When my cousin Steve and his wife Shannon mentioned watching fireworks from Mount Watson, we jumped at the chance to spend some time with them and catch a great show as well. It’s not every day that you get to watch fireworks from a vantage point well above them, and it’s definitely not every day that you get to watch fireworks shows from five different municipalities all at once!
Mount Watson is a hidden gem that the locals keep quiet, and the rough single lane road up requires a high clearance four wheel drive vehicle – not for the faint at heart. The rough and tumble ride up is well worth it though for the private spot with fifty of your closest local friends. Not the greatest location for photos since there were no predominant foreground elements to capture in the frame and the boats bobbing below the bursts leave blurry streaks in long exposure shots, but a perfect spot to enjoy the evening with family.
Even though we arrived well before sunset, there were already plenty of other people set up with barbecues, lawn chairs, a tent, and even an older chap doing time lapse stop-motion videos with a slide rail. Pretty cool setup, but he bugged out quickly once the crowds and dogs started to mass and he realized that his expensive equipment was in a prime spot for getting knocked over.
Elevation brings cooler temperatures, and the nights in the Sierra Nevadas cool off very quickly. Colette and I both packed a jacket and a beanie hat, and we were happy for every layer that we had. Exposed on a mountain top, the cold temperatures get exacerbated quickly by the stiff breeze. Every little bit counts.
Not to be outdone, Mother Nature put on a beautiful show for us, with a brilliant moon and stars shining through, and a few quick moving clouds to add some dimension to photos. Once Tahoe City’s fireworks were dying down, South Lake Tahoe, Camp Richardson, Incline Village and another municipality’s fireworks shows were in full swing, stretching our evening enjoyment out.
We hope that all of you managed to get out and enjoy some fireworks of your own, and celebrate Independence Day with friends and family!