Chapter 3 -- Lake Tahoe and Back Home

Aug 27 1997

I drove up around the south side of Lake Tahoe, and then up the western shore. The lake was pretty, but very crowded. I'd hate to see it this coming weekend (Labor Day). Here's the island at Emerald Bay.

Emerald Bay

If you look really closely, you can see a little tea house that was built on the peak of the island long ago. Here's a blowup from the previous negative. I think I see two people in the teahouse.


From Lake Tahoe, I came to Sierra Hot Springs, home of the New Age Church of Being. As I went into the office to register, I told the man I had a dog. I explained that while I knew she wasn't allowed at the springs, I'd like to camp here, and I wondered if she'd be permitted. He first said that there was a strict no dogs policy, period. I said "ok", and started to leave, and then he asked how big she was. I said she's a small dog, and she can stay in the van pretty much the whole time, or I can camp elsewhere if I have to. He said to try and keep her hidden, and it would be ok. Then he pointed me to the campsites.

I started to drive to the campsites when a man in a tie-dye shirt yelled "NO!" loudly. I stopped and looked at him, and he asked me where I was going. I said to the campsite. He said "You can't camp in that thing down there. You have to camp by the lodge." He was kind of rude and acted like I had committed a grave sin and should be ashamed of myself for attempting to go to the campsite. Perhaps I had violated the third commandment of the New Age Church of Being, I dunno. I explained that the man in the lodge sent me down here, and that I'd be happy to camp back by the lodge, or wherever was appropriate. I went back to the lodge and the first man I spoke to told me I should go back to the place he originally sent me. I told him that the other guy was very insistent that I not camp there. He finally agreed that I could camp up by the lodge. I really, really didn't care where I camped, but I didn't want people getting upset. The whole thing was kind of unpleasant, and I didn't feel so great about having to hide Pepper, either.

I cooked dinner, played the guitar a bit, and finally decided to go for a soak. There were three women in the tubs; one with her three kids who didn't talk much to us, another who talked way, way, too much, and a third who was just right. Enya was her name, a massage therapist from Larkspur. We hiked up to the phoenix baths, and had another soak together there. She told me about her travels to India and the Orient, and her upcoming planned trip to Thailand and Bali. She had a pierced nose and a Bindi (a dot which Hindu women have on their forehead), which looked a bit out of place on a caucasian woman like her. This place is just a little too weird for me, but it is very pleasant and relaxing.

For Labor Day weekend, I went home and paid bills, picked up mail, got some pictures developed, avoided campground crowds, etc.

Saturday evening, Princess Diana was killed in a car wreck. It's all that's been on the news and radio all weekend. The princess was born three and a half months before I was. We had virtually nothing in common, but it's sad to see her go. It occurs to me that she never had the chance to go on a trip like I've been on, travelling freely, exploring solo without itinerary. Of course, I've never had the chance to do most of the things she did, either.

Sunday, I went to the Park Service's Habitat Restoration Team, met up with friends, and showed pictures around. It was a small crowd. We worked above Rodeo beach, and hiked all the way up to the Nike Radar site on Wolf Ridge, for a beautiful view that's well worth the somewhat strenuous climb.

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©1997 Richard Cochran
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