We arrived in Reno on Thursday, July 14th and drove straight to Tahoe. Reno sits in a dry, arid basin just east of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range at an elevation of 4500 ft. Lake Tahoe has a surface elevation of 6,225 ft, and is 1,645 feet deep. The lake is 22 miles long and as much as 12 miles wide. It seems strange that a lake can be over 1700 feet higher than a substantial part of the land to the east of the lake.
After leaving Reno we drove about 15 or 18 miles along the valley (desert) to the Tahoe turnoff on 431. After a few mile more the road abruptly turns uphill, right up the side of Mt Rose. After a couple of more miles we found ourselves in a pine forest. ( I mean in the distance of about one mile we went from driving in the desert to driving in an alpine forest.) The drive up Hwy 431, (The Mt. Rose Highway) past the Mt. Rose Ski Resort and then over the pass and down to Tahoe is as beautiful as any place I have ever been. On the way down, there is an overlook that truly is amazing, especially if you have never seen Tahoe from the ground before. The overlook is probably 1000 feet above the lake and you can see almost the entire lake and all the snow capped mountains surrounding it. (I say from the ground because last January we did fly over Tahoe in route from San Francisco to Salt Lake City.)
We found a really nice restaurant with a deck that was right next to the lake and ate a late lunch. I had really good (and healthy) fish and chips. Later Thursday afternoon we drove up to Diamond Peak Ski Resort so Marye Jo would know where to find me at mile 30 and mile 80 during the race. We saw a nice restaurant near the resort and stopped in for a very light dinner.
Friday morning we got up early and found a great little place called the Log Cabin at (King's Beach) for breakfast. I had pancakes, sausage and eggs. We then went back to the room and finished I packed my drop bags. We hauled them down to the car and headed over to Carson City about noon. We picked up the race packet, got weighed (171lbs,) and left the drop-bags but it was still a couple of hours until the mandatory meeting at 4:00pm. We went over to a restaurant across the street and had a snack and desert and ice tea. I decided it was time to be a little more healthy. I had peach cobbler.
The meeting was held in one of the state legislative chambers in the capital building. Carson City is the Sate Capital of Nevada. It was definitely the nicest surroundings for a prerace meeting I have ever been to. Here is David Cotter, RD (with the beard) and George Ruiz at the meeting. If you look to the left side, the guy with the gray hair and the gray shirt, that's me. I hope Jason Chan doesn't mind me borrowing this pictures.
After that we headed aback to North Tahoe. We stopped on the way back to the lodge at a bakery and got a few things for breakfast. Then we found a really nice restaurant, Gar Woods Grill and Pier. This is a picture of Marye Jo taken at about 7:30 am the morning after the race. That is the restaurant in the background.
We then went to our room and went to bed about the time the sun set. One advantage of going west for a race is the time change. The race started at 6:00am. We had to get up at 3:00am to be at the start about 5:00, but 3:00am California time is 5:00am for me, Alabama time. That is my normal time to get up anyway!
We arrived at the parking area for Spooner Lake State Park about five and sat in the car for a few minutes. Then we decided to go ahead and catch the shuttle to the start area. We probably got there about 45 minutes prior to the start and ran into Larry Sandhaas who we had met the afternoon before in Carson City. We all stood around freezing in the cold waiting for the start. Here are a few photo I took while waiting.
To be continued.