Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Finally...Lake Tahoe

An eighteen-hour road trip from Aspen, Colorado to Lake Tahoe. Years later, I'm still amazed at what prompted me to go on that crazy non-stop drive.  A white-out at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport cancelled all scheduled flights on that day, and the weather was expected to get worse. After a cup of coffee, I decided to go for it...and hit the road.  

Conventional wisdom would dictate staying a couple more days in Aspen and wait for the unpredictable weather to clear up. But where's the sense of adventure in that? And what can go wrong driving down Aspen to the flatlands of Utah, Nevada and finally up Lake Tahoe in a perfectly maintained Hertz rental...right?

Well, a lot. Like always to remember to fill up when you see a gas station along the seemingly infinite desert road in Utah. You'll just never know when you'll find another. It's not fun to hear the gas indicator blinking on the dark, deserted road. And when you do find one, don't leave your car keys on the counter. I remember enjoying another cup of coffee at the gas station when the Hertz rental suddenly beeped. Noticing my surprise, the friendly attendant at the gas station smiled as she handed over the keys, and wished me a safe trip. And never doubting the GPS even when the road seems to lead nowhere. Resist the temptation to veer off the course, then you'll really end up being nowhere. Several cups of coffee, some funny misdaventures and eighteen hours later, I finally arrived (see more on this epic road trip in my other blog here at http://dude4food.blogspot.com/2012/03/side-views18-hours-to-tahoe.html).

A beautiful sunrise greeted my arrival at Lake Tahoe, and after breakfast, I decided to drive for a few minutes. I had the whole town to myself...

The calm, still waters under the bluest of skies is an image I still remember. There's just something special, almost zen-like, about tranquil waters kissed by the morning sun. Not sure if several cups of coffee had anything to do with it, but I was just so pumped with the view. And knowing that I drove over 900 miles and arrived safe felt real special. Dumb and stupid maybe, but special just the same. 

I decide to go further up along the popular vantage points, alone, with none of the usual crowds. And I really had the best vantage points all to myself.

And here she is, in all her glory. Was the drive worth it? Definitely. Will I do it again? Well...why not. Life is, after all, an adventure. And it's these things, maybe crazy things, that make you appreciate even the little things. Like being the only one at the peak...and enjoying the start of another great day. 

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