Well, mam, dad, Nikki and Dan arrives safely yesterday and the drive back from Reno only took an hour or so. This morning we headed out early (certainly for a Sunday!) and took the Heavenly Gondola ride up the mountain right by the hotel. It was really cool, and the ride up was very smooth, much smoother than we were expecting!
Getting off at the 360 degree viewing platform gave stunning views of the lake and worth the $28 on it’s own! Dad was very impressed, so bought a good pair of hiking shoes so he can ride right up to the top again this next week and then hike down the mountain.
The water looks so clear from up here. Yesterday we had lunch at Sugar Pines State Forest and the water along the beach was stunning:
You can also clearly see Tahoe airport when Joel, Kat’s brother works. Right now, that’s a pretty busy place as there’s a big forest fire developing (thankfully we’d got down the mountain long before it started):
This afternoon we were planning on heading west around the lake, but after hearing a number of fire engines on the main road by the hotel, we looked outside to see plumes of smoke drifting across the sky and ash falling. It’s a little way out of South Lake Tahoe and although we’re pretty okay since we’re well to the east of the town, they are evacuating some areas.
Joel is hosing down the house, yard and trees around the area and getting ready in case they are evacuated. Hopefully they’ll be fine, but at least we’ve got plenty of space in our hotel room if they do have to leave. He said there’s 2 helicopters dousing the area with water and 3 airplanes circling the area providing updates.
The local news is covering things pretty well, and hopefully the wind won’t drive the fire closed to homes. About 500 acres are thought to be on fire, 100 fire engines and over 50 homes destroyed with the smoke clearly visible from Carson City which is a good 30 miles away or so.
With so many fire crews and emergency vehicles moving around, we’re just staying in the hotel and walking around where we need to. Nikki and Dan had decided to head out anyways as they hadn’t realised how bad things were, but they were going to go east across state line into Nevada and check out the east side of the lake. We’re just keeping an eye on the news and hoping the fire crews can manage to get it under control. We’re all fine here and not really in any danger, just never a nice situation to be in, especially for those in danger such has Joel who is pretty close to where the fire is heading.