Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Blue World

We can't slow the hands of time but we can definitely hit the seashore for the much-needed getaway. What better place to beat the heat in California than Lake Tahoe! I though strongly recommend making reservations to stay since this place is swamped with people all year round.

Enroute got a chance to visit one of the famous Old Faithful Geysers in the world which is in our own state of California. This marvel of nature is located in the foothills of Mt. St. Helena in beautiful Napa Valley. The water, 350 degrees hot, shoots approximately 60 feet into the air for a period of three of four minutes, then recedes. And this happens every 40 minutes all year round!

Well it didn't get the name 'Old Faithful' just like that. Neighboring 'Geyserville' in one of the largest geothermal area in the world. A lot of Geysers in Calistoga utilize the natural hot mineral springs and volcanic ash mud for health spas.

Next stop after the bubbling hot water was cold freshwater. Yes, we had been to the majestic and beautiful Lake Tahoe. It has abundant recreational activities besides the breathtaking elements of the natural world. Tahoe is home to a number of ski resorts, summer outdoor recreation, and tourist attractions.

1. Entrance, 2. Old Faithful Geyser, 3. Old Faithful Geyser, 4. Fireworks, 5. Fireworks, 6. Fireworks, 7. Fireworks, 8. Fireworks, 9. Fireworks, 10. Lake Tahoe, 11. Lake Tahoe, 12. Lake Tahoe, 13. Lake Tahoe
It was all right here - and more. For sand-and-sun-seekers, this place is definitely paradise. The clarity of the blue water and the panoramic mountainous landscape all around made it special. For the first time, I agreed with the term WYSIWYG. I was living in a Blue World!!

An Independence Celebration: Red, White and Tahoe Blue
The fireworks for 4th July were as expected. Though I have heard that the celebration for 3 days is filled with exciting events culminating with the display.

The next day went appreciating the Lake followed with some Cricket, Volleyball, Swimming, Kayaking, Paddling, etc. Stepped into the Blue in the evening for a stroll. The weather was perfect the entire weekend and couldn't have asked for anything better.

Because of its purity and great depth, and the clarity of the atmosphere, all colors of the sky and landscape are reflected in Lake Tahoe. You can see why it is called the "Lake of the Sky", with its brilliant shades of blues, greens, and reds. Because it is so clear, the bottom adds shades to the blue; sand reflects as light blue, rock and deep canyons as virtually black.

Here is some trivia:
How was the lake formed?
Faulting: About 25 million years ago the Sierra Nevada block was formed by tremendous uplifting. The valley that later became the Tahoe Basin sank between two parallel faults as the mountains on either side rose. Water filled this Basin where Lake Tahoe lies today.

Volcanism: Lava flowing from Mt. Pluto, on the north shore, formed a barrier or dam across the basin's outlet. Water from rivers and streams flowed into the Basin gradually filling it several hundred feet above its present level.

Glaciation: During the last Ice Age, less than a million years ago, huge ice blocks or glaciers formed in the surrounding mountains. These glaciers scoured the landscape, carving broad U-shaped valleys now occupied by Cascade Lake, Fallen Leaf Lake, and Emerald Bay. The material left after the glaciers melted, called moraines, blocked the original outlet of Lake Tahoe, changing it to the present Truckee River outlet at Tahoe City.

Kings Beach, Tahoe Vista were scenic and had plenty to offer.
"It is rightfully known as the north shore's banana belt, as it stands in the sun’s path from early morning into the p.m. As if basking under the sun's glow were not enough, this mountain/beach town throws a sandy welcome to all with a signature downtown public beach."

Some funny stats about the amazing Lake:
#The Panama Canal (700 feet in width and 50 feet in depth) could be filled by Lake Tahoe's water and extend completely around the earth at the equator, with enough remaining in the lake to fill another channel of the same width and depth running from San Francisco to New York.
# Lake Tahoe's water is 99.9% pure. The water is so clear that a 10 inch white dinner plate would be visible at 75 feet below the surface.
# There are 63 tributaries draining into Lake Tahoe with only one outlet at the Truckee River.

Read more of those here.

Finally a slideshow of the pictures from the trip.
View slideshow

Looking forward to visit this iconic alpine perfection in winter.

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