Going Back to the Bay: Tips, Tricks, and Handy Guidelines
by Chris Cloyd
Driving home from a local ski resort the other day – a holiday Sunday – I felt pangs of sympathy for my fellow skiers and snowboarders in their cars. I only had a 10 minute drive home, but most of them had 3+ hours of interstate between them and their homes in SanWalnutCreekJoseMarinPalo
(Author’s note: For the sake of our discussion here, we’re assuming that our guests from the Bay are skiing and riding at Northstar. My totally scientific study reflected the following data: based on the number of Giants logos counted in lift lines, Northstar enjoys the most traffic from the Bay area.)
As with most things in life, timing is everything. That being the case, let’s take the time to milk every minute of our ski trip. At Northstar, the resort is kind enough to offer s’mores to every guest at 3 PM. Free of charge! Alternatively, you can pay $120 for the s’mores and ski for FREE. That’s how you spell value, ladies and gentlemen. Once you’ve enjoyed your $120 s’mores, you can take the free shuttle back to your Mercedes Benz with a belly fully of satisfaction. Moreover, most of your brethren are already on the road, and you’ll most likely enjoy scenic open roads on your way to Tahoe City. Sure, you could drive straight to Truckee and Interstate 80, but…
Photos for Social Media
You can’t get selfies with Lake Tahoe in the background in Truckee. And, of course, no trip from the Bay to Tahoe is complete without a photo on your Instagram feed of you in front of the Big Blue Lake. But you’re not just a traveler from the Bay; you’re unique – and your photo needs to be unique, too. The most unique photos of Lake Tahoe all come from one place: Commons Beach in Tahoe City. To ensure your individuality shines on your Twitter feed, this author recommends a trip to Tahoe City. You can park your Tesla across the street from the beach at the FREE charging station and power up for your drive home while you get the shot you need to commemorate your trip. Breathe it in:
Last Minute Shopping
As you leave the charging station, you’ll note the Save Mart Supermarket as you leave Tahoe City. You could indeed shop here, but you’d be missing out on one of the greatest traditions shared by all Bay area travelers on their trips to Lake Tahoe: shopping at Safeway in Truckee at peak hours. If you’ve heeded the sage advice included in this essay, it’s about 5:30 PM and you’re starting to get hungry again now that your $120 s’mores are digested. Now is the PERFECT time to swing into the Truckee Safeway for some road fuel and some other foodstuffs that you absolutely, positively need to pick up in Truckee before you head back to the Bay. Now, you won’t be the only one enjoying this fine tradition on your way back to the bay, but that’s to be expected. Experiences this great are the worthy pursuit of many.
These circumstances would prove challenging to some, but you, esteemed reader of this essay, are prepared. You parked at the east end of the parking lot, by Tahoe, and you backed your Range Rover in so that you can hastily exit the fray when your shopping experience is over. Moreover, you’re advantageously positioned for your last stop on the way out of town…
Obligatory Lake Tahoe Stickers for your Car/Apparel for your Closet
Tahoe Mountain Sports is my favorite place to shop for all of my Lake Tahoe-centric needs, and it should be yours too. After all, you can’t buy the goods you need with the silhouette of the Big Blue Lake on them in the Mission. More importantly, you can’t get the “Keep Tahoe Blue” sticker that your Prius NEEDS in the Mission. So you swing into Tahoe Mountain Sports, grab a sticker and you put it on your bumper right above your “Coexist” sticker. Now no one will ever mistakenly think again that you only care about “the environment” – they’ll know that you also care about “the environment in Lake Tahoe”.
I charge you now, travelers, to use these tips and tricks to enhance your experience the next time you’re gearing up to go back to the Bay. I’m confident that with a little planning, these local secrets, and the dirty Chai you’re sipping right now in your Nissan Leaf, you too will have the knowledge and focus to go back to the Bay in style. Travel well, guests of our region. Travel well.