Mt. Tallac Snow Cross
--from Tahoe Resort Ministries website
Mount Tallac is purportedly named from the Washoe Indian word “tallac” which means “Great Mountain.” This lofty peak is 9,735 feet above sea level. In the spring and summer a white cross can be seen. This is formed by the heavy winter snows filling the deep crevices of the mountain. As the surface snows melt and disappear, the deeper snow remains, forming the cross that appears for many months. The cross can be best seen in the summer months. Go to the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe and look for the tallest mountain on the California side.
(More extensive information about recreation at Mount Tallac is available from SummitPost.org here that includes a spectacular 270 degree panoramic view from the summit HERE!)
This is a special postcard in memory of my Aunt JoAnn who passed away on Memorial Day 2008 at age 78. Her husband, my Uncle Bill who died in 1994, built for his family a most precious cabin at Tahoma, Lake Tahoe, California. Tahoma is between Meeks Bay and Tahoe City on the panoramic view linked above. My family had the gift of two weeks each summer at the cabin, and they are some of the happiest memories I have from my teen years. Nel and I would go down to the pier early with friends we'd connect with each year and would stay all day in the sun, with plunges into the cold lake to cool off. My mother would check out a dozen or so books from the library and read on the back deck most of the day, while my stepfather lazed about on the front porch area or busied himself with the recipe for that night's dinner. Nel and I loved going to the dances held on Saturday nights at Meeks Bay, as they drew a crowd of kids from around the California side of the lake whose families were summering and vacationing there.
Overlooking all this sun-worshipping, frolicking, swimming, reading, dining, partying, and memory-making was Mount Tallac.
We from the Reno area spent most of our Lake Tahoe time on the Nevada side of the lake, with the occasional complete 72-mile drive around the lake. I'd not have had the chance to know the California side -- the quiet side -- of Lake Tahoe had Uncle Bill not built and shared the cabin that is now entrusted to my cousins Heather and Brett, and Brett's young family.
What would have become of JoAnn if my grandmother, Nellie, hadn't taken her into their family when she was 18 months old? Only God knows. Her story most likely would not have included Bill and their happy ski trips in the Sierras, so neither would it have included the children who became my cousins, and none of us would have known the cabin at Tahoma with Mount Tallac 20 miles in the distance.
Beautiful JoAnn and her story deserve a separate post: tomorrow. But I just have to end this post with a photo taken at Nellie's house in Alameda, California, in 1954. Pictured here left to right are: JoAnn, me on her lap, my mother Margaret, my grandmother Nellie, Nel on her lap.