Gazebo Pond at the Pope-Baldwin Estate
Thursday. June 9, 2005
South Lake Tahoe, California
We arrived about 2:30 p.m. yesterday, parked, leveled, took a long hot shower, and picked up email messages to read off-line. Somehow the prongs on my mouse had gotten bent and the only mouse available was the green button on the laptop keyboard. So this morning, while Bob fed quarters to the coin-op washers and dryers at the Tahoe Valley Campground, I went to Staples and bought a new external mouse. Much better!
Back to yesterday: We went for a late lunch to a Chevy's for Mexican food since Denver no longer has a Chevy's and we always enjoyed their fresh "no cans" food philosophy. But, alas, it seems there has been a merger with El Torito and La Fiesta and the "no cans" slogan has disappeared from their menus along with the Ranchero sauce made of fresh chopped tomatoes which added so much to the Chili Rellenos and Chicken enchiladas. The ambiance is still Chevy's but the food quality is definitely not the same. We ate enough that we just snacked for dinner and went to bed early.
Today we drove up Highway 89 to walk a little and chose the Pope-Baldwin Estates which now belong to the Forest Service. As we were leaving the Gazebo Pond and just turning the corner past the Scarecrow garden, we heard sirens, then a firetruck arrived and firemen began running toward a burning car. We both were sheepishly trying to get photos from a discreet--and safe--distance when one of the firemen came over to talk to us. He said it was a training exercise and we could get better photos over by the tent where a man was standing behind some kind of control board manipulating the fire to similate different types of firefighting challenges.
Training Control tent
We watched for over a half hour as the fire-fighter men and women dealt with flare-ups, water-pressure failure, collapse of a fellow fire fighter etc. We both remarked that it was a little like the simulator training Bob had to take every six months during his career, though instead of engines shut down and hydraulic failure, the firefighters had their own specific simulations. One fireman told us that in this exercise below, they were to first create a water screen between them and the fire, then try to subdue the fire. The slogan they were given was "Nozzle left for life and right to fight."
As we were leaving we spoke with a young fireman who asked where we were from and what brought us to Tahoe. Bob told him about the relay race and they chatted a bit about it. We were walking towards our car when a young fireman, in full firefighting regalia, came running after us shouting, "Sir! Sir!" until we stopped. "Tell me about your race," he said. "I want to run." He gave us his cellular number and Bob said if any of our runners could not run their sections of the race, he would call him and he could run on our team. It seems the young man had run his first marathon the week before at a sub-three-hour time.
After a shower and some quick house-cleaning chores we drove to meet Rene and Martita, our friends from Chile, who were arriving by plane today. We took them out for some of the best barbecued ribs I've ever had at Hoss Hoggs in S. Lake Tahoe. I had scouted out a place where I could get a good cellular signal as I had promised that we'd call Paula, my friend at Apprentice of Wonder, so she could talk with the two of them. She and her husband had stayed with R and M when we all went to Chile last November. After the call we took them back to their apartment after making some plans for tomorrow.
The four of us enjoying Hoss Hogg's Ribs