Quiet, Relaxing Tahoe

Tales and Stories

My first visit to Lake Tahoe at age 5, was exciting being surrounded by massive mountains. At age 8, I was allowed to roam behind my grandmother’s cabins located on Montreal Blvd., South Lake Tahoe. The mountain was my venture into the deep wilderness. I tried sneaking up on chipmunks and squirrels. I climbed massive stones, some I could see the Lake once on top. I first strapped on a pair of snow skis and taught myself how to turn on a patch of snow behind the cabins.

I have been told stories by my Grandparents of Mrs. Whitney who settled on the mountain. With the help of an old Spaniard, she and he built a beautiful cabin and all girls private summer camp. She, with the assistance of the Spaniard, cut trees, removed the bark, and let them dry,  all at Lakeside. Once properly dried, they would haul them up the mountain where they built her home. During snow season, they moved them by using a large flatbed sled, drawn by horses. My grandparents had visited her home, telling me how her bed was placed into a bay window projecting out from the room, which allowed her to look over the treetops to see the lake.  I have heard, from longtime locals, that her nephew still lives on the property and works at Harvey’s.

The foundation is all that remains of the camp after it burned down.

The original Harvey’s was a meat market that had a gambling back room. Since Harvey’s was the only meat market around, the locals bought their meat from him. The story goes, when Harvey was drunk and sleeping it off behind the counter, the locals would take what they needed, weighed the meat and left payment on top of the next to the till.

There is the story of Fannette Island, where the “Tea House” is located in Emerald Bay. Constructed for Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight where she had noon tea with her summer guests.

Before Mrs. Knight had the tea house constructed, Captain Dick Barter had built his cabin on top of the island. His cabin location blazed the trail for Mrs. Knight’s tea house. The story of his demise goes something like this. The Captain was a deep sea sailor who had moved to Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay. The story told, was that he would sail his boat to Tahoe City where he would stay late drinking. Emerald Bay is located several miles from Tahoe City. Anyone familiar with the rapid weather changes of Lake Tahoe Basin can attest that weather can change rapidly and catch a sailor off guard. In 1873 this happened to Captain Barter as he sailed back to the island from Tahoe City. His boat was found capsized along the shore of the lake. His body was never found. To this day, at night around midnight, the time he usually would have arrived back to his island, his ghost can be observed climbing slowly up the path of the island. He will sing a drunken sailors song as he treks back to the cabin. Wikipedia 15 September 2017

Quirky Lake Tahoe Stories

By Tahoe Staff   http://tahoe.com/articles/quirky-lake-tahoe-stories

“Any self-respecting town should have its weird stories, and Lake Tahoe’s quirky ones make for entertaining pondering. For starters, there’s George Whittell. He was an odd old bird with enough money to excuse his eccentricities. A preservationist at heart, Whittell bought up several tracts of land on the north near Incline Village and built himself quite the stunning residence, Thunderbird Lodge. As far as quirky goes, Whittell would throw poker parties in the game room, and if his luck were down, instead of enjoying the sport of the game, he’d excuse himself to the bathroom, open a compartment in the shower and retreat to the lodge via a secret passageway, never losing face or money.

If you’re interested in gory lore, the locals claim that the when the mafia had bodies to dispose of, the thugs would throw the corpses into the middle of the lake. The depth of the lake and near-freezing temperatures, these individual are said to be suspended several meters below the surface, fully intact, one still wearing her wedding gown. And, we can’t help but mention the legendary Frank Sinatra — a fire involving his cherished CalNeva at Crystal Bay, some insurance money and a whole lot of not talking about the scandal.

Then there’s Sand Harbor State Park, the only state park in Nevada that consistently makes money due to the popularity of the beaches, convenience of the boat launch and stellar lifeguard staff.

And, what about ole Mark Twain? He visited Lake Tahoe to stake a claim for timber or gold and ended up burning down his shanty, all the trees on his claim allotment and on down to the beach.

If you’re looking for a place with a distinctive personality, make sure to visit Tahoe and ask the locals lots of questions. You’ll get truth and legend and a good laugh if nothing else.”


Street Entertainment 
October/November 2017 – Just Before The First Snows
Before the first snow and the ski crowds visiting, South Shore Lake Tahoe offers a relaxing environment. Bands and musicians play for the entertainment of patrons to California Burger, Azul (Mexican cuisine) and Base Camp Pizza, seen above and below.



Salmon Return To Their Birth Spot

Within the borders of the National Forest Service, Visitors Center flows Taylor Creek.












