Sunday, December 27, 2015

On the second day of Tahoe

Steve and Denise know all the best places to go in Tahoe.
Our morning started with snowshoes and the old forest service road up to the Stateline Fire Lookout.  It is 1 mile each way, an easy snowshoe with rewarding views of the lake and the surrounding sierras.  

The fire lookout, built at 7,017 feet elevation, was in use from 1936 to 2002, when it became obsolete due to advancements in fire detection technology, which does not include optic nerves and cerebral hemispheres.  

We continued on, driving around the lake to Squaw Valley.   In February of 1960, 30 nations and 665 athletes participated in the Winter Olympics.  The ski resort was undeveloped in 1955, but after being chosen to host the 1956 Olympics they had four years to build the infrastructure to support the athletes, the staff, and 50,000 spectators. 
Total cost- 80 million dollars. 

Walt Disney was the first ever Director of the Pageantry for Olympic games, and set a gold standard for Olympic games to come.  It was also the first Olympics to be televised live to both national and international audiences.

The resort attracts approximately 600,000 skiers each year, and some non-skiers like us who are here for free warm chocolate chip cookies and views of the peaks.  I took my cookie happily pretending like 'I deserved it' as the Squaw Valley employee told me; she did not know that I did not pay 139$ to ski there for the day, and did not burn the calories to really deserve it. 

Our evening ended watching the premier of the movie Streif: One Hell of a Ride in what was once the dining room for the Olympic competitors.  The documentary followed ski racers from around the world as they prepared and faced the Streif, the Hahnenkamm Mountain downhill course in Austria. In 2003, Daron Rahlves (pictured above) won the Hahnenkamm.  It had been 44 years since a skier from the United States won this particular race.  Gruesome video clips of the injuries obtained as competitors traveled upwards of 120 mph in hopes of winning the race are showcased; proving it to be a feat just to make it to the finish line.  

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