Ian and Margaret's RV Adventures travel blog

A view of Emerald Bay from an off-the-road overlook.

Not all boats on Lake Tahoe are on the water.


We left Susanville and headed south toward Nevada. We had decided to spend a couple of days at a campground near Minden, just south of Carson City. Our only agenda there was to visit Lake Tahoe (Ian had been many years ago but I had never actually seen the lake), but we were also looking forward to some time in a place with better stores than we had been seeing – we were in need of food, wine and some other staples and I needed to find a Verizon store to get some tech support on a problem I was having with my Blackberry.

We were glad to be passing through Reno on a Sunday, so the traffic was lighter than it would have been during the week. The roads should have been pretty straightforward – just follow Highway 395 all the way to the campground – but for some reason our GPS kept trying to route us off onto local streets. Pretty annoying, but soon we were all back on the same track, except that as we passed through Carson City, the road came to an end. Lots of road construction. We were shuttled off onto a local road (maybe the GPS knew something we didn’t!) but couldn’t figure out which way we were to turn. The GPS, the map, the Trailer Life Guide directions to the campground, the road signs – we were getting inconsistent directions and were totally frustrated. We made one wrong turn, requiring us to turn around in a parking lot, but we eventually found the right road and got to the campground. After all that excitement we were just happy to relax for a while!

We found all the stores we needed, stocked up and were good to go for a while, so we took one day and drove over the mountain to Lake Tahoe. The drive itself was pretty exciting, with a windy, curvy road up and over the mountain – and that was before the three one-lane-only road construction areas we had to endure. Then once we got to Lake Tahoe, even on a weekday, the traffic was heavy on the one main road. Not a relaxing day!

We drove out to Emerald Bay, at the south end of the Lake, where we could get a pretty good view of the lake. The drive was, again, on a narrow, winding road although this time the traffic was somewhat lighter. The Emerald Bay State Park was closed so we had to content ourselves with an overlook a bit farther down the road. We enjoyed the view for a while and then decided to drive back toward town and find a place for lunch overlooking the lake. We found a nice restaurant at a marina, had a nice lunch and decided we’d had enough of Lake Tahoe and drove back to our campground.

So much for Lake Tahoe – it’s a beautiful area but, like most beautiful places, it has gotten way overcrowded with hotels, casinos (on the Nevada side of the state line), condos and t-shirt shops. Not to mention people!



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