One of the defining parts of our family has always been road trips- the more spontaneous the better. This has been the case since the beginning. The first of these road trips came when we were dating and Brad invited me to go Yellowstone with him. But as we filled up the car to begin the drive, all of the sudden the plan changed. Instead of driving north east 4 hours to get to Yellowstone, we instead decided to drive north west 8 hours to Lake Tahoe. We doubled the drive time but it was well worth it.
Lake Tahoe sits on the border of Nevada and California and it is considered one of the best destinations in the country. When we arrived, we drove around the entire lake following the 72 mile road. Between the incredible blue of the lake and the lush green of the forested mountains, everywhere we looked we were met with a beautiful view.
We found a hotel on the California side of the lake and walked down along the beach. Someone had put a wooden arch on the beach ready for a wedding the next day. With the beautiful beach and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the background, it was a perfect place for any special moment.
There are two things that Lake Tahoe is known for- the beaches and the ski resorts. We drove up towards the peaks and saw that not all of the season’s snow had melted. The snow made the views all the more beautiful. Brad was recovering from a bad skiing accident but he still looked longingly towards the mountains and making plans for when he could come back and ski at all the resorts.
We spent a couple days enjoying Tahoe and taking some easy walks everywhere since Brad was not quite up for any hiking. We had one day left before we would be heading for home and we had planned to keep enjoying Tahoe for the day. But then the plan changed and instead we thought we would keep driving west so we could visit Lassen Volcanic National Park which was a few hours away. Lassen Volcanic is a lesser known of California’s national parks and it is kind of a hidden gem.
We pulled into the park and immediately the smell of Sulphur hit our noses. We had to laugh since our original plan of Yellowstone also would have come with that same smell from all the geysers. So we just exchanged one Sulphur spot for another.
The visitor center was closed and there was still snow in parts around the park. Because we couldn’t actually hike, we settled for a slow walk up the road that goes through the park. We loved the views of the mountains and trees everywhere.
We spent a few hours exploring what we could. Then we were back in the car and heading for home. We had about 10 of driving ahead of us. We were about half way home when I started saying that we weren’t all that far from Great Basin National Park and maybe we should change the plan to go there. But no, we had to get back so we would save that adventure for a different road trip.
We’ve been on many road trips since then, but that first one together when we ended up in California instead of Wyoming will always be one of our favorites.
24 thoughts on “Moments & Misadventures : Then The Plan Changed”
Well you proved you were compatible with a long ever changing road trip like that. Tahoe looks beautiful with the snowy mountains behind. And I’ve never heard of Lassen Volcanic National Park, but it looks nice too. Maggie
Long roadtrips are a really great way to decide if you want to be with someone and Im glad it became such a part.of us 🙂 Lassen Volcanic is not well known, especially compared to its bigger neighbors like Yosemite.
How fun! I’m terrible at being spontaneous with my travels, but this story makes me want to give it a try
Theres something really fun about going where the road takes you 🙂 but I also like having the structure of having a plan
Lake Tahoe was the one place we had to drop from our California itinerary last year, due to tine limits. Looks and sounds beautiful. And as for changing the plan and heading somewhere different…well, that’s what having a travel bug is all about!
Absolutely! Having the travel bug will always lead to change of plans to see and do more. I hope you make it to Tahoe on your next California adventure 🙂
Oh this road trip was wonderful Meg as it brought back fond memories of a road trip of our own. We actually stayed on the banks of Lake Tahoe for a few days and also drove to Lassen Volcanic NP. I’ll search out the scrapbooks my sons both made of the trip to discover exactly where we went and let you know.
How fantastic that youve been to both places! A shared roadtrip location- I love when that happens 🙂 Id love to know where you went when you visited
I love the spontaneity of road trips, too. It’s one of their best features.
Absolutely, the best road trips are spontaneous:)
Great road trip story, Meg! You and I are birds of a feather. I would’ve opted to drive to Great Basin while we were at it too. We haven’t been to Lake Tahoe, but it’s on our long list of “places”. I hope you have a great week.
Birds of a feather for sure! I wish we would have had the time for great basin. Ive been wanting to go back ever since. I understand that long list, crossing them off one place at a time 🙂 I hope you have a great week too!
I love this – I always think I knew it would work with my husband when we went away and survived a long haul journey together hehe 🙂
Traveling together is such a good way to figure out the long term possibility of a relationship. Although it still drives Brad crazy when I keep changing the station in the car, but I just say he learned that about me on our way to Tahoe 🙂
Last minute changes are so fun. I have not yet visited Lassen or Lake Tahoe, but they are both high on my bucket list. Your photos are beautiful!
Thank you! We would love to go back one day and do more hiking there since we couldnt last time. I hope you get to visit there-you would love it! 🙂
I love a road trip and one of the joys of a good one is a degree of flexibility, as you have demonstrated! We hope to include Lake Tahoe if we make it to northern California later this year – and even more so now I’ve seen your photos and read your descriptions!
So true, any traveling requires that ability to roll with it to a degree and see where it takes you 🙂 I hope you make it to Tahoe, I think you would love it there.
I knew Lake Tahoe by name, but you are the first blogger to take me there. What a gorgeous place Meg, no wonder people are so keen to have their weddings on those beaches. Hadn’t heard of Lassen Volcanic National Park but it looks fascinating and the colours really pop from your photos. And yes, I’m totally onboard with spontaneity, sometimes this approach makes for the best trips. Here’s to many more changed plans!
How cool to be the first to take you to Tahoe! It is a really beautiful place. We want to go back and do more hiking since we couldnt last time because of Brad recovering. Sometimes the best trips come from a change in plans. Cheers to many more plans and trips for both us 🙂
Good choice! Tahoe is a stunning part of the state. Glad you had a great time. 🙂
Stunning is right! We would love to go back and really immerse ourselves in the beauty of it all. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Travelling with someone is always a great way to test a relationship. I’ve never been to Lake Tahoe before, but it looks like a great area to take a road trip and appreciate nature. I love the interesting landscape at Lassen Volcanic National Park.
It really is a great test of a relationship because it can bring out the best as well as the worst. Lassen Volcanic is a hidden gem of a park. One of these days we will go back and see more of it. 🙂