JB_summer-bucket-list5I moved to Tahoe City unseen about eleven years ago. The drive cross-country was tedious to say the least and it was very late as I was nearing the final destination – the cabin I was moving into at the base of Homewood Ski Resort on Tahoe’s infamous West Shore. On the last leg of the long journey from New Hampshire we were traveling North on Route 89, led not by GPS but by actual paper map. I white-knuckled the steering wheel navigating the twists and turns around Emerald Bay, knowing there was a massive cliff to my right. It was a dark but clear fall night and the moon must have provided enough light for me to catch a glimpse of the sign for D.L. Bliss State Park. I did not know at that time that the campground is home to the most absolutely gorgeous and remote beaches on all of Lake Tahoe.

This past Spring, I booked a campsite the day the D.L. Bliss State Park reservation site went live. I did not want to wait any longer than I already had.

In the years that followed I lived on the West Shore, in Squaw Valley, Carnelian Bay, and Tahoe City. I’d like to say that I spent many days gallivanting in the Bliss sunshine but for some reason it took me nearly a decade to get there. I spent a lot of time exploring surreal secret beaches on the East Shore, smooth stone beaches on the North shore, and even hiking into desolation wilderness to swim in natural granite pools – yet for some reason Bliss still remained out of reach.

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This past Spring, I booked a campsite the day the D.L. Bliss State Park reservation site went live. I did not want to wait any longer than I already had. I threw some firewood and my best bikini in the Volkswagen van and we set sail. Our site was perched up high in the pines with a tiny wooden staircase leading down to the most spectacular, fluffy, white sand beach with ice cold water the color of sapphires and turquoise stones. Wooden boats pulled close to shore to snap pictures of the stunning surroundings, rivaling Sardinia and Santorini. In true California style, we made tacos over the campfire. That evening I had a magnificent view of the starry sky from my tent. Let’s just say it was worth the wait. Paradise Found.