The day was perfect. Clear blue sky with no clouds. Warm, but not uncomfortably so. My brother-in-law and I stood out on the front deck enjoying the unobstructed view of the nearby mountains.
Suddenly a movement brought both of us out of our reverie. Above the mountains something was crossing the sky. From the north it came, a glowing blue sphere. Trailing blue flames flecked with yellow.
It slowly descended at a fairly shallow angle and we watched it until it dropped out of sight behind the mountains.
We figured we’d see something about it in the local newspaper but never a word was printed.
What did we see? It wasn’t a meteor nor was it an airplane. It didn’t crash or it would have started a rip-roaring forest fire.
Someone once said that if you see a UFO then you are involved with it. There is no doubt in my mind that a UFO is what we saw. It marked the beginning of a new level of strange happenings in my life…and they’ve never let up.
As far back as my memories go there was Galveston. The family went there often. We even went there one time when we shouldn’t have and got caught in a hurricane.
Even back in the early days there was always a variety of things to do. We used to go to Murdoch’s to swim because they had a bath house.
There was an arcade on Seawall Blvd. which my sister and I always wanted to visit. That worked for my mom and dad because there were also slot machines they could play.
Within walking distance, behind the Buccaneer Hotel was a big, scary roller coaster that I rode once…and only once. That is another story, as is the hurricane. I’ll tell them in later posts.
Even after I was married and moved from Dallas back to Houston, our place to go when we wanted to get away for awhile was always Galveston.
Although we live at Lake Tahoe now Galveston is still a special place to me and always will be. Quite often I go online and look at their live webcams.
After a restful sleep we were up early and ready for a day of exploring.
After a nice breakfast at one of the casinos we headed over to Emerald Bay on the west shore. There I finally got my first good view of the lake. My reaction was contained in one short word. “WOW!”
We parked the car and took the trail down to Vikingsholm. It turned out to be about a one mile walk. Yet, due to the steepness of the trail and the altitude, our return back up to the parking lot seemed more like two miles. We had to stop numerous times while we huffed and puffed.
We continued our drive, stopping often, but eventually making it all the way around the lake and back to the casino area.
As we sat in a restaurant having dinner we both knew without a doubt that someday we would live at Lake Tahoe.
And sure enough that dream came true in the late 1980s.
In the 1980s we were on a trip out west. We stopped at the junction of US 6 and SR 120 to get gas. I wanted to go to Yosemite so we asked if Tioga Pass was open. We were told they were still clearing the winter snow so it was still closed.
We headed west on SR 120. That road was a constantly up and down affair, like a roller coaster made up of continuous small dips. When we got to US 395 we followed it north and just outside of the town of Lee Vining we came to the junction of Tioga road. Sure enough, it was closed.
I really wanted to see Yosemite but we would have to go considerably out of the way to get there. My wife said that was ok, we could visit Lake Tahoe on the way. I’d never been there…in fact I’d never even heard of it.
It was already dark as we drove on through Lee Vining and continued northward. After what seemed like forever we entered the little town of Gardnerville and then Minden. Just outside Minden we pulled into a rest area.
I asked my wife how much further was Tahoe and she said it was up in the mountains just west of us. I told her I was exhausted and asked her to drive. We changed places and she headed for the mountains.
When we got over to the foothills things seemed a bit confusing for there was an arrow and a sign that said Lake Tahoe yet there was a partial barricade and a second arrow pointing a different direction. We finally decided to take the road that looked like it headed up the mountain to the lake.
After following what seemed like the narrowest and curve-filled road imaginable we finally arrived at the casinos. Since I had never been in a casino we parked and went into a couple of them for a little while. Soon, however, exhaustion overcame us and we found a nice motel room close by for some much needed rest.
In a future post I’ll continue this with the events of the next day when I actually got my first view of the lake.