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Lake Tahoe 2009 - Day 4

August 1

Today we went to the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival where we saw Measure for Measure. What a great idea. Have a small amphitheater with Lake Tahoe as the backdrop behind the stage. Allow the patrons to bring in their own picnic baskets, and stage music or plays as the sun sets.

But, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. Since we knew we had to be at the show by around 5:30 or so, we tried to plan our day out a bit earlier. The night before, we spent some time online trying to find a restaurant in Lake Tahoe that served trout. After a lot of searching, we found one place that *might* serve trout: Jakes. Figuring we’d go there for dinner just before the show, we thought we might head down to the South Tahoe area to take a closer look, and perhaps see what Echo Lake was about.

Well, part way down the 28, heading down the eastern side of the Lake, there had apparently been a sewage break that morning that had washed out the road. Luckily the break was further south than the location for the Festival, or we would have had a LONG drive to get around the break.

Tossing those plans out the window, we decided to hit Jakes for an early brunch, and then find something else in the North Tahoe area for dinner. We got there about 10 minutes before they opened, and spent a little time walking through the shops in the area. Once they doors opened, we were seated out on the patio with yet another gorgeous view of one of the boat docks, and the Lake in the background.

So as we sit down and begin scanning the menu, we noticed that there’s a lot of “fresh fish” specialties on the menu, so our hopes were a little brighter but, alas, as the waiter gave us the list of fresh fish there was no trout. We eased our disappointment by setting for an herb-crusted Ono dish that was just fabulous.

Quickly revamping our plans, we decided to head up to Tahoe Meadows, along the 431. We had repeatedly passed the meadows in our trips back and forth from Reno, and saw there were some nice trails. Also, Pam really likes the alpine meadows areas, so we decided to head up there and work off some of the lunch.

Tahoe Meadows:
Tahoe Meadows

It really is a beautiful area, and we were very lucky that it was still green. A lot of late rains have left the area lush, and even kept some of the creeks flowing through the area. Normally this time of year the meadow would have been dry and brown.

That’s a good dog! (Sign at the entrance to the Tahoe Meadows Trails)
That's a good dog

On the path around Tahoe Meadows. Just for Pam’s and my sake, the large leafed plants along the trail, which were very abundant all over, are California Corn Lilies aka California false hellebore (Veratrum californicum). (we couldn’t figure out what the plant was, and there were a LOT of them, so I had to look it up when I got the chance…)

I liked the texture of the tree against the cloudy sky.

More shots of the meadows.

Once we were done hiking about the area, we still had time to kill, so we went further on heading towards a vista point on the map near the Mt. Rose ski resort.

From there we could look out over Washoe Lake and Lesser Washoe Lake, with some storm clouds and rain crossing the plains below.
Lesser Washoe LakeWashoe Lake

From there we started heading back towards Lake Tahoe, but we made another stop at the top of the Mt. Rose Pass, where Pam headed off to explore one of the paths in the area. I was feeling a little off, probably because of the altitude (it’s about 8900’ at the pass) so I hung around the trailhead, reading the signs, and trying to keep my head from throbbing.

Once she got back, we headed back down the hill towards Lake Tahoe, in search of dinner before the show. As we were driving around North Lake Tahoe, we decided to try the “Blue Onion.” Unfortunately they were closed for a Wedding…so strike 1. A little further down, there was a small Italian restaurant, but they weren’t serving Dinner for another 30 minutes (it was about 4:30pm). Strike 2.

Looking across the street we spotted Jason’s restaurant and bar. Zipping over, the entrance was actually around the back, so we headed around, and were seated out on the patio, once again overlooking the lake. So far so good! I settled in for a delicious blue cheese burger, and Pam had a tasty looking grilled chicken sandwich. Score!

So, as I started this entry, we were off to the Shakespeare festival. It looked like quite the local hit, as there were a lot of people there who came with fully loaded coolers and picnic baskets full of wine, cheese, sausages, cheesecake, and more. Groups of friends would stake out some of the seats together, and all would share the goodies.

The amphitheater had a small concrete area near the front filled with Adirondack wooden recliners which was essentially the prime reserved seating area that season ticket holders and such would use. A little further back where we were seated were hand dug tiers in the sand with fabric beach chairs along the tiers. Even further back was the general seating area where people could bring their own chairs and beach blankets.

We had an amusing group of slightly tipsy (and bawdy) biker gals behind us, which made for an entertaining sideline to the actual play itself, which was very well done. The stage was nicely set up, with the gorgeous backdrop of the lake at sunset, gradually fading away as the play progressed.

I would highly recommend that if you are in the Tahoe area in the summer when the festival is going on that you make an effort to catch one of the plays. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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