As a youth, my grandfather and I fished Taylor Creek. I cannot remember ever catching salmon. In fact, I never snagged any fish out Lake Tahoe; I was too busy exploring and not enough time fishing.

For other water sports, the Lake is perfect. The first two feet of the top layer, the water is warm, below that the water remains cold. Our children used the tops of wetsuits for wakeboarding and even swimming.

Sitting in a ski boat in the middle of the lake offers a person and their dog, time to be transported into nirvana. Very little boat traffic, and almost o interruptions. Be sure to lather on the sunscreen for the periods of sleep because of the warm sun.

Riva Grill
Serves a great meal and you can enjoy the view of the lake from any spot within the restaurant or on its outdoor deck.

Riva Grill is located at the Lake end of Ski Run Blvd. on the lake. The location to board MS Dixie Dinner Dance Cruise to Emerald Bay and back. During dinner, the sun sets in the western hemisphere.


Marriotts Timber Lodge and Grand Residence

Situated between the Marriott’s Timber Lodge and Grand Residence is Heavenly Valley’s Gondola. In late October and early November Heavenly’s crews are performing maintenance on all their lifts. When staying at either Marriott resort during ski season, leave your apartment to walk out the door with ski’s, and you get on the Gondola to head up the mountain.



Within the same village are shops, bars, restaurants, art galleries, ski shops, water sports shops and all these only steps away from Harrah’s and Harvey’s.


Gambling During Slow Times

The casinos are almost crowd-free, so much so that you can walk up to tables and play without waiting. Slot machines are wide open. The casino atmosphere is also relaxing,

During our visit, Harvey’s was holding the 2017 World Series Of Poker Circuit Event.



Strolls To The Lake
Mornings offer a great time to walk from the Marriott to the sit on the Beach of the Lake. Spend time reflecting, creative thinking or running with the kids along the Beach. The Mountains surround you, giving you the feeling of almost like a baby wrapped in a blanket. Reflections off the lake of these surroundings add to the dramatic experience.





Lake Tahoe during off times offers us the opportunity for solitude and quiet time. Time to:

1: Overcome Fears

2: Let go of guilt

3: Change our mindset

Christina Park, a regular contributor to Forbes Magazine, can provide a more in-depth into these three topics.  https://tinybuddha.com/blog/3-ways-embrace-need-solitude-quiet-time/

The busy person needs to plan for quiet times each day, as well as extended stays of quiet time. Retirees will experience to reflect on how to get back in tune with themselves. Lake Tahoe will offer the perfect environment for these rejuvenating sessions between seasons.


While writing the article, I contacted Lake Tahoe Historical Society out of curiosity on Mrs Whitney. I wanted to verify the stories my grandfather had shared with me during my times for visiting the Lake. Remember, grandfathers, love to elaborate on the facts in order to create a story of excitement. Lake Tahoe Museum ran and operated by volunteers. When I inquired about Mrs Whitney, I was informed that Free Lance Writer Jill Beede just completed an article about the founding of Camp Chonokis that was founded by Mrs Whitney and Mrs Pope of Pope Estates South Lake Tahoe, Pope Estate

Jill composes the fiction article from the eyes of one of the young ladies who grew-up attending Camp Chonokis. The story changes from an all-girls school to an all-girls summer and winter camp.

Should you find yourself curious about this fantastic fiction article, contact Lake Tahoe Museum to ask for the article to be mailed to your home. Better, visit the Museum and become a member asking for a copy of the article. Membership is more than reasonable.

Lake Tahoe, an exciting Alpine experience with hundreds of stories, all exciting. Polk Estates has a very exciting story of history. Another Blog article for a different time.



The last week of our time spent in California was somewhat stressful. Don is the type that gets things done way ahead of time, I’m a procrastinator. I plan ahead but have a tendency to do way too much at the end, (I seem to work better under pressure). I completed everything on my to-do list though.

Mover Dudes (2 young men from Virginia), plus 3 men from San Jose packed us up Saturday and Sunday they loaded the truck, with only half of it full for a stop in Arizona to pick up another load. I packed my heavier Canon camera with a Tamron telephoto thinking I won’t need it since I recently bought a compact Panasonic. I took some photos of the packers and left it sitting on the counter, guess where the camera is, in one of the boxes on the moving truck headed to Virginia for storage. The second “Oh Shit,” was, forgetting to get our passports out of the safe for our Barcelona roundtrip cruise at the end of the month. Fortunately, the moving company said they will find the safe and have it available for us to retrieve them. That’s great, but now we have to travel to White Post, Virginia, close to Washington, DC to the storage yard, a little out of our way to Denver, NC.

