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Lake Tahoe from the Nevada shore.


If you need the best self help run in America, take a drive

I hear you asking now, “But, Dave, where do we go?”

Not Europe. Save that for family and get blamed for museum and cathedral nightmares.

For this episode of Get Lost, you only need two words: Lake. Tahoe.

Or three words: South Lake Tahoe, a place with all of the elements in such fine balance.

Big enough to be a sixth Great Lake, with a ski slope called Heavenly Valley, Lake Tahoe might be a little intimidating. And that’s good.

Whether you’re stuck in a rut, bored to tears, or just tired of looking at the same old schtuff, this will change your angle.

Here’s what you do:

Start in Portland, Oregon.

Everyone loves Portland so much, right?

So fly in, rent a car, follow instructions.

Locals know this stuff by heart, but for those planning a Portland move, or just moved there, Mt. Hood is a compass point.

You’re headed north if it’s on your right, south if it’s on your left. If you can’t see it, you’re lost.

Once you’re packed and gassed to go, aim straight for Hood.

Real quick here, take I-84 East to the Wood Village exit.

Right turn at the light and stay on that winding road through suburban hell until you see signs for Hwy 26.

Turn left and stay on 26 until it becomes Hwy 97.

This route over the Cascades drops you out of the trees and into high desert country with Mt. Jefferson and Three Sisters on the right.

You’ll love the view combining empty scrub land and white mountain peaks.

Stay on 97 through Madras, Redmond, Bend, then look for Oregon Route 31 signs near LaPine.

The road between 97 and U.S. Route 395 is part of the National Scenic Byway system.

Right about now you’ll start hearing the music of the best self help road trip.


It’s a big country, awesomely big and full of inspiration.

A glowing white stallion in majestic contrast to it’s green pasture.

Under a shade tree the menacing lump of a huge black bull surveys his harem.

South of Reno follow the signs to Lake Tahoe up and over to the biggest alpine lake in North America.

Alpine means high, and a lake this size loses 1,400,000 tons of water a day at altitude.

Science is intimidating? That’s a lot of water next to a snow covered caldera-looking mountains.


This is what Lake Tahoe looks like outside of town.

Yes, you’ll find casinos full of smoking gamblers throwing down, one armed bandits spinning around, and Stateline Road dividing town, but it’s the other stuff.

There’s something magic in Lake Tahoe, things you can’t find anywhere else.

Look for the light


If you need a best self help journey, you’re not alone.

You’ve read about people suffering, or fighting a battle, you know nothing about?

It’s always true of anyone who shows up in your life.

And they don’t know your struggles either, even if it seems you’ve got it all figured out.

The best self help observation comes from Russian author Leo Tolstoy: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.”

The old Russian would love the music of Lake Tahoe.

About David Gillaspie
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