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Archives for the day Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Heavenly Gondola from the baseI have been coming to Lake Tahoe for 10 years and must have walked by the Heavenly gondola more than 100 times without giving it a thought.  Heavenly marketing gave me a pass for a free trip on the gondola and I paid $34 for a pass for my wife.  I did not know what I was missing.  Everything about the trip was good.

At the check-in counter, I gave the clerk my secret code and $34 for my wife and away we went.  Everyone was nice.  They made sure to tell us to stop at the first stop on the way up because the gondola does not stop on the way down.  The views were stunning.  It was also cold and windy at the first stop.  The local thermometer showed 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  We jumped back on the gondola to head to the top of the mountain.  The gondola went over the peak then down into a high valley between a few peaks.  When we got off the gondola, I could not help but notice how ugly it was there.  The views were beautiful from the time we got on the gondola until we went over the peak to get off in the little valley.  To be fair, it is a ski slope and designed for winter sports.  The summer use was an after thought because the equipment was already there.

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We walked around a few dead ends before we found the open trails.  The trails were all very well marked and easy to follow.  There were signs at most scenic overlooks with instructions on where to go next and how hard it would be to get back.  The views from the trails and scenic overlooks were all beautiful.  A gentle 200-yard uphill slope felt like climbing a mountain!  After walking around for a few hours, it got a little easier to go up the hills but it sure was a shock to find that walking up a gentle slope to be so difficult.  We spent 4-5 hours at Heavenly.  I highly recommend spending a summer day at Heavenly.  It was a lot of fun.  You can add lunch to your ticket for an extra $8.  I did not get the lunch with my ticket because of a big breakfast but the food looked and smelled good.

While walking around Lake Tahoe, I told people about how much fun I had on the gondola and how I thought it was worth the $34 price tag.  Most people told me that $34 was too expensive to ride up the gondola.  A few people told me they would consider it in the same tone you use on a used vacuum cleaner salesman.

Some viewI liked the gondola ride and think it was worth the money.  I probably skip the gondola trip unless I take guests up to Tahoe.  I will take them on the gondola just to get them to go.