Thursday was our last full day in Tahoe and after kayaking in the morning we took a cruise on the Tahoe Queen out to Emerald Bay in the afternoon which was really nice as Joel had got the afternoon off work and Jeane could also join us. The paddle steamer was really smooth, though the sun seemed to burn pretty much everyone!
Within Emerald Bay is Fannette Island, the only island on Lake Tahoe. The little building originally had a roof on it until a group lit a campfire inside it and it collapsed! Still looked like a nice little place to dock your boat and have a picnic. Dad was pretty impressed by the 500+ year old bonsai trees!
The Tahoe Queen paddle steamer was originally from Mississippi and transported out to Lake Tahoe in pieces and reassembled. Joel + Jeane had a few coupons which were well received, but even at the full price of $39 for the 2 1/2 cruise it would have been worth it.
After the cruise we went to the grocery store and grabbed a load of food for a barbecue by the beach. A lot of picnic spots in the area had small barbecue grills already there next the picnic tables and benches so we didn’t have to haul any equipment. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, and was nice way to finish off our time there as everyone was leaving on the Friday morning. The sunset was pretty cool too:
On Friday, after a couple of trips to the airport dropping off my parents at 5a.m and Kat’s mom just before lunchtime, Kat and I headed east across Nevada to Elko for the night. Honestly, I thought North Dakota and Minnesota were pretty boring and desolate places, but they have have nothing on that 250 mile trip across northern Nevada! There really just wasn’t a great deal there, and today travelling across the rest of Nevada and into Utah wasn’t much more impressive.
Crossing the Nevada/Utah border we entered the Great Salt Basin and the Bonneville Salt Flats where a bunch of land speed records were set. The interstate was just 45 miles of nothing in a dead straight line! The white salt deposits were so weird, and the heat haze meant the ground would shimmer in the distance to look like water. Easy to see how early pioneers would become so disoriented in such conditions, and the mountains would be reflected exactly like looking at reflections in a lake. Hard to photograph from a distance in a moving car, but looking closely you can just make out the reflection at the base of the mountains:
Salt Lake City and the Great Salt Lake weren’t all that impressive, certainly not the city and surroundings. We were both glad to get away onto the highway across to Price where we headed into the mountains. The scenery really started picking up, and around where we are now really is impressive – can’t wait to head down to Arches National Park tomorrow before spending a couple of days around Canyonlands National Park. After that it’s Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park and Glen Canyon / Lake Powell before heading into Arizona in 8 or 9 days time! It’s nice so many national parks are so close together in Utah as it means very little driving to get between them but lots of stunning scenery to appreciate! Not sure how often we’ll have internet access in the motel’s around here, so might be a while before I get back online