A Quiet Moment in Donner
Every winter, my husband Jeremy and I organize a weekend Tahoe cabin trip with a group of dear friends. We spend three days in the snow, sledding, sleeping by the fire, and eating junk food. Each year it becomes more special as more of us move farther away from each other, continuing our unique paths into the next phases of our lives.
This year, we stayed in Donner, just a block or two from the lake. The cabin, stood three stories tall, its two decks overlooking partial views of the lake. It was the mansion of cabins and we had it for the whole weekend. Inside was just as nice, with several roomy leather couches, wall-sized TVs, and a long wooden communal table, perfect for board games. We had everything we needed to party.
Our annual group photo with our closest friends
The next morning we woke up to the smell of brown sugar. For breakfast, we enjoyed homemade cinnamon rolls and quickly got dressed for our journey up the mountain. After a 45 minute drive we found a well known slope for sledding. We piled out of the car, eagerly wrapped ourselves in our thickest coats and scarves and headed over to the hill covered in people. All around, families with small children and dogs romped on a crusty thin layer of snow. We watched the people on sleds move slowly, stopping in places. We looked at each other with skepticism. After a quick huddle, we re-strategized and headed back home for a day of board games. Jeremy tried covering his disappointment with a cheerful enthusiasm as he corralled us all back into the car. An hour later and we were back where we started. Cozy in our cabin with food, laughter, and games.
Zero and Honey enjoy the cabin life
Our little snow dog
On the final day, Jeremy and I went for a walk. It took less than five minutes to amble down the hill to Donner Lake. We arrived as the clouds were shifting to gold and saw a young couple at the edge of a wooden pier, sitting on a blanket with a bottle of wine. They smiled at us, eyes lighting up when they saw our happy pup, Zero. We greeted them, then moved onward down the shore in search of our own private romantic spot to share the view.
Sunset over Donner Lake
As we walked along the rocky shore, Jeremy tossed stones into the lake. Zero jumped in after them, ignoring the frigid temperatures.
We tiptoed out onto a fallen tree, it’s gnarled branches hoisting it above the water like a natural pier. As I sat there, watching the sky dim and the clouds turn pink, the reflections glittering off the surface of the late, I thought about our time there. Even though our plans of sledding and snowball fights had been foiled by lack of snowfall we still cherished our time, making new memories with old friends.
Zero jumps into the freezing Donner Lake confused about why he can’t catch the rocks we’re throwing
The fallen tree acts as a natural pier to watch the skies change color ask dusk settles in