At Family Nature Summits – Lake Tahoe, Day 0

This is my eight year with Family Nature Summits.

I’ve been going to Family Nature Summits (FNS) with one granddaughter or another (or both) since 2010. This year, Isa (age 7) and I are at Lake Tahoe, California, just over the Nevada border. The three-hour time change explains why I’ve been awake since 3 am, local time.

I’ve blogged about FNS each time, but here’s a synopsis of the program.

This one-week camp is for adults, children and everyone in between who wants to visit new areas every year and have a comfortable outdoor experience. Adults come by themselves because it is an inexpensive, active, safe way to see the country.

Lodging and activities are all planned. We stay in resorts, “YMCA”, ranches. You have the option to camp in most places but few people decide to rough it.

Families come because children have their own groups led by science educators from 8 am to 3:30 pm. Adults can choose from a huge number of activities from hiking and flower studies to painting and kayaking.

This year, we’re staying at Granlibakken Resort, which Isa insists on calling Granola Bacon, a luxurious place. After a tough day yesterday with delayed flights, running from one airport gate to another, it is nice to have come in a day early.

Sugar Pine Cone

We use the day to check out the surroundings. This morning, Isa and I walk to Paige Meadows on the Tahoe Rim Trim Trail.

This hike leaves the property and reaches Paige Meadows, an open area full of Queen Anne’s lace. This hike is more challenging that she’s going to do with other seven-year olds in the Junior Naturalist Program and less challenging than I’m going to do with the adults.

This land is dry. Jeffrey pines and Ponderosa pines seem to be the most common trees here. Look at this website, which explains our surroundings. Even on this short hike from Granlibakken, I can see that I’m not in Asheville anymore but in Tahoe National Forest or the Lake Tahoe Basin.

In the afternoon, we register. Even with all the paperwork and money I’ve sent during the year, this is the last check to make sure that we know what we signed up for. The big ritual is the brightly colored scarves which shows the number of years that you’ve come to FNS. I have a blue scarf (5 to 9 years) and Isa has a green scarf (2-4 years).

We’ve organized our room. We’ve registered. We know where the Junior Naturalists gather and where the vans are to take me on my hikes. We’ve been welcomed by Pamela Morrison, the president of FNS.

Let the week begin.


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