A happy finish to Donner Lake/Truckee. Tues/Wed 4/21-22
I left you guys yesterday afternoon with a very black sky and growling thunder growing ever closer. What can people do with their day then, but take a nap? Amazingly, we slept, but Truckee-Donner Lake had the mother and father of thunderstorms. Lightning all around and crashing thunder. Haven't heard about any lightning-strike fires, so hopefully none started. By 5pm, the skies had cleared and our tummies began talking about being empty. We wanted to try a new restaurant in Truckee that had good reviews. With several options, we picked Pianeta (below). Pianeta means planet in Italian, so I suppose we were also celebrating Earth Day!
Not only did we have a wonderful dinner, our entire Pianeta evening was a superb dining experience! From Bruschetta Two Ways to an unusual (and delicious) Caesar salad, to the Chicken Cannelloni main course, and a Lemon Panna Cotta dessert, all split by Jimmy and me ... and none of it rushed or tardy, everything done just right ... what a delight! When our server asked, "How are you tonight?" Smiling, happy to share, we replied, "Excellent. It's our 14th anniversary." I guess the word spread, because every restaurant staff who stopped by our table, wished us a happy anniversary. The dessert we ordered was brought to our table (with a celebratory candle), by the manager, who gave us the biggest smile and said, "No charge for the dessert." Class act. We left the restaurant feeling quite pleased ... and very full! Our buona fortuna!
Based on weather predictions, we weren't sure what Wednesday morning would be like, tho more great thunderstorms were forecast for afternoon. When we opened the curtains, all we could see was a chilly, gray blanket of fog. An hour later, the fog dissipated and the sun shone brightly. Giant cumulus clouds were already beginning to form. Hmmm....
Looking across Donner Lake toward our tiny airbnb apartment, and those building clouds. It's a quick drive from our apt to Donner Memorial Park and a completely flat 2.3 out-and-back crushed granite interpretative trail along the East Shore. We figured we could enjoy the walk before being chased indoors by bad weather.
View from the dam at Donner Lake outlet.
What a gorgeous scene! Looking toward Donner Peak.
I am actually standing on a large rock a few feet out into the lake ... that's how clear the water is. It LOOKS clean and clear enough to drink, not that anybody would, but it's nice to see such transparent water.
Mr. Common Merganser hopped on one of those rocks, too.
Every time we turned around, we gazed skyward, keeping a weather eye on those billowing clouds.
Aha! A new bird for me! This is a White-headed Woodpecker and as far as I know, I'd not previously seen one. It hopped from a Ponderosa Pine trunk to the pine cone on the ground, perhaps savoring the seeds? He lives in the mountains of Western North American pine forests.
After finishing up the out-and-back trail, we drove to Donner Memorial Park VC and walked their short, half-mile nature trail. This is part of Donner Creek, one of the tributaries of the Truckee River. We encountered a couple of geese (in the water), par for the course in America. BTW, the new VC finally opens June 6th, and we might join the opening festivities. My watch said 12:45 -- lunchtime! Thunder rumbled not too far away. I offered to buy Jimmy a burger, so we hopped in the car, and drove to historic downtown Truckee.
Oh yeah, in Truckee ... that's why we hear thunder!
In the past we've always lunched at the same place (Jax at the Tracks) in Truckee. Consistently good, but it was time to try new eateries. Squeeze In was another restaurant with good reviews. They close at 2 pm, which gave us an hour to enjoy lunch. Let it rain, we took umbrellas with us.
How can you go wrong in a place where the head guy wears sox like these? Jimmy ordered a burger and fries, which he declared delish, and I had a taco salad (with grilled chicken) that was perfect-o! We know why it's called Squeeze In ... the "dining room" is only ten-and-a-half feet wide! Cute, friendly and full of Truckee charm, along with good food. It's a winner.
We closed the joint down at 2 pm. It didn't rain in Truckee!
We leave tomorrow morning, back home, after a terrific anniversary get-away!