Memory: Tahoe Mountain Lodge

It is a weird, sad feeling to see time march on. However, sometimes its a blessing you aren’t there at the end.

Back in 1986/87 we were homeless due to some very unique circumstances, involving drugs, a contract on our family, and vets that don’t take any shit (don’t worry, that will eventually be written about).

During our exodus in the desert as a homeless family living in a car, my parents were able to come up with enough cash on a semi-regular basis to get a hotel room. During our trips we ended up in South Lake Tahoe (which is the site of many more posts I am sure).

While we were there we ended up living in the Tahoe Mountain Lodge. The left image is from 1985 from when we stayed there, the right from 2011 and an internet search (the image at the bottom of the post is from 1998 or so with my mom).

Yes, it is as sketchy as the sign makes it look. However, as a fifteen year old teenager who was living homeless with his two siblings, two parents and a dog in a car. It was pretty cool place. It was mid 80s and the hotel had HBO, that was undreamt of for us. I got to see “Gotcha” for the first time, and it is why even though it is a horrible 80s movie, it holds a special place in my heart.

Yes, that is the guy from E.R. decades later.

My memories 29 years later are a lot more scattered, but what I do remember of the hotel is the movie, eating hot food that was prepared on a camp stove, sleeping in a bed and the video game Rush’n Attack which we played for hours that was down the block at the gas station/bodega.

Sister and I spent the national debt worth of quarters on this.

Fast forward about ten/twelve years later and my parents had gotten out of being homeless, but never more than absolute poverty (we were making minimum wage at the time so we could only help minimally, all we could do was have them live in their fifth wheeler in our yard, and yes that doesn’t count as homeless to my family). Then they got the last bit of money in an inheritance they would ever have. They were on social security, disabled and knew the last trip they would ever be able to do in their lives. They went back to South Lake Tahoe and they stayed in the Tahoe Mountain Lodge.

My mom in 1998 I believe. Still not as ghetto as that sign above though.

They came back from their trip and they were excited, happy, but also a little tired and down. They knew it was on the downhill slide now. However, they old me about staying at the Tahoe Mountain Lodge. Even then in 1998 the Tahoe Mountain Lodge was a lot worse than it was for us in 86. They loved their trip down there and it was a high point until they passed away 18 years later in 2016. However, the were always a little sad at how much it had declined.

I have always wanted to go back to Tahoe (and I will), and I wanted to stay a single night there. Unlike my parents though I have enough money to get a nice hotel, it would be for one night just for a weird nostalgia feeling. However this weekend I was curious so I looked it up. It only had one review on Yelp from 2006 and it was a single star… so yes it evidently went downhill a lot more since my parents stayed a second time there (and honestly it was pretty bad when we lived there 29 years ago).

This weekend I was doing a little sleuthing. We are getting to the point after hubby’s upcoming surgery to go take short trips, and I would like to visit Tahoe. So I went looking and couldn’t find anything more recent then that picture above. So I went to google maps. Found an empty lot where I believe it was. The Midway was next door, and the Tahoe Mountain Lodge was on the street from what I remember (see picture with my mom above).

Google Maps, the destroyer of memories!

So it was a little bitter sweet seeing this. However, it does mean I don’t have to divide any resources to stay there, and I will remember it in a  far better condition then it evidently slid into. Sometimes its ok that things end before you see the ending of it.

Link back to a listing of all homes I have lived in.

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