During a previous stay at Hostel Tahoe, a roommate kindly recommended that I check out Ikeda’s Country Market in Auburn, located right off Highway 80. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to swing by on that trip – Highway 80 was shut down from a mudslide and we were rerouted away from Ikeda’s. Luckily, the season was still young and I was able to stop by with my boyfriend on a more recent trip to North Lake Tahoe. While the berry pies came highly recommended, I’m glad we also checked out what else they had to offer – which were equally delicious!
With the help of a season ski pass and a record-setting snowfall, I’ve spent more time in Lake Tahoe over the past few months than I have in the past 27 years combined! Specifically, I was able to make several trips to North Lake Tahoe and get to know the area better. While my experience is centered around winter activities, I hope this post can help others plan for visiting North Tahoe year-round.
Recently, my boyfriend and I decided to visit squeeze in a few more days on the mountain in Tahoe before the end of the ski season. We opted to snowboard Sunday to Tuesday, hoping to avoid most of the weekend rush and crowd. Rather than driving up early Sunday (with a 3.5 hour drive, we would have had to depart San Francisco around 5am), we decided to drive most of the way Saturday and spend the night in Colfax, CA, which is only an hour away from Northstar Resort and Lake Tahoe.
We’ve been very lucky with rain these past few months in California – it feels like we’ve had more rainy days and than sunny days this winter! But no complaints, as the rain has been much needed after years of drought across the state. Which is why I began looking into purchasing a proper rain jacket that can be used in the city and for outdoor excursions as well.
Previously, I’ve used UNIQLO’s pocketable parka while running errands in the city. It’s also great for traveling as it’s lightweight and hardly takes up any space when stored. However, as you can imagine, it doesn’t quite hold up well against real rainstorms. For a rainy hike in Big Basin, I used my old trusty North Face triclimate shell – but, it too began absorbing water halfway through the hike. I’ve since re-treated it with Granger’s waterproofing spray to revive the DWR (durable water repellent) layer on the jacket. Though it’s much better now, I was still looking for that perfect rain jacket that was not too heavy and not too light.
Over time, I’ve amassed an embarrassingly large collection of vacuum insulated steel water bottles including YETI, Hydro Flask, S’well and Klean Kanteen. I’ve managed to delude myself into believing each bottle serves a specific purpose in my daily life (Marie Kondo would not approve). But one thing I’ve never tested is their insulation properties relative to each other. If you’re curious about which bottle holds heat the best – read on!