The second time we went to Lake Tahoe was in January 1980. We had been married a little over a year. A lot had happened in that year. Hubby had broken his leg on the job and had missed several weeks of work. He had so much swelling and bruising that they decided not to cast the leg. In light of that, he had to be extra careful that he didn't do anything to damage it. We lived in a second floor apartment. Needless, to say, he was pretty much house-bound for several weeks.
After recovering from that, he had begun the process of trying to get hired by a local Law Enforcement Agency. He tested with several agencies and was hired by his first choice. He was due to start the academy in February 1980. We decided to splurge and take a ski vacation to Lake Tahoe in January. We booked one of those package deals that include your lodging, lift tickets and some meals.
This was during the time when something was going on with our gas supply. I can't remember exactly what, but there were shortages. It was common to wait in line for a couple of hours to fill up your tank. I think you could only buy gas on certain days. It might have been based on your license plate numbers, kind of an even and odd day type of thing. I remember that we were worried about driving to Lake Tahoe, for fear there would be stretches of road where no gas was available. In lieu of that, we traveled with two 10 gallon gas cans in our truck...just in case.
I don't remember the name of the hotel where we stayed, but it was in South Lake Tahoe. The cabin that we stay in is just outside of Tahoe City in North Tahoe. South Tahoe is where all the casinos are and it is more heavily populated. I can remember arriving on a Sunday, checking into our hotel and watching the Super Bowl. It was the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the then LA Rams.
We skied at 4 different resorts while we were there, Squaw Valley, Heavenly Valley, Alpine Meadows and Kirkwood. I remember that the weather was picture perfect the entire time. I know that there were things that I liked about each resort. Once you rode up in the Gondola, Squaw Valley was like skiing in a wide open valley with no trees. On a bright sunny day, it was almost hot. Kirkwood was a much smaller, family-friendly resort. The runs were probably more suited to my level of skiing, but it was a longer drive. I don't remember much about Alpine Meadows that is noteworthy. Heavenly Valley was a huge waste of money. Not because it wasn't a good place to ski, but because we only made one run and then were done for the day.
It was our last day of skiing. We had saved the closest resort for last. Like the last post in Big Bear, Hubby had persuaded me to try a run that I wasn't ready for. I kept falling. Getting up and falling again. On one of the falls I ripped my ski bibs. They ripped on a seam. Not a big deal. Easily fixable. The only problem was that they ripped from the waistband in the front all the way to the waistband in the back. There was no way that I was going to keep skiing like that! There was no way for me to fix them and I wasn't about to leave to go and buy another pair at resort prices. I encouraged Hubby to stay and ski, telling him I would wait in the lodge, in my jeans, with a good book. He didn't want to do that, so that is our experience with Heavenly Valley.
Here is a picture of Hubby sporting 1980's style sideburns and a pre-cop haircut.
The Gondola to Squaw Valley.
View of the Lake from the top of Heavenly Valley.
Even though the Heavenly Valley day was cut short, the vacation was still a lot of fun. At today's prices, this trip would cost around $1800.00 to $2000.00 for lodging, lift tickets, food and gas. Back in 1980 it was a very expensive trip for us at a whopping $520.00.
I remember that my second trip to Lake Tahoe just made me fall more and more in love with the area. It was probably on that trip that Hubby and I started talking about the possibility of someday owning our own mountain cabin. Maybe not at Lake Tahoe, but somewhere where the blue jays wake you in the morning and the smell of pine is in the air. Someplace where the sky is blue and the air is clean. I'm sure we talked about someday having children and introducing the Lake to them. I doubt that we could have known how much a part of our lives and memories that Lake Tahoe would actually become.
Next up: Catalina Island