of the month.

After ferrying over from the mainland 2000 sq ft hardwood flooring, 300 sq ft tile, and 70 gallons of paint, Paul painted the eves and trim so the men could start shingling. Then together we whitewashed boards for the vaulted ceiling in the living room, and assembled some kitchen cabinetry—who knew it would arrive unassembled? And no, we didn’t buy at IKEA. Having fallen in love with the kitchen in the HGTV Dream Home 2014, Lake Tahoe, we drew inspiration and ideas from that. As its cabinetry was from Cabinets to Go!, that’s where we went. The salesman worked with us on customizing it to our space and our needs, but never mentioned it would all come in pieces. Lucky for him, my husband enjoys building.

Me, not so much. Lucky for me, our nephew flew out this week to assist. Now I might write. Remember writing? It had been getting away from me with all the remodeling.

So now we are three people living on a boat. Three people and a dog. It’s cozy. Both men are slim but tall. The dog, fortunately, is small.

Last weekend we had our first visitors at “the job site,” my name for the house. Bare to the bone, colorless and dusty, nothing but subfloors, scaffolding, sheetrock walls taped and mudded, electrical wires and boxes. Nevertheless, some friends from Seattle came to see what we’ve gotten ourselves into here.

What I would have given to be a fly on the wall of their Saab as they drove away!

The gardener in Lynn would be wondering why anyone would turn in a lovely patio and garden in Queen Anne for a rugged piece of old growth forest, and lose everything I will plant one day to deer.

The writer in Malcolm envies me the writer’s hut—a shed on the property that will be cedar shingled as well, and refurbished with windows, French doors, heat and electricity. While I didn’t care for the house at all, I was mad for the shed! (More about this dear little building later. Much more).

Teri, I think, would be doing the same thing as me in a heartbeat.

And Dan, the psychologist, thinks we are crazy to uproot ourselves at will and start all over again. I knew it by the eloquent way he kept commending us for our “bold vision,” and for striking out on “such an adventure”, i.e. better you than me.


Filed under remodeling