Monday, January 20, 2014

Alex At Squaw Valley



Song:  Pretty World

Group:  Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66



We decided to drive up to Squaw Valley for the day.
It is only 45 minutes or so from home.
We wanted to scout out the area for future reference...
and to take the Gondola to the mountain cafe and observation area...
and to walk around the village area.

Although we have not had snow for several weeks...
and the weather has been unusually warm (mid 40s - 50s daytime highs)...
we were not disappointed.

What beautiful sights there were to behold from atop the mountain cafe!











The Gondola embarkation/debarkation point.


Alex loves riding gondolas.



As you can see...
we had almost the whole gondola to ourselves.








The mountain cafe and observation platform is in view.



The cafe where we would shortly eat.


We first walked around on the observation platform where we could get 
360 degree views of the grand mountain views.

The elevation here is approximately 8,200 ft.


The swimming pool was closed at this time.


Lake Tahoe is in the background.

Alex and I LOVE the mountains...
especially at high altitudes.

This is the type of area I wish to finally retire on.
I am dreaming of the day when I may have distant mountain views... 
and to live where even eagles dare not soar...
preferably from between 10,000 to 15,000 ft in elevation.
I, of course, may have to settle for 5,000 to 10,000 ft. in elevation...
depending on what the future holds
(Although we now live at approximately 5,300 ft elevation...I want more!
Alex also loves high altitude).

There is just something about the air in the high country.
Besides being so fresh and crisp...
and the temperature being in my preferred range
(I also love storms and wintery weather)...
the feeling of freedom and overall lightness of being is highly addictive.
My body tingles and I feel almost giddy at all times.

While I am normally optimistic...and a dreamer of sorts...
up in altitude...my mind races with great unrealized possibilities...
a great symphony plays in rhythm with the scenery...
and each true color has its own feeling.
I always feel so alive at high altitudes
(of course, it may simply be hypoxia...  :)


Give me air that is fit for a man to breathe...
where each breath brings in the scent of a lit hearth...
where I may feel freedom in my heart...
and have a brisk Northerly wind on my face.

Give me storms of ice and snow
so fierce as to make even the bears hide in their dens.

Give me driving rains and winds...
so I may fully appreciate the crystal clarity of the senses
when the High Country shines in all of its magnificence.

I shall be building my family's refuge in a place formerly 
reserved for the gods themselves...
the High Country...
rrroarrrrr (my guttural tiger's roar :)...
sorry....ah....
perhaps I am still giddy from our trip  :)

I am more than country...
I am a Mountain Man at heart.
I am happiest in High Country.
Alex is the same way.

Looking forward to getting our final property 
in such a place of freedom as is the High Country...
well, for me, it is a dream worth dreaming...
and pursuing.

My dream is also Alex's dream.

One day...
perhaps.


Alex said he loved the scenery...
and the cool breeze on his skin.







The Terrace...
what a grand place to enjoy lunch.



Alex enjoying his hot cocoa...
as we all enjoyed the fresh mountain air from an open window.


Alex had a large garden salad with a delicious balsamic vinaigrette dressing.


I had a very good panini.


After having a very relaxed lunch with spectacular views...
we went back to the gondola for the ride down.


We were waiting for our ride here.


Our ride arrived after a short wait.


On our way to the village at Squaw Valley.



We walked around the shops for a while.



Alex resting at one of the many fire pits.





The scenery was beautiful, and the air was lightly scented 
with the wonderful aroma of burning wood.

The elevation at the village is approximately 6,200 ft.





As we drove the short way back home...
we planned where we would like to go for dinner.

When I had asked Alex where he would like to eat...
he immediately said, "Naan and Kabab".

This is one of our favorite restaurants.

So, after a two hour rest at home...
off we went to Naan and Kabab.



Alex had his favorite...
Salmon Kabab.


I tried something different this time...
Steak Kabab.

Alex and I love their food.

They fire roast everything except the rice
(which is some of the best rice I have ever had...
very light and fluffy...and with a hint of saffron).

The vegetables were delicious as well.
Fire roasting makes everything so tasty.

I don't understand why all restaurants don't fire grill their meats and vegetables...
the flavor simply comes alive with flame roasting.



My wife had their Persian chocolate cake.
It had a unique cocoa taste...which was delicious...
not too sweet...but very flavorful.


Alex and I had their homemade Pistachio ice cream
with homemade Baklava on top.

I love the honey infused sweetness of their Baklava.
When they put it on top of their ice cream...
what a great way to polish off a great meal.



Our short mountain day trip was great.
We plan to return sometime in the future.

Heavenly Valley at South Lake Tahoe has the best gondola to observation platform 
for panoramic Lake Tahoe and distant mountain views...
and it is near the Lake Tahoe Cruise.

Northstar has the best village.

Squaw Valley has the best mountain cafe...
and gondola to observation platform for the best near mountain views.

All three are very near home...
how fortunate we are.

We keep getting pleasantly surprised at all of the wonderful places near us.

We won't be so foolish as to not explore as much as we can...and as often as we can.

In the next week or two...
unless we have snow...
Alex and I are planning to go on a short hike to Eagle Falls in the mountains of Lake Tahoe.

Even though we won't need camping equipment...
I plan to carry a backpack with cold weather gear and sleeping bags...
food and water...etc...
just in case the weather turns for the worse while we are on the trail...
not only because it is the prudent decision anytime one hikes in the mountains...
but also because I want Alex to get used to carrying a pack.

I will be ordering a backpack for Alex tonight. 

Hopefully it will arrive in time...
if not...then we will share the load so he may at least 
have a taste of carrying one.

I have been waiting for more snowfall so we could go cross country skiing
for our weekly long distance endurance training.

We will have to switch to winter hiking during the unseasonably
warm spells we have been having.

Either way...
it will, once again, be time to walk amongst the Titans and Gods
in the land of the heavens...
High Country!   :)










4 comments:

  1. I went skiing at Squaw Valley a couple times many years ago and your photos brought back very fond memories. I have never been to Heavenly Valley or Northstar, but I thought that Squaw was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Truly exhilarating being up at the top of the mountains... I can easily understand why you want to retire somewhere like that.

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  2. I always get so hopeful for the future when I am in the mountains. I may not be able to fulfill my dream of retiring in the high country...but I shall strive for it nonetheless.

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  3. I found Squaw Valley on the Google Maps. Nice place and nice pictures! Ski is one of my best hobbies and Sacramento is the sister city of my home town, Matsuyama City. I hope I'll visit Squaw Valley some day. Anyway, Alex has grown up and became a nice guy!

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  4. Thank you for commenting Kumo! Although my son and I are still beginners in skiing, we both enjoy it. I also wish to introduce him to Cross Country Skiing. I have been visiting your blog often. I very much enjoy your pictures. I envy your many travels and the adventures you have. I am also very impressed with how much you have been getting in shape. You are living a dream life. Thank you again for your comment...and please feel free to comment at any time.

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