Run to the Hills

IMG_7653There seems to be a trend with my blog post titles, referencing rock and roll songs, but really I can’t help it. I had a great SIA trade show with a number of successful meetings, presentations, and was featured on the cover of the SIA Daily as a “Women to Watch” – couldn’t have asked for a better time in the Mile High City.

However, I was yearning to get up in the mountains and take advantage of the storm that was happening in the Sierras. I had to run to the hills and just relax in the place that is so near to my heart — Lake Tahoe.

I have been going to Lake Tahoe for over 30 years and the area is not a place, but a character in my life. It was where I lived when I first moved away from home, where I fell in love, got engaged, and married. To say the least it is my “safe” place where I can be myself and feel that no matter what is going on in my life, that Lake Tahoe will always be there for me. A lifelong friend.

I know that many of you, my dear readers, have that place that is the same for you — San Rafael Swell, Teton Valley, Mt. Rainier, and the list goes on and on and on. I want to share with you how I spent my three days in Tahoe, after the trade show season ended.

Accommodation

Tahoe can be expensive, if you choose to go the hotel route. That is why I suggest staying in South Lake Tahoe. It is here where the majority of the hotels are located and you have a number of different options to choose from. My husband, Chris, and I choose to go through Air B n B, since we had our dogs and wanted to have a kitchen to cook in at night. The only drawback to staying down in South Lake is that you have to drive to the majority of the resorts, which (that) are in North Lake. But the catch is that the drive is around the lake and you will have no shortage of epic views.

Where to Eat

Similar to finding a place to stay and depending on what you are looking for, there a ton of options for food. I am pretty simple and I have places that are staples every time I am in the area.

Jake’s on the Lake (Tahoe City) – Nice restaurant with a great Happy Hour menu and it is located on the lake. Chris and I ordered our food and got there in time for the sunset. Of course, Tahoe was in its glory – alpenglow reflecting off the top of the snowcapped mountains.

Wild Cherries (Truckee) – Right off Interstate 80, Cherries is the go-to morning spot, especially if you are headed up “Old 40” to Sugar Bowl. Cherries has a great selection of pastries, IMG_7671breakfast sandwiches, and a number of drip coffees on hand (self-serve).

Mamasake (Squaw Valley USA) – Okay, if there is one place that quite possibly has the BEST Happy Hour ever, is this place. After a day skiing Squaw you can head down to the village and get a sushi hand roll and a beer for $6. I repeat — sushi and a beer for $6. Do it.

Best Bloody Mary (Sugar Bowl Resort) – I am a Blood Mary connoisseur  having frequented the St. Regis in Park City and Sir Francis Drake in downtown San Francisco, but nothing compares to the Bloody Marys at the Judah Lodge at Sugar Bowl Resort. The bar makes its own mix and is generous with the vodka-to-mix ratio, and completes the drink with pickled green beans, olives, and celery. It is a must.

The Resorts

No shortage of places to get outside and play in Lake Tahoe in the winter. On this trip my husband and I wanted to get a few days in at the ski resort and also head into the backcountry. Depending on what you are looking for — there are ton of options. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Sugar Bowl Resort – This is where I worked when I moved to California andIMG_7709 where we have passes. Why? The terrain is awesome, with a ton of tree skiing, wide open bowls, shorter lift lines, and the Bloody Marys at Judah Lodge.

Squaw Valley USA – This might be a controversial selection depending on who you talk to. Squaw Valley — also know as “Squallywood” — was home to the 1960 Olympics, featured in countless ski films, and also has its own game. What do I like about this mountain? It’s a big resort with 3,600 acres of terrain, countless lift options, wide-open bowls, KT22, and great views of the lake from the top of High Camp. After a day shredding the gnar, head over to the Chammy bar for a California IPA on the patio.

The Backcountry

On this trip we decided to go toward Emerald Bay, to Jake’s Peak for a day of skiing uphill. That day we were about three days late on the storm and it was a warm sunny day. We were able to find some silky corn on the south side of the trail and made for some nice turn on a bluebird day with views of the lake in the background. If you are headed into the backcountry, please make sure that you have the proper equipment and also have visited the local websites for more information on trail conditions. Below are my favorite sites for the area:

http://www.sierraavalanchecenter.org

http://www.skitahoebackcountry.com

Souvenirs

If you need to get something to remember your trip, I highly recommend stopping by the Big Truck Brand hat bar and getting a personalized trucker hat made. Remember my blog post on how trucker hats are great for business? This is a brand that I have followed for the last three years that is crushing it by making unique Tahoe inspired hats locally.

You really can’t go wrong when planning a trip to Lake Tahoe. There is something that is completely magical about it and it continues to fill my heart every moment that I spend there. I encourage you if you haven’t been there yet — put it on the calendar, it is a must any time of year. Look forward to seeing you at Mamasake or in the backcountry this winter!

– Ladyhawk

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