As a kid, my family would vacation every summer. For three or four years in my early teens, we camped on the south shore of Lake Tahoe. We put up our tents in a beautiful campground on the Nevada side called Zephyr Cove. There was a beautiful beach with a pier. They had a lodge and a pretty good restaurant, also. We usually stayed there for at least a week and most times longer.
There was plenty of things to do besides go to the beach. Every year we would “truck down the Truckee”. That meant the whole family would float down the Truckee River from Fanny Bridge to the River Ranch in big truck inner tubes. This was a peaceful two hour drift of about five miles through the magnificent forested landscape, that were interspersed with a few rump jarring rapids along the way. This adventure was always followed by good food and drink at the River Ranch.
On our travels around the lake, we would usually stop at Emerald Bay. We would take a boat sometimes to the island in the bay or tour the Vikingsholm Castle. Almost every year we would drive down to Virginia City to get a taste of the Old West and a sarsaparilla at the Bucket of Blood Saloon.
As an adult, my wife Judi and I stayed with my parents once in their trailer at Zephyr Cove. We camped there once in a tent when our boys were toddlers and another time, when we were empty nesters when we had a fifth wheel trailer. Because of our fond memories of the Lake and because all three of my sister vacation up there every year, our sons and their families decided we should all go up there again this year.
One of our daughter-in-laws works the internet like Liberace played the piano. She was able to rent us a house for four days in Incline Village on the North Shore. Since two of my sisters have abandoned the South Shore of the lake and have been staying at the North Shore in Incline Village for the last few years, this house met our needs. The house had four bedrooms, one of which was a bunkhouse room where our four grandchildren would bed down. The other bedrooms each had a bath so all of the grownups were taken care of.
We had a great time, but four days really isn't enough time to do everything we wanted to do. We had a BBQ at my older sister's rental where one of her son's and his family were staying. We trucked down the Truckee one day. My sons and I took the two older boys fishing on the Truckee one day without catching anything.
The bad news was that the traffic around the lake was much more congested than I remembered. The only traffic I recalled was around the casinos in Stateline. The beaches were much more crowded, too. The worst thing was the private beach for Incline Village charged $12 a day for adults and $5 a day for kids, even for the residents or those renting houses there.
Next year, we're going to look into taking the RV and staying at Zephyr Cove, (if we can get a reservation), or one of the other campgrounds on the South Shore, along with our kids and grandkids. We also will try and stay for at least a week. It's good for families to get together and build memories. Having three generations together help keep families strong.