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Cabin-in-the-woods? Try this fun place near Tahoe
By CARY ORDWAY
It's not often that a resort gets put on a map just as if it were a town, but there it was on our Rand McNally map: Sorensen's, a little berg near the intersection of Highways 89 and 88, deep in the Sierras southeast of Lake Tahoe.

We double-checked with Innkeeper John Brissenden and, yep, there are eight souls who call this place home. And on any given summer night there are another 33 cabins full of people who have Typical Sorensen's cabin come from places like Los Angeles and San Francisco to put some distance between them and the steel, glass and asphalt of everyday life in the big city.

Out here where the mountains are high and the stress is low, Sorensen's Resort sells what Brissenden describes as "the magic of the surrounding wilderness area." In fact, this wilderness is like staying in a national park without the bumper-to-bumper RVs. A network of trails and lakes are just minutes away in any direction, with the Carson mountain range always close at hand, just waiting to provide the perfect backdrop for your next family photo.

Just in case you big-city types suffer serious withdrawal, South Lake Tahoe is just a short scenic drive away -- 16 miles to be precise. You can pop into town, get a fix of glitz at one of the major casinos and be back just in time to watch the deer feeding as you enjoy a quite glass of wine and a wilderness sunset. There's also plenty of Lake Tahoe lodging available that is not so far off the beaten path but we found we enjoyed being out away from the city, and that this was the perfect place to enjoy part of our Northern California vacation.

We arrived at Sorensen's about midnight after a too-long drive up from Sequoia National Park. Our advice: Arrive well before dark because the drive over the pass -- whether Highway 50 or 88 -- is deep in the mountains, winding, two-lane and potentially hazardous at night with deer crossing the road. We spotted deer (thankfully beside the road, not on it) just