Site logo, an illustration of a dog standing beside a campfire and a tent. In the background are trees, two mountain peaks, and a moon. The text beneath reads James & Myke’s Adventure.

Our 2021 Recap & 1st Anniversary Film

Posted by James & Myke Savage, on Jan 5, 2022

While we’re excited to welcome in the New Year, we’re also excited to finally share our first anniversary video.

Video produced by Kyle Matheney of Chair7 Films.

We also wanted to share some highlights from 2021. Getting to spend another year together up in the mountains has been great. James continues to enjoy the winter, with easy access to skiing, and Myke continues to get better at snowboarding.

Two men in winter jackets standing in front of signs identifying ski trails.
James and Myke at Heavenly.
A man in a blue hat and ski googles on a chairlift, with mountains and a lake in the background.
James riding the chairlift at Heavenly.
Skiing down Ridge Run from the top of Heavenly.

Valentine’s Day was pretty quiet for us. We went for a hike, came home, and made dinner. Chelsea also got to try out her new winter jacket.

A medium sized dog, with blonde fur, wearing a bright orange jacket.

Overall we got in a lot of winter hikes. Geno even came up to visit for a few. It’s fun going to the same places in different seasons, especially with how much snowfall we get here, because things look so different.

Two people and a dog walking under some trees. Snow covers the ground. A man standing in a forest lookking up at snow covered trees.

A man looking out from the top of a hill at a mountain side.
Photos taken by Geno.

James continued making things. Through February and March he worked on a mosaic crocheted shawl.

Strip of crocheted fabric, with a triangle pattern formed of red and white yarn. A rectangular piece of crocheted fabric, with a triangular geometric pattern, drapped over a wooden railing. A man wearing a crocheted shawl from the previous photos.

March brought with it the end of ski season, and coincidentally Myke’s birthday.

A four layer chocolate cake with miniature chocolate chips covering the sides.
Myke’s birthday cake, inspired by P.F. Chang's “Great Wall of Chocolate” cake.

Moving into April the snow started to melt, and the plants started to come back.

A wide angle photo showing a forest of pine trees and a bit of a wooden deck. Another angle of the same forest, showing more detail of the nearby trees.

We also got to work making some changes to the place. We had ordered bunk beds back in December of 2020, but due to long shipping delays they didn’t arrive until early May.

Bunk beds in a small guest bedroom.

We also put in an order for a hot tub back in January, which was quoted to arrive in March, but was also delayed until May.

Hot tub being lowered by a crane.
In order to get the hot tub into place we needed a crane to lift it over the house.
Hot tub installed on a pad made from stone pavers and underneath a wooden deck.
After a lot of debate we opted to install the hot tub under the deck. Hopefully that will keep the snow off it in the winter, although we’re a bit worried melting snow may drip down on us.
View from the perspective of sitting in the hot tube, looking out at trees.
Not a bad view.

We also got to see some of the local wildlife, including a bobcat who stopped by to sunbathe outside the office window one day.

Bobcat staring at the camera, while sunbathing on stones. The bobcat, having cautiously approached the glass window.

Of course the biggest, and most exciting, purchase (for Myke) was a boat to take out on the lake. Myke found a 2019 Yamaha 24’ jet boat for sale in Temecula, CA—a short 470 mile drive from us—which we drove down to look at over a weekend. It was in brand new condition and a perfect color. After a thinking about it for a few minutes, “Blue Bear” was welcomed into the family.

A blue speedboat sitting in green-blue water, with mountains behind it.
“Blue Bear” attached to its moorning ball at Ski Run Marina.

The summer went on without much eventful happening. We had a few friends up to take out on the boat and try out the hot tub with us, and we went back to San Jose every other month to check up on things, all while finishing up our work on the new software releases.

In July our families came out to visit us at the lake. Myke’s family arrived first, coming the week before our wedding anniversary. It was great to finally see everyone again after missing Christmas and a whole year of holiday visits, and also to show them Lake Tahoe, which they hadn’t been out to visit before. We took them out on the boat, played video games at home, and even got to take Myke’s dad on his very first camping trip!

Several people posing for a photo on a picnic bench. Several people posing for a photo by a metal railing, overlooking a lake and mountains from high up on a mountain. The same view as the previous photo, without people.

After staying with us for a few days, we migrated up to Incline Village for our anniversary. We’ve got a whole photo gallery for that though, so check it out if you haven’t.

