They say Emerald Bay is the second most photographed place in the United States, second to Yosemite. Here it is, right in our own backyard. Have you ever taken a boat from the Tahoe Keys to Emerald Bay? What a wonderful adventure. You can make it there and back in about three hours, allowing time to hike up to the tea house on Fannette Island, the only island on Lake Tahoe, and of course you have to take some photos in the lightning struck hollowed out pine trees.
There is a remarkable mansion called the Vikingsholm that is being renovated right now but you can peek in the windows and see a dining room table all set up with beautiful china and crystal stemware. Wouldn't it be fun to eat dinner in such a beautiful Scandinavian home? For those of you who don't know about this mansion, Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight purchased the property of Emerald Bay back in 1928. She hired 200 people to hand-cut the wood for the mansion and carve in unique designs reminiscent of the 11th century architecture. It even has a sod roof on parts of the house. I was told when I first moved here, that Mrs. Knight's butler would take her over to the tea house island by boat for tea in the afternoon. I can picture that.
When it's really hot here in Carson Valley, this is a wonderful place to retreat to because it may only be 75 degrees in Emerald Bay during the day with a low of about 40 degrees. Doesn't that sound great especially right now when we have been at, what 97 degrees? If you don't have access to a boat to cruise over, you can drive on Highway 89 and park in the Harvey west parking lot and hike down to it. It's about a half mile hike and maybe at 500 foot elevation change, so bring your water bottle for the hike back up. Some years the Eagle Falls runs high and fast, but this year it was just a trickle.
One time about 10 years ago, I was lucky enough to take a boat with my sister Christy to Emerald Bay and camp overnight. The boat had a small deck off the back, just big enough for me to teach my sister and her friend Jill how to do the Electric Slide, one of the most popular country line dances at that time. My only problem was, when we pulled back into the Keys the next morning, I was seasick for two days. Thanks Christy for all of the great boating memories you have provided for us over the years and an extra thanks for the ride last week with Taylor before he went off to college. I know he totally enjoyed it especially when he got to drive the boat. Jenee liked that part best too.
-- Lisa Welch is a Johnson Lane resident and can be reached at 267-9350.