Family Summits – Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

The Sierra Nevadas have a typical desert climate. It’s hot during the day and cool at night and early morning. Hannah and I were seriously jetlagged. I woke up at 4 A.M. and Hannah at 5 A.M. We managed to stay in the room until 7 o’clock; it was cold when we went outside for breakfast.

I knew it would warm up quickly so we took shorts to walk down to Lake Tahoe. The Lake is about a mile downhill from the resort on a fire road. Lake Tahoe is part of Tahoe National Forest, though there are many private businesses and condos on the lake.DannyHannahatLakeTahoe At least people owning the condos can’t shoo us away from the shore front because we’re in a national forest. On the right, we’re shown still bundled up, but not for long. We soon changed into shorts and stripped down to a short-sleeve shirt.

Tahoe City, the town on the northwestern part of the lake, is a tourist honky-tonk, very much like Gatlinburg. But this is California, after all, so its cafes serve good, healthy food and its craft stores offer high-quality goods. We wandered in a gallery but more important to us, we found a great playground on the beach.

After lunch and an extended stay at the pool, we fronted up for Family Summit registration. Steve - headofyouthprogramUnlike the resort which was disorganized and confused, Family Summit is well organized and helpful.

Volunteers spend the whole year planning this week. Everyone get scarves based on the number of years they’ve come to the Summits and we got our yellow scarves, because this is our first year with the organization. We signed up for our various hikes and programs and received a t-shirt and the now ubiquitous waterbottle.

Familysummits-fourgirlsBy dinner, Hannah had found her friend, Alexa and two teenagers who played with them. These older girls, dressed as “goth”, were very gentle with the young children. They made sure that they stayed around the restaurant area, while running around and singing away. I seem to have gravitated to the bunch of adults from Ontario, mostly birders.

After dinner, we had the “welcome to Family Summits” meeting. They proudly announced the number of people who had come to many Summits. Many adults had been first been taken by their parents so, for example, there was a young mother of 33 who had been to 25 Summits. The organization had been running for 40 years old, first under the auspices of National Wildlife Federation, now as its own non-profit.

By 8 P.M., Hannah and I were so tired that we went back to the room and flopped in  bed – ready for the first full day of camp.

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