A Three Hour Tour

MS Dixie II

Yesterday, we took a boat ride on Lake Tahoe in the MS Dixie II. Modeled after the paddle-wheelers of old, it sports the pictured stern wheel. After much struggle, I managed to translate this live action iOS picture of the paddlewheel that I had taken on my iPhone into a form that this blog could use. We departed port from South Tahoe, across the Nevada line. Think lots of casinos. South Tahoe is the most congested part of the lake. From there, we headed north to Emerald Bay, just south of where we are staying, a relatively shallow bay where the lake’s deep blue water turns green. In this bay, there is the lake’s only island. We were hoping that our scheduled two-hour tour would be lengthened into a fabled three-hour tour. The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed, if not for the courage of the fearless crew, the Minnow would be lost… But there was not a cloud in the sky then, so our boat headed back to South Tahoe sans shipwreck. We did see a historical home in Emerald Bay, called Vikingsholm. Lora J. Knight, a rich woman (Heiress to controlling shares of National Biscuit, Continental Can, Diamond Match, Union Pacific and Rock Island Railroad, anyone of which would have made her very wealthy.), built it and modeled it on medieval Viking castles. She is best known for building this house, but she did help fund Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of Saint Louis flight. The property belongs to the state now and tours are available, but they don’t start until the end of this month. Supposedly, Knight wanted to furnish her home in the style of the Vikings, but none of the Scandinavian governments would allow her to export any of their historical artifacts. She then had very exacting copies made instead. She owned the one island in the lake also and had a teahouse built upon it. We saw its ruins as we circled the island for home.

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