I woke to continuing light snowfall and made my way to 8AM Mass at Corpus Christie Catholic Church in Tahoe City. The priest even had his (very good) dog in church!
I then followed the advice of the Tahoe City t-shirt shop manager I met on day 1, and headed to Eagle Rock for a relatively short hike before skiing. Perhaps due to the snowy, overcast weather (or the early hour) there was no one at this supposedly popular spot. It was a short but steep climb.
Back to Squaw Valley to ski fresh May snow! But FIRST…stopped at the nearby pro shop to get some wax!
After my hike, I chugged a beer. Hey, it had blood orange juice in it, it was practically breakfast food! Over to the window to pick up my ticket and then opted for the funitel line. There are a number of ways up the mountain from the base. I mapped out a day of skiing the easiest terrain they had, largely because in January, I had a spill on a black diamond run in Montana that left me feeling…cautious. I noticed one of the pairs of skis aboard were Blizzard’s popular Black Pearl ski. I asked the woman roughly my age, sitting in front of me, “Hey do you like your Black Pearls?” We started chatting and before landing, she said, “Hey, would you like to ski together today?” Cherie was from the Bay area and was with her young adult son and his friends for the long weekend. We began traversing across the the area I hoped to ski and took a heavily-mogul-ed blue run. That’s a wild way to start the day but I kinda like the bumps, plus I was already warmed up from my hike. My ski buddy poo-pooed my notion of skiing the greens.
“What?! You’re a good skier, let’s do harder stuff,” she suggested. And so we did! We hung out around the Shirley Lake lift area. Never venturing to KT-22 but carving our way across blue and black bumpy runs. The snow was pretty terrific for Memorial Day Weekend!
We made a stop in the Gold Coast lodge for a bathroom and beer break. I treated a round of (ubiquitous and reliable in Western ski areas ) Coors Light. We ran into some friends of Cherie and we talked with them for a bit. The woman told us about her great experience with a Squaw Valley woman’s camp that dramatically improved her abilities and confidence. A camp like that is something I hope to have the opportunity to try someday.
Back to the mountain, and we tried more runs on the back side of the mountain. We skied until last chair. The Mountain Run back to base lodge was the only area that was a bit muddy due to heavy traffic. I skied back to Squaw Valley Lodge and did some laundry, then met Cherie and more of her friends at Le Chamois Loft Bar. Cherie treated me to what the group was drinking: White Claws.
Everyone there was very friendly and I had a great time. After saying goodbye, I headed back to the condo and changed into swimwear so I could enjoy the sauna, pool, and hot tubs. As I’ve noted before, it’s an older complex but the facilities are very clean. Many owners seemed to be there for the weekend so there was a good sized group in the pool and cooking up dinners on the community grill.
Then back in my room, I made a tasty pasta dish and salad for dinner. I love being able to cook after an active day, so I can relax in PJs with dinner and tv.
The next day, I was notified that my flight was delayed by hours. I headed toward Reno and stopped at a few casinos along the way, but didn’t have much luck. Then I headed toward Sparks casinos near the airport. Grand Sierra was a gorgeous resort, but the slots were tighter than my pants after a casino buffet. Speaking of…
I tried a really skeevy old gaming room, then had a late lunch at the Nugget buffet, which, despite being an aging casino complex, the food was varied and excellent. At one point, a woman stopped me in the buffet line and asked me a question in Russian. I replied in English sorry, but I don’t understand. She seemed surprised that I wasn’t Russian. I’m actually of Polish and Baltic descent but I guess it’s close enough? Anyway, I got so much food, I even wrapped up half a sandwich and cookie for later (cheesy move, I know.) I did NOT play at Nugget after a rather unlucky morning.
Back at the airport, I did a bit of shopping before heading home.
I’ve now been in the Reno area 3 times, Tahoe twice. It’s a destination that I am hopeful I’ll be visiting again, there is just so much to do and beautiful natural scenery at every turn.