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My Three Gondola Lunch

My first glimmer that Lake Tahoe is an amazing place was on the plane, descending from  35, 000 feet over the Sierra Nevada Mountains on our way to Sacramento airport.    Looking out the window I couldn’t help but gasp as I spotted a huge blue body of water surrounded by glorious mountains.

Woooo.  That must be Lake Tahoe, I thought almost out loud.  Sure enough, the 22 mile long, 12 mile wide lake was beneath me.  I couldn’t wait to get there.

I have not been disappointed.  Water, mountains, snow.  Friendly people. Blue sky.  Lots of snow.  It is a stunning area. I don’t ski but that didn’t stop me from having a great time.

Yesterday, our last day here, was particularly nice.    I had a Three Gondola Lunch.  Sounds silly but it was a fabulous experience for me.

Since I don’t ski I don’t get to see many of the stunning views that my skiing friends do when I join them on trips. But yesterday that changed.  First I took a gondola from the area where our condo is located in North Star down to the Base Village. After getting a “walkers pass” I took the main gondola up the mountain to Mid-Mountain.  What an eye opener this was.

Folks sitting around eating, drinking and sharing stories.  Little tykes in ski school.  Snow boarding school.  Kids laughing as they enjoyed tubing on the ski hill.    Lines for chair lifts.  All in a beautiful snow covered setting with blue sky and sunshine. It’s a cliché but I couldn’t help but think,  “It doesn’t get any better than this.”


I thoroughly enjoyed watching people glide  down the hill, grinning as they swoosh to a stop at the bottom.  After looking around a bit, I took another gondola to Schaffer’s Camp.  The lift is  actually a chairlift with every 15th one a gondola for non skiers like me.  We “walkers” had our own special line and platform for entering the gondola.  More fabulous scenery.

At the top, I joined the seven skiers in my group for tasty lunch at Schaffer’s camp, a restaurant that takes its inspiration from Mr. Schaffer, the owner of a logging camp on this site.  Lots of history here.  Below are photos of the logger and his camp.

My skiing friends loved the fact that they could get out of those heavy confining ski boots and don comfy slippers for the duration of the lunch.   The lunch conversation revolved around where they skied and who fell where and how much fun they were all having.I loved being part of the group.  It was a good day.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


1 Comment
  1. posted by
    Georgia Gietzen
    Mar 7, 2010 Reply

    It was a very good day and it was so nice you could join us! The views from Schaffer’s Camp of the Sierra Nevada Mtns. were beautiful – and I LOVED the “gas” firepits on the deck . . . and the slippers for my tired and weary feet!

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