To me, nothing says “summer” more than camping by the lake, going for a hike, roasting marshmallows over a campfire, and fatigue analysis at bedtime. On the west side of Lake Tahoe, the Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park hosted some of Hill Engineering and their families for a fun, nature-filled weekend.
All the fun started after work on a Friday in late July. The night started out relatively slow – pitching tents, eating dinner, getting situated and whatnot – but ended with none other than one of nature’s furry creatures…a black bear. Don’t worry, nothing bad happened, just a bear minding his bear business while taking a night stroll through the campground. However, there was a mix of reactions from the group: 1) scared of the bear, 2) didn’t think too much of the bear, and 3) the need to see the bear because you fell asleep before it came by. Unfortunately (for some), the bear was nowhere to be seen the second night.
Saturday was nothing short of filled with activity. The rest of the camping group arrived throughout the day and then the festivities went underway. Some people went hiking down the road by Eagle Falls, braving the heavy traffic and crazy parking situation. Basically, if you didn’t get there early, you might be waiting around for a spot for a while. You could park further up/down the road and walk to the trailhead, but some people like to try their luck at the first option.
Others took an easier route and went to the lake side of the park and had a beach day. Water activities were the theme of the day, with paddleboards and kayaks shared among the group. The water at Lake Tahoe is unbelievably clear. Where I was paddleboarding, I could see large boulders on the bottom as clearly as those breaking the surface and on the shore. Another thing about Lake Tahoe water: it’s unbelievably cold all year round, only in the 60s during the summer. This shock was experienced firsthand by most, whether it be from wading by the shore or falling off the paddleboard.
Fast forward a few hours to dinner time! Pulled pork nachos and sandwiches were the stars of the show. There were other “stars” present as well. A few members of Hill Engineering’s very own band, Axes & Alloys, pulled out their guitars and warmed up their singing voices and led the group with some songs by the campfire. Others pitched in and sang along and danced to the music. Marshmallows were being roasted for s’mores, bringing a sweet end to a great stay at Sugar Pine. Of course, nothing is sweeter than residual stress measurement, but that’s another story.