Roving Retrievers-Tails and Trails

A “tail” of two Golden Retrievers (and their humans)as they travel west:

Day 63, Los Gatos, CA-South Lake Tahoe, CA 233 miles, 4 hours 15 min

Our visit to Los Gatos far too short. We had originally planned on staying longer but a change in our plans forced us to shorten our stay with Daral and Carol but that won’t be a problem either as we are fortunate to see them both often and always look forward to seeing them again very soon.

As mentioned in my previous blog, the weather in the bay area was overcast and raining. Weather systems moving in from the Pacific move east. As the system moves inland the Sierra Nevada’s climb from the central valley to peaks east topping 11,000 feet. The weatherman the evening prior to our departure from Los Gatos promised snow storms over 4,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada’s. We pay attention and need to make certain we arrive at our destination with plenty of daylight left just in case road conditions turn out to be less than favorable. South Lake Tahoe sits at just over 6,200 feet of elevation so we are destined to hit snow along our route, the earlier we depart, the better.

Sue and Carol get an early morning workout in at Carols gym and by the time they return to the house the car is loaded and ready to go. A quick shower and change of clothes, we say our goodbyes, throw the boys in the car and once again we are underway. MJ and Bobby know the routine well by now. Minutes into the ride both of the dogs are settled in their respective spots, in their minds, destination unkown.

Our car ride takes us through Sacramento which is a much larger metropolitan area than I had imagined. The traffic fairly congested, a stop for fuel and a quick walk to let the dogs stretch their legs and do their thing is perfectly timed. Topped off with fuel, we continue along our rain soaked route.

As we travel east the valley floor is soon behind us. We climb through 4,000 feet, the ground is covered with snow. In very short order the piles of snow along highway 50 are taller than our car. It was simply amazing to both Sue and I how much snow was along the road. Thankfully the outside air temperature hovers in the high 30’s so rain never turned to snow. This is certainly one time we are happy the weatherman had it wrong. We drive through the mountains, climbing and descending for more than an hour. Once again we are treated to views unique to the area. The Sierra Nevada mountain range forest is densely populated with extremely large Douglas Firs and Jeffrey Pines making it hard to keep my eyes on the road.

Mountain descent into South Lake Tahoe

Our rental house is one mile from the California Lodge at Heavenly Ski Resort. We plan on skiing two days and were fortunate to find a house so close to the base parking area as it was only yesterday we reserved our unit. Another dog friendly house with protected parking is perfect as the weather is simply wet.

The snow is piled an easy 6-8 feet along the roads making dog walking an impossible task.  We know we won’t be able to tire the dogs out before we leave to ski so Sue and I decide we to put the dogs in doggie day care while we ski. An internet search finds “Tahoe Tails and Trails”, a local kennel providing day time pet sitting. As soon as we unpack we load the dogs back in the car and take a trip to check out the kennel. A quick check of the place and we sign MJ and Bobby up to spend both days there. It seems many people travel with their dogs and take advantage of the opportunity to have their dogs spend the day with new playmates. There is no doubt Bobby will have the time of his life, MJ might hold it against us for a little while but at least they will be forced to burn energy.

Our first full day in South Lake Tahoe we wake early as Sue and I are excited to get back on the slopes. We feed the dogs, take them outside to do their business, we gear up for a day on the slopes and take the dogs to Tahoe Tails and Trails. As we drop the dogs off it was almost comical as Bobby was quite nervous and gave us a look that actually made us both feel somewhat guilty. While he’ll never understand our other option was to leave the dogs alone all day and neither one of us had any interest in doing that.

Bobby and MJ playing at the rental in Tahoe

Bobby and MJ playing at the rental in Tahoe

After a very wet and tough day on the slopes we drive to pick up the dogs. They are quite happy to see us, we drive back to the house so they can eat and catch up on rest. After eating it wasn’t ten minutes and both dogs were lights out. Perfect planning! Day two we repeat the process as the dogs are both excited when we walk in to drop them off for another day at the kennel. This time Bobby pulls us in and can’t wait to get in back to start his day of doggie fun. MJ accidently shows a hint of excitement as he happily trots and follows Bobby into the back area. The weather isn’t bad today, the sky becomes clearer as the day progresses and finally turns out to be a great day for skiing.

View of Lake from skiing at Heavenly in South Lake Tahoe

View of Lake from skiing at Heavenly in South Lake Tahoe

Our time in South Lake Tahoe comes to an end tomorrow as we will take two days to drive to Park City, UT. Tomorrow will be a long day of travel but I think the boys won’t mind as two full days of non stop activity at Tahoe Tails and Trails will require a full day sleep in the car.