Topaz Lake (population 2,128) is a tiny town about 30 miles south-east of South Lake Tahoe, and 65 miles due north of Yosemite Village. It's right on the California-Nevada border; in fact the border runs right through the lake itself. On arrival in the area you will find
- a motel;
- a lake; and
- a small lodge with a casino
The motel was nice enough, with a view of the lake and... well, that's pretty much it unless you count a parking lot. We checked in and went straight down to the lakeshore to hang out for a while. I got these pictures down there in the setting sun:
After it got dark we went to the casino, the only place in town to eat. The tempting cash-for-catch offer outside gives away the local pastime: people in Topaz Lake like their underwater animal friends, it turns out, but they like them even more when they've been snagged and brought up above water. And if the interior of the casino is any guide then they like them most when they're stuffed, mounted behind glass and nailed to the wall.
The casino was half-closed on a Monday night, but the bar was open and over a few beers we learned to play video poker. After a quick dinner and we wandered back to the motel. It was dark but I think we saw some more dead fish on the way. Fish are everywhere in Topaz Lake.