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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Snowboarding and Snakes


This is what I have been doing for the past week. I'm in South Lake Tahoe, snowboarding both California and Nevada, depending on which lift you take. The snow isn't the softest, but perhaps it would help if I could land a jump on something besides my head. I am in love (perhaps in an unhealthy way) with my helmet. I have quite a dependent relationship with him. So yes, Lake Tahoe... check out the view, if you can get past my parents' retro one-piece ski outfits.

They sure don't make ski suits like they used to. You can never lose your parents for long when they're donned in purple, teal, and hot pink. So about the view. Behind them you can see Lake Tahoe.

Here are some cool facts about this glorious and freezing freshwater monstrosity.

It's located ACROSS California and Nevada. That means there's lake in California and there's also lake in Nevada. It's the largest alpine lake in North America, and alpine lake means a lake at high altitude, usually starting at 5000 feet above sea level.
It's gorgeous, cold, and sparkly, and rumor has it that the visibility is a phenomenal 75 feet in some places. Speaking of feet, it also measures 1645 feet deep, making it the second deepest lake in America. The first deepest is Crater Lake in Oregon, at a whopping 1945 feet of drowning space.

It measures 22 miles across at its longest point (that's the distance from Long Beach to Catalina Island). Talk about a lengthy wake boarding ride. If you want to take a jog around the shoreline, get ready for a 72-mile trek.

If you're into the super long trek, and are one of those agro-hiker types, there's the 165 mile Tahoe Rim Trail, that spans the perimeter of the Lake, but up on the mountains and ridges. You can walk it, run it, bike it, or make a horse do it for you.

Speaking of animals, there are many forms of wildlife, for instance, my roommate:

Meet "Lucille".

I'm staying at my cousin's house, and she has a sweet little (not so much little) corn snake in the bedroom. Corn snakes, AKA red-rat snakes, are called "corn snakes" because of their corn-on-the-cob like pattern on their bellies -- and the fact that they hang out in corn fields. They're very sweet (comparatively speaking), and they're not likely to bite you -- they kill their prey by constriction (strangling them).

Anyway, I came home to find "Lucille" wanted to take a field trip. She had used her strangulation strength to push her cage open and take a trip across the room. I walked in the room and I was like, "Uh-oh... empty cage. Not good." I giggled when I thought of my roommate back at home, Jamie, who won't even talk about snakes. In fact, I emailed her a pic of Lucille in her cage, and she wouldn't even open it. So while I played "Where's Waldo" in the bedroom, searching under bedspreads and pillows, I was imagining J and how much she would have FAH-reaked if she walked in on this. It took a while to spot her. Lucille would have won the crown at The National Hide-and-Go-Seek Tourney. I can't imagine trying to find her in a corn field -- the same exact color as a stalk of corn. Luckily she was hiding in a potted plant, wrapped firmly around the stiff green leaves. And what a strong girl! It took both my dad and me to peel her off of the plant. Here's me trying to settle down her whipping body. It felt like an arm-wrestling match. Check out the cool corn-on-the-cob belly -- even with little blue corn kernels mixed in.
The guy who lives downstairs told me that she was probably just hungry. She didn't eat the other day, and so he froze the field mouse for a hungrier time. Guess you can freeze live mice, and as long as you heat them up later, they're good as new. Mmm... anyone for microwaved mice?

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