Road Trip to Lake Tahoe, Day 3: Soda Lake

With the start of the weekday looming just around the corner, we had to sadly depart from Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains and head back down to Southern California… with just a quick stop at Carrizo Plains and, within it, Soda Lake.

You see, our trip to Lake Tahoe was supposed to be our trip to San Louis Obispo. I had already written a list of things I wanted us to do there, one of them included visiting Soda Lake where Google Images showed there was a field of beautiful flowers nearby. I imagined myself running through the field of flowers, hands grazing various flower petals, and the wind softly blowing on my long dress. It was a romantic thought that I wanted to, quite desperately, have come true.

Following the driving directions from Dave’s Travel Corner, we drove nearly 140 miles worth of detour to find this place. Through narrow and windy roads and through miles of rocky dirt road, we made it. And all my hopes and wishes diminished.

There was no field of flowers near where I stood. According to a few guides I read about this place, the flowers were supposed to have bloomed during May. Yet, nothing in this area seemed to have much life left in it. Most of the plants there looked fairly dead so it would have been very difficult for wildflowers to bloom, I’m assuming.

Oh, woe was me. I dressed up for nothing.

Soda Lake was out in the middle of nowhere. There were only three other people visiting the site when we were there. The ground is very similar to Death Valley’s Badwater Basin but on a milder form. The white view of the lake does amaze me.

In the end, everything turned out just fine. Sure, it was a long detour from our already long drive home only to have my romantic notions crushed, but it was a fun drive nonetheless. Let me tell ya, we were lucky to have brought Joseph’s car. If it was my car while I was driving us there, I would have developed a bit of a leadfoot. And on those sharp turns near the edge of the hills, whooooo! 

And so, our Lake Tahoe road trip comes to an end. The endless views of the California desert will be fondly remembered.

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