I had spent the entire morning walking along the incomparable Lake Tahoe on the East Shore Trail. I used up several hours on the bliss of heavenly views that would boost my mood for days, and I could have gone home then with immense contentment. But I didn’t want to return quite yet. I felt like the small child at a playground who cannot be convinced it’s time to leave all the fun.
So I headed south on HWY 28 until I was almost to the HWY 50 junction. I still didn’t know what the rest of my day would look like, but when I passed Spooner Lake on my left I knew what I would do. I could see through the trees that the lake was frozen! I have been to Spooner Lake a number of times, but never in the winter. How on earth did I not know that it froze in the cold months? I turned around at the first opportunity and headed to the icy lake.
After paying my $10 parking fee (worth it for such beauty and good restrooms, if you ask me!) I parked my car and switched out my walking shoes for the snow boots I had brought along just in case I ended up in snow somewhere that day.
As soon as I got out to the lake (only about 300 yards from the parking lot), I couldn’t believe what my eyes were telling me…there were two people walking/standing on the lake next to what looked like a chair they’d brought with them. They were likely ice fishing. I looked it up when I got home, and yes, people ice-fish on Spooner! Who knew (probably everyone but me)?
Spooner is a man-made lake constructed to store irrigation water. There is a trail around the lake that is only 2.1 miles, and it’s not difficult. We have been on this trail in the fall when its many aspen trees are in their full golden splendor. It’s a beautiful trail to walk in autumn to be sure. I have been drawn to the bare aspens as well. They are slender and straight, existing in pattern-like bunches. Their bark and branches are silvery white, many of which bear the marks of initials carved by sweethearts throughout the years. I find it doesn’t matter the location, aspens all seem to beckon the name carvers.
During this visit I found that it was a controlled burn day all around the lake. There were smoldering fires everywhere, filling the cold, breezy, winter air with that mountain cabin chimney smell. It added even more to the experience. There were plentiful firefighters on duty to monitor the conditions that made for beautiful scenes along the path.
Spooner is also a popular location for cross country skiing. I crossed paths with a couple of skiers who asked me if the lake was good to travel over. I told them that I am from around here and I never even knew that Spooner freezes! I was definitely not the one to ask. Other than these two and the firefighters I didn’t encounter any others on the trail. I tried hard to see some wildlife but no luck there this time.
I feel so fortunate to live so close to countless destinations such as this one. Nature is such a gift from God.