Monday was Labor Day, so nothing was done that day. Tuesday we signed papers, with the buyer in the Title office at the same time. Very nice lady, moving closer to her kids from Union City. After the walk through with our realtors, I finished packing our 3 suitcases laying on the bedroom floor (a task not completed, before the arrival of the movers). I had to pack for the road trip in one suitcase, and the remaining clothes and shoes in the other two for our cruise, and when the weather gets colder since we won’t move into our home until mid-November. Various canvas duffel bags carried Sidney’s food etc., sundries, computers, AAA maps (I love to look at paper maps and not just go by Google maps), and books, ice chest, etc.

Wednesday the housecleaners cameand  Thursday morning the carpet cleaner. Since we had a few loose ends to tie up, we decided to leave Friday morning.



Driving to Bakersfield then cutting across to Hwy 40 will take us all the way to NC. We overnighted in Barstow and arrived at Grand Canyon village late afternoon Saturday. Very crowded, (more than 5 million visitors annually), and with all the hotels in the village booked, we stayed in a Holiday Inn a short drive away from GC. Remained at GC, Mather Point, till the sunset, had dinner, then the next morning drove up to Desert View the East Entrance to where a talented architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, designed the Watchtower as well as other buildings in the village. The Watchtower is the highest point on the South Rim. We certainly can see why the Grand Canyon is one of the seven wonders of the world.


Route 66 parallels Hwy 40 much of the way. Seligman is a tiny hole in the wall town that is an interesting stop. The Rusty Bolt and Delgadillo’s Snow Cap”Drive-in” are 2 of the main attractions. RB has mannequins that line the porch as well as the porch roof and quirky signs covering the walls. DSCD opened in 1953, is no longer a drive-in, and has a “garden” of old cars and gas pumps behind the outdoor eating area as well as a strangely painted “36” Chevy (with a Santa and Christmas tree in it).


Another stop on Route 66 in Winslow, Arizona, named after Gen. Edward Francis Winslow, a president of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. It’s an important shipping and trading site, and the ONLY remaining Trans-Atlantic Airways airport in the nation. As I’m sure you all have heard the Eagles song “Take It Easy”, “standing on the corner of Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see, it’s a girl my Lord in a flatbed Ford, slowing down to take a look at me, take it easy….”The town knew a good thing and re-created the scene along the original route of the 66. There is a life-size statue of a young man with his guitar, located in front of a life-size mural showing the “…girl in a flatbed Ford” in a window’s reflection. The town seems to close up 4pm, you can stand in the middle of the street to take a photo.



We pushed on to Albuquerque, NM that day, and arrived at the hotel at 11:30pm central time. The next morning, after talking with US Passport, and the moving company, we determined the “best” solution to our Passport problem is to drive on to Virginia to retrieve them from the safe.

We spent a good part of the day at Historic Old Town, wandering around the shops, lunch at a Mexican restaurant and 2 blocks from the town square were the American International Rattlesnake Museum. I’ve always had an interest in snakes, and couldn’t resist checking it out. Don and Sidney chose not to go in, and instead found a shady storefront where they could relax, far away from the museum. When I first got there, I heard a strange noise nearby. Turns out, in a large round aluminum pen, there were 3 tortoises, probably mom, dad, and offspring. Dad was making a peculiar almost honking noise and was busy mating with mom as junior just sauntered by. The gift shop and museum were quite interesting, and surprisingly, more women than men visit it and have worked there. It presents species from North, Central, and South America in recreated habitats.



Decided to spend a second night in Albuquerque at a Sheraton which has merged with Marriott. We own Marriott timeshares, so we had access to the Elite Member club for a yummy dinner and breakfast before hitting the road again. Our only stop today was at the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, NM. It’s one of the most popular dive destinations in the US for SCUBA diving and training. It’s an artesian well that was once used as a fish hatchery, maximum depth 80 feet. It’s used by many, as a natural clear blue swimming hole that has a hidden system of underwater caves which were unexplored until 2013. The surface is only 80 feet in diameter but expands to a width of 130 feet at the bottom.




Blue Hole

No scenic stops along the way to Memphis. Passed through Amarillo, TX then on to Oklahoma City. In 1972, brother David was playing for the SF Giants AA team. Sister-in-law Sue, nephew John and I drove from Concord, to Casa Grande, AZ where we met up with the team in spring training. The players all caravanned to Amarillo for the season. I rode with one of the players and traded off driving. They moved into a new apartment complex still under construction. I spent a few days with them before flying back home. Remember a strong windstorm while I was there, lots of sand blowing around.

