Angora and Virginia

They sound as though they might be sisters, but really they are only linked by being part of an outing Mr. Glad and I had this week, up to Lake Tahoe to stay with our friends Mr. and Mrs. C. at their cabin. I took hardly any pictures — too conscious of my backlog of unsorted photos at home — and now regret it, because there are things worth sharing. So I found some pictures online to supplement my words.

The wild horses were the first thing that made me want photos. We saw them at the end of the day in Virginia City, Nevada, through the window of the (I hesitate to tell you) Bucket of Blood Saloon.

We were the only customers on the day after Labor Day, so we had the best table, with a view down the hill to the lower parts of town and a panorama of the mostly sage-green slopes. About a dozen horses grazed a few blocks lower down, and colts reared up to play-fight with each other, then prance off.

I knew that herds of mustangs still roam in the West, but I only learned today that “The historic Virginia Range herd, over 1,400 strong, can be found living wild and free between Virginia City, Reno, Dayton and Carson City.” It comprises half of the wild horses in the nation. Getting a glimpse of this little group made for a highlight of the day for me.

We did a lot of browsing in shops, where I bought a dance skirt, and a bag of Sugar Babies for old time’s sake. Boy, were they a disappointment. Certainly it is the recipe and not my memory that has failed. The lovely way the candy coating would melt into crystals is not to be experienced anymore. Corn syrup does not equal sugar, for one thing.

The next day our hosts introduced us to their family favorite Place to Go When at Tahoe: Angora Lake, or more precisely, Upper Angora Lake. These lakes gave their name to the Angora Fire that destroyed so much property here in 2007, on record as one of the top ten most costly fires in U.S. history. We approached the lake on a glacial moraine ridge, tree-lined Fallen Leaf Lake on our right and acres of burned-out forest on our left.

Looking south over the Angora Fire area (GJ photo)

After we reached the parking lot for the lake, we hiked another mile before reaching the lake and the sweet resort that sits next to it.

On one side of the bowl a wall of granite rises up, not too sheer, with plenty of ledges and crevices from which to high-jump into the deep waters. Mr. Glad was the only one of us who swam, but we ladies waded for quite a while and wiggled our toes in the fine granite gravel.

From top: Tahoe, Fallen Leaf, Lower and Upper Angora
Upper Angora Lake Beach

The mister rented one of those rowboats in the photo so that he and I could enjoy a lazy time rowing around the lake and examining the lichens and berries that grow on or out of the granite cliff; we all spent a good while sitting in the sunshine when it got through the afternoon mountain clouds, reading our books, and watching chipmunks scurry around.

Sulfur Flower, sage, and Mr. G

On the way back I took my own photos, so among other things you can see my view as our little excursion, and our mini-vacation, drew to a close. You can’t see what a contented vacationer I was; you have to use your imagination for that.

3 thoughts on “Angora and Virginia

  1. Oh, I've been to Angora Lake and loved it! Also I've been up Echo Peak, which looks down on it, a couple of times. That hike up Horsetail Falls and over to Echo Peak to the view of Angora, Fallen Leaf and Tahoe is one of my favorites. I'm afraid it's much changed since the fire though… I don't know how high that fire climbed.

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