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Pondering Life on Eagle Rock
> above Lake Tahoe's West Shore <

I moved to Lake Tahoe to mend my soul, shattered by the 1989 Loma Prieta Quake (7.1). Over the years, I've found many special spots on the West Shore to ponder life, but my all-time favorite is Eagle Rock.

Concerns disappear as I hit the trail. My child within guides me playfully along narrow paths of mules ear, dogwood, thimble berry, manzanita and aspen. Crossing the top of the massive volcanic protrusion becomes a game of hopping and balance.

At the look out point I digest the wonders of Tahoe, refreshened by the lake's clear waters, majestic mountains, and endless skies. Loosing myself in the environment, I'm reminded of the Washoe Indians who used Eagle Rock as a vantage point to spot deer, bear and mountain lion. My hunt is of a different nature, a spiritual quest, each visit providing a new clue.

I envision the shoreline of the late 1800s, stripped of its timber, and see myself sadly watching the logs cross the lake headed for the gold and silver mines of Virginia City. I thank John Muir for trying to make Lake Tahoe a National Park, but despair the decision makers lacking his foresight.

Sometimes, I imagine steamers promenading San Francisco society around the lake and imagine myself spying on formal banquets below at the Fleishacker's picnic grounds. I can almost feel the warmth of their glowing barbecue pit and taste the delicacies served by waiters dressed in white. Then, with a renewed spirit, from my journey into Tahoe's past, I leave the great rock as playfully as I arrived.

Photo and story by Jill Beede.

The Legend of Eagle Rock

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