D.L. Bliss

If I haven’t mentioned it before, momma is obsessed with Lake Tahoe. Every time we get the chance to SUP there she won’t shut up about how beautiful and amazing it is. Lately she’s got this idea in her head that we should eventually try to link up a bunch of our paddles and make our way around the ENTIRE lake. It’s a great idea, but it is a little tricky because there are lots of places you can’t have a dog ON the beach at Lake Tahoe.

However, your dog can be on a SUP in the water around all of Lake Tahoe, so it’s a matter of figuring out where we can put in the SUP and get somehow across the beach onto the board. Good thing I’m less than 50# because momma says “I’ll just carry him across the beach so he isn’t technically on it.” And that’s how we have paddled out of D.L. Bliss to some of the prettiest parts of the west shore of Lake Tahoe.

We have taken two separate trips to D.L. Bliss and camped in the closest campground to the water. From here momma has to just carry her board down the hill to the beach to put in. She then retrieves me to walk along the road down to the beach where she carries me across the sand to get on the board. Then we get to go exploring! In the time we’ve spent camped at D.L. Bliss we have paddled down to Emerald Bay twice, and up to Meeks Bay once.

This water clarity is so amazing! It’s hard to tell sometimes how deep things are, but we cleared this downed tree with no problem on the fin! 

Before I forget, let me tell you that the bears are super active at D.L. Bliss. The rangers are very strict about briefing the bear box regulations and they need to be! Just before sunrise the bears would come through camp and try to break into the dumpsters, then go raiding camps where people had (washed) pots and pans that were not in the bear box, or grills that were not in the bear box. It’s kind of crazy!

Super deep blue here off the shore of D.L.  Bliss where the water depth quickly becomes 1000+ feet

OK so on to the SUP part. Every time we SUP here we get up early in the morning to do so. That’s because the west shore is very popular on Lake Tahoe, so when we get up early we practically have it all to ourselves which is really awesome. We like the calm mornings before the wind and boat wake picks up because we can see all the cool things under the water. The water off the edge of D.L. Bliss gets really deep, really quick! And by deep I mean 1000+ feet deep! Insane! And just a little bit freaky, right?

Here you can see the steep drop-off below

Our first trip to D.L. Bliss we paddled south both times because you can paddle right on into Emerald Bay – which is just beautiful! On one of our paddles, we did make a stop on Fannette Island, which is the only island in all of Lake Tahoe. There is also a little tea house atop the island. Since it was still early and we were the only ones there, we went up to have a look at it. Momma was expecting that it would be totally trashed and full of graffiti, but it actually wasn’t, it was lovely! The tricky part was momma was so excited about getting there and going up, that she couldn’t find the trail down.

Tea house on Fannette Island, looking out towards the mouth of Emerald Bay

Just a teeny-tiny Tea House

Approaching Fannette Island, Tea House visible at the very top! 

In her defense, there were about a dozen or more trails going everywhere, so it wasn’t very clear. I tried to show her a nice trail I thought we should take, and since she trusts me on we went. However, it was a trail to where we SHOULD have left the SUP because it was easy up and down – the trick was she had left the SUP basically on the edge of a cliff and not down here. So we couldn’t look down and see it. After many attempts down trails we finally found a trail that didn’t cliff out and made our way back down to the SUP. I was SO HAPPY to see the SUP – it was so bush-whacky that momma had to haul me up and down with my float coat a few times, which I was not super thrilled about. She assures me we will not go back there unless we go to the nice trail we discovered.

Shipwreck below? Do you see it??? 

Our human cousin SUP-ing for the first time

On another trip down to Emerald Bay we got to see this big, giant hot air balloon getting ready to take some folks on what must be an AMAZING tour of the Tahoe area. Since momma likes to paddle early in the morning we have seen this balloon from lots of different parts of Tahoe, but we have never seen it up close. Momma actually wondered where the balloon took off from and landed, but we never expected it was on a BOAT! It was really cool to see up close. I only barked at it once! Momma thinks that tour probably would be an amazing way to see Tahoe because it looks like you get some air time over Desolation Wilderness, too.

So fun to see up close how this balloon operation works ON the lake! 

Speaking of Desolation Wilderness we did do some hiking up there from our base camp at D.L. Bliss. We went to a trailhead momma had never been to before, at Eagle Falls. She has never gone up there because when we come from the south Bayview is always closer. And we will probably never go back to Eagle Falls TH because it was a SHIT SHOW. There is a short trail that goes up there to the falls and short trails = a bajillion idiot people and their wild kids. Anyways, we made it through the throngs and had a nice hike up to the Upper Velma lake, which is my dad’s favorite lake (so far) in Desolation. We were supposed to backpack and overnight there over Memorial Day, but we canceled because it was still snowing up there. Most of the snow was clear though, so we did have a great time. Lolo, momma and I went all the way around the lake, which was pretty fun. Our human cousin was visiting, so it was fun to show him some landscapes a little different from Florida.

Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe behind me

Upper Velma, the waterfall from Fontanellis visible behind me

Love all the granite in Desolation

The other hike into Desolation that we did on our second trip to D.L. Bliss was up from the Meeks Bay area to Crag Lake. It is probably the “easiest” way to get up into Desolation because it has the most gradual elevation gain, and not the same amount of elevation gain as any other trail head we’ve ever been to. The flowers were really starting to come out! But momma noticed that I was a bit limp-ier than normal, even on my other feet and discovered that I had blistered and torn open ALL of my feet. ALL OF THEM. We were supposed to be in Tahoe for 4 more days but we had to go home because Lolo also had some blistered paw pads and momma said we are such ding dongs we would keep running on them and making them worse. This was a week before we were supposed to be in Mammoth, so momma was also keen to have us in prime condition for that!

Only later did momma notice my front right paw in this photo – it had a huge blister on it!

The morning of the Crag Lake hike – on our second trip to D.L. Bliss – was the morning that momma and I paddled north into Meeks Bay. It was kind of fun to paddle Rubicon Bay on our SUP which was actually named after Rubicon Bay! But what wasn’t fun that day was the WIND. It was a bit of a stormy-ish morning and forecast to get rain later in the day so momma had us try to go out to beat the weather. We were able to see rain moving across the lake to the north of us so it was nice not to get rained on but boy did we get tossed around by the wind, especially going around Rubicon point. It was otherwise a lovely paddle, especially if you want to dream about winning the lottery and buying a house on the lake, there were some absolutely stunning homes we paddled by. One even had a sea plane tied out on the buoy!

Just a sea plane tied out on a buoy. NBD.

Hey momma, let’s get a house here! 

We are slowly but surely making progress on our tour of Lake Tahoe, once I catch up on a few more blogs I will describe some of our other link ups! Momma hopes that once the staples come out of my foot and I’m not under wraps anymore we can get a few more trips in this season yet, even if it is in the fall!

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