If you didn’t already hear the story, we also had another surprise that weekend. Late on Friday night we got a call from our neighbors that they noticed we’d left our refrigerator door open. This was odd, since that didn’t sound like something we would do on accident, so we asked if they’d go and close it for us. They followed this up by calling us back and letting us know that something had clearly broken in, as there was food all over the floor. So we hopped in our car and drove an hour back down to South Lake, where sure enough our side window had been forced open, and a bear had helped himself to a bunch of food from our fridge, before leaving. We realized we had left the window cracked open while trying to cool off the house, so the bear hadn’t gotten in all on his own, but it was still a bit more excitement than we wanted.

After the anniversary party James’s family came to stay with us. We also took them out on the boat, showed them around town, and took them for a gondola ride up the mountain; but no camping trip this time.

Despite the dry summer, we did get a few days of heavy rain.

We didn’t get in nearly as much camping as normal this year, but did have a few nice trips, including one up to Napa in September.

Two men playing videogames while sitting in camping chairs. A dog is also asleep in a camping chair.
Myke and Harris playing a traditional game of camping Mario Kart, while Chelsea takes a nap by the fire.

As we headed into fall, we experienced our first wildfire evacuation order from the Caldor fire. While our place was fine, 221,775 acres of forest land burned.

Photo of a gray smokey sky, with smoke obscuring trees in the distance. A similar photo of smoke, but with an ominious orange hue.

A blue car being packed with supplies in a driveway.
Leaving Tahoe for San Jose, a week before the evacuation order was issued.

Fortunately we had left Tahoe a week earlier, as we were heading to Iceland for our first vacation in two years, accompanying our friends Jeremy, Jillian, and Harris. We had a great time seeing waterfalls, mountains, sheep; and especially enjoying the natural hot springs.

We also made a short trip back to Ohio to see James’s Grandpa, who couldn’t make it out for the anniversary.

Four people posing for a photo at a street fair.
James with his parents and aunt.

When we returned we still had to wait a while until we’d be able to go back to Tahoe. The evacuation order had thankfully been rescinded, and the fire contained, but the highways were still under heavy construction while debris were removed and repairs made.

A dog curled up like a bagle on a couch, with a man in the background on his phone.
Chelsea looking cute, and relaxing on the couch.

Mid-October we headed back to Tahoe though. Myke was sure to get in as much time as possible on the lake, but by the end of the month it was time to take the boat out and have it winterized.

Photo taken from the middle of a lake. The sky is gray and partly cloudy, with mountains in the background.
Last day on the lake.

Fall brought with it colder weather, which is also great for hiking. One of our favorite hikes is Mt. Tallac trail for it’s great views for Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake.

Two men and a dog posing for a photo in front of mountains and trees.
James, Myke, and Chelsea on Powerline Trail. Photo taken by Tess.
A man and a dog walking alone down a boat dock.
Myke and Chelsea on a dock at Camp Richardson.
A view from a mountain ridge looking out onto lakes, trees, and other moutains.
About a mile into the Mt. Tallac trail hike.

We decided to skip traveling for the end of year holidays again this year. Instead we had a small Thanksgiving dinner with some local friends and our roommate Geno.

Dining room table set with plates and glasses. A man is cooking at a stove in the background.
Photo taken by Geno.

While our bears go to sleep in the winter, the coyotes don’t. We caught one on the security cameras after noticing footprints in the snow.

James also finished the year out by making a few Christmas presents, including hats, socks, and a wrap for his sister-in-law.

A man wearing a knitted shawl with a pattern of red, white, and black strips. A bright orange and red crocheted hat with pom-pom sitting on stones.

Speaking of snow, December set a new snowfall record for the lake, with as much as 212-inches in some places. While we certainly hope this will help with the drought, it was a lot to keep up with. The California DOT had trouble keeping up with the snowfall too, and we actually ended up snowed in over Christmas because the roads got so bad.

Pine trees covered in snow. In the background it is still snowing, making the rest of the landscape difficult to see.
The first big snowfall of the year. We had a little bit of snow in October and November, but it didn't stick.
Photo of a house at night. Christmas lights outline walking paths and edges of the building.
Myke went all out with Christmas lights.
A man walking a dog. His legs are sunk into the snow up to his knees, while the dog stands on top of the snow next to him.
Hiking on Christmas Eve. The snow was already several feet deep, but Chelsea was light enough to stay on top of it.
Photo from inside a house looking through a sliding glass door. Outside a huge amount of snow obscures all else.
The snow on our deck got up to five feet!
A man smiling, his hat is crusted in snow and ice from clearing snow.
Myke decided to buy a bigger snow blower after this year.

The storm did finally blow over, and now we turn to cleaning up the snow and hoping for good things in the new year. Hopefully wherever you are you’re staying safe and healthy, and we wish you all the best.

A man using a snowblower to clear snow from a deck. A huge pile of snow remains in the foreground.