Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Road Trip and a Bike Trip

It's been a busy past few weeks. The week before last the children didn't have school and we decided on a whim to head toward Tahoe and play in the snow. There were some vehement complaints about not biking, but a few hundred miles, several thousand feet of elevation change, winter weather, lack of experience in long-distance touring, and just a few days to go a few hundred miles just didn't sound like a good combination. So we drove, spending time at Jeremy's parents' home near Sacramento on the way there and the way back. There really wasn't much snow, but the weather was quite warm (40s or so) and the kids (and adults!) had a blast sledding and playing:
Because this is a bike blog... In front of the South Lake Tahoe visitors' center.

First sledding hill we went to-- recommendation from the visitors' center. This one was a little scary--  big people coming down fast and no clear paths up or down.


We stayed at these cabins in Zephyr cove. It's mostly a summer resort right on Lake Tahoe, but they're great in the winter too-- such a beautiful setting. We did have to take what was available though-- a studio with a double bed and fold-out sofa.  The clerk said he didn't care if we slept 8 of us in there, so we went for it. Too squishy. If we return, we'll make reservations for something bigger. 

Lake Tahoe near the cabin. The snow ran right into the sand  which ran into the water. The lake doesn't freeze because  the currents are too strong.

Second sledding hill-- Adventure Mountain at Echo Summit. For a small per car entrance fee, you get nicely groomed paths and restrooms. 


We also did a lot of fun things with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma took the girls to some local horse stables where they got to help groom the horses and chat with owner. The boys went to the Woodland Truck and Tractor Museum. One afternoon, all kids except for the baby went to Sacramento's Discovery Museum.

Truck and Tractor Museum. Kids can pedal little tractors through the museum-- so cool. Jeremy (who took the three "big" boys) decided they were done visiting, when they began intentionally crashing the tractors into each other.
Dinosaur Josh at the Discovery Museum
On the way to Sacramento we got off the highway several times and scouted out Google's suggested bike route. We especially wanted to look at freeway crossings, since (if they're not on a pedestrian/ bike only bridge) they can be quite unpleasant. Things looked pretty good and we're considering riding the 100 miles to my inlaws at some point.

After the road trip, everyone was itching for a bike ride, so the day after we returned we headed south about 10 miles to the downtown San Jose Psycho Donuts and to explore a pedestrian/bike trail in San Jose's Guadalupe River Park. I was less than enthused about the park-- so many ups and downs under roads, tight turns and dead-ends on the trail. I went looking for the carousel with some of the children and somehow missed it. Long story short, I like riding my bike, but am not especially fond of downtown San Jose. It's always struck me as an eerily empty wannabe city and our little trip there didn't change that.

Giant Monopoly Board
Eating Psycho Donuts (in front of Target-- where we ended up after the too many ups and downs/dead ends).
An urban farm-- donuts for snack, fresh salad for dinner. 
And that's just a bit of what we've been up to... I'd be blogging all night if I put up all the photos and details!

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