Memphis was hot and humid. Parked next to a newly dedicated park for MLKing Jr., a half a block from Beale Street, and just 4 blocks from Lorraine Motel where he was assassinated. Beale Street has many clubs where Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King introduced the world to the Memphis Blues. Although the city was declared “Home of the Blues” in 1977, once vibrant Beale had by then lost much of its appeal, with most of its music halls, saloons, pawnshops, and stores shuttered. After a 1980’s makeover, it remains a Memphis focal point.



I have been to the mountaintop!



Beale Street



Walked a couple blocks to the Memphis Rock ’n’ Soul Museum. Spent a couple hours wandering through listening to the audio and reading interesting captions to displays which included B.B.Kings Lucille guitar to costumes worn by Johnny Cash to Elvis. Issac Hayes designed a diamond and emerald encrusted watch in the shape of a piano. It traces rock from its rural Mississippi roots through rockabilly, rhythm and blues, and soul. Rock ’n’ Roll revolution began here when Elvis recorded his first song at Sun Studio.

Mid-afternoon, not too many people on the streets, Friday and Saturdays are their busy times. We had BBQ pork, slaw and beans at B.B. Kings Blues Club on the corner of Beale and Second. Unfortunately, we took a wrong turn and missed seeing Lorraine Motel that now houses The National Civil Rights Museum.

Spent the night near Graceland. The following day I spent 4 1/2 hours wandering the 14 acres through his home, grounds, racquetball building, plus exhibits about Elvis’ life at Graceland, ending in the Meditation Garden Elvis had constructed and is now buried with family members. As I was getting ready to take a picture of one of the statues, a small butterfly landed on my hand and just sat there, I finally had to coax him off my hand. My daughter said it was like Elvis was welcoming me. Across the street, the 40-acre entertainment complex features exhibits about Elvis; music and movie career including gold and platinum records, memorabilia and wardrobe. The Presley Motors Automobile Museum highlights his renowned collection of vehicles, including the 1955 Pink Cadillac for mom Gladys, even though she didn’t have a drivers license. At the North end of the complex, they have two private airplanes: the Hound Dog II, a Lockheed JetStar, and the Lisa Marie, a customized jet plane.


Don and Sidney enjoyed quiet time and staying cool in the hotel. When I returned, we packed up the car and headed toward Nashville/Knoxville. Decided on making no more stops to sightsee since we live “close” to many other sights and can see them at a later time. Passed through Nashville hoping to get as far east as we could until we had to pull over for the night. Since we’re experiencing evacuees heading west from the coast, hotels are not readily available. We ended up spending the night in a small town named Carthage, TN about 5 miles off Hwy 40. The only thing available was a fleabag motel owned by the skinniest, unfriendly man from India with the biggest ears I’ve ever seen. I saw the son in the morning, and he was the spitting image of his dad, poor kid. We slept good for the most part but decided not to take a shower since Don found a wrapped Kotex pad on the shower ledge. It appeared the room had been cleaned otherwise, but I checked for bed bugs. (When William and his friend drove to NC back in May, they stayed in a motel that had bed bugs, and woke up in the middle of the night itching like crazy). Some “shady” looking characters staying there, and the next morning snapped a shot of this guy. An insurance adjuster from Colorado was checking in the night before when I was at the desk, heading for NC. Turns out the following morning, while Don was gassing up the car, a local told him that Al Gore owned a ranch nearby.



As we were heading East that afternoon, we saw a lot of emergency vehicles, including inflatable boats, heading to SC/NC.

We’ve been on the road for 8 days now and decided to head straight to Mooresville, and hunker down with the kids till next week sometime and let the storm complete its course before heading to Virginia to retrieve our passports. We veered off to Asheville, NC, still following Hwy 40 which will bring us into where the kids live. As we crossed the border into NC, we’re experiencing lots of clouds, some wind, no rain.

Arrived in time to pick up BBQ dinner for the family and snuggle with the grandkids. The following day it rained most of the day, but not too heavy, no flooding in our area, but there was some, in Charlotte, about a 30-minute drive south. A local said the flooding was mainly in the area that usually floods during heavy storms. And he’s experienced more wind and rain during summer storms than they did with Florence. Apparently, the news channels embellish a lot. Texted with my sister-in-law Sue who lives close to the beach in NC, at the SC Stateline, south of Wilmington. The only damage they had was an easily reparable section of fence. We drove over to Denver to check out the progress on our new home in Trilogy. Found out the following day we’ll take possession of it on November 8, 5 weeks ahead of schedule.



Thursday morning, we drove 7 hours to White Post, VA (which is known as the state for lovers). We were so excited to retrieve our passports from our safe that they pulled from our storage, and had waiting in their office.


Spent the night in Staunton, VA, the hometown of Woodrow Wilson. Darling college town with a lot of history, we’ll definitely have to come back and spend a few days exploring. Driving north to VA, despite the truck traffic, gives you a “peaceful” feeling. Green trees and rolling hills line the roads with farms scattered throughout.

Humidity will take some getting used to, but that is what A/C is for, and it’s seasonal. Mosquitos are major pests, so you have to keep vigilant with repellant or these coil bands you wear to keep them away. Unfortunately something “attacked” me 2 days before our trip and my legs are covered with dime sized bites that itch like crazy. Thanks to allergy pills that make you drowsy, and some anti itch cream, it’s tolerable.

Off to Barcelona on Sept. 30 where we’ll spend a total of 8 days before and after our cruise on the Royal Caribbean to France, Italy and Greece, returning October 23 to NC. We move into our home on November 10, and start the next phase of our lives. Can’t wait! Going to miss all of you we left behind, but, we will have 2 guest bedrooms waiting for any visitor heading to the East Coast, just choose the best times of the year to avoid hurricane season, and humidity, you won’t believe how beautiful it is.

Our new address effective November 8 will be, 4822 Looking Glass Trail, Denver, NC 28037. Cell phone numbers remain the same Jodie 925-366-6547, Don 925-231-5038.


Memphis, Tennennesse

The American Civil Rights struggle led to a tremendous universal change for American Africans. These struggles secured the rights in voting, education, housing, services, and employment.



These struggles did not come about without sacrifice and struggle. Dr. King rose up from Alabama leading this march in equal rights; his leadership was tragically ended with his life. The effort continues today, with significant improvement in understanding that can be seen all around us.


Not only Dr. King’s endless struggle for equal rights leveled the playing field, but music from the late 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, the birth of Blues also played a big part in bringing blacks and whites together. Music of all types seems to be universal and neutralizing angered emotions. Wiping out color, conflicting traditions, conflicting personalities, and political differences.



Starting with black and whites were share farmers together, both working the fields side by side. United in the effort for earning a good income for the support of each their families. Yes, there were many discrepancies. Each family supported the other in correcting those discrepancies.


Sharecroppers worked six days a week, evenings and weekends were spent listening, playing, and singing blues together. Music created movement, rhythm for the body and emotions bridging the separation gap of color. This bridge was not constructed without some struggle. Some groups refused to accept any differences. But these difficulties were not reserved for just one group, but to American Natives, Asians, African Americans, Irish Americans, Hispanics, the list of race and religion are still seen by these minority groups as different. Though the difference has gone from hatred to different.


Observing both of these movements, one can see many races participating together; civil rights produced a serious attitude, while jazz, blues, blues rock produced a happy clan expression.


As gospel Blues, blues and soul started to take over the land, so did segregation, intermarriage, all groups fighting for equal rights. Music was ongoing through Dr. King’s efforts, and his efforts were supported by all the various groups that were rewarded by the marches.


Visiting Memphis, and in particular visiting the Rock & Soul Museum, which was researched and compiled by the Smithsonian Institute. The Smithsonian demonstrates how this form of music played a part in reducing the gap between African Americans and Whites. With the thought of all that was achieved through artists, like BB King, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters, Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, the list is endless.


The playing field has been leveled, but the struggles for all groups still meet some minor resistance.

We all should play some Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Kipp Anderson, Etta Baker, all of them to remember that the past has created the bridge of civil rights.

Hurricane update for Denver and Mooresville, NC. These two towns are both 5 hours from the coast of NC and 3O minutes north of Charlotte.

County emergency reports of both areas last night.

Mooresville states: up to 15 inches of rain, winds (but no determination of how strong) have 72 hours of food and water.

Denver states: we are holding to make any determination of how bad the storm will affect the county, but have at least 72 hours of food, water, and prescribed medication on hand. 5 to 10 inches of rain, no flood warnings.

As of 8:38 PM Both areas upgrade winds to 25 mph, with gusts of 50 mph. Power outages should be expected along with trees falling.

We are pressing forward to retrieve our passports in White Post, VA and then 6-hour drive to Mooresville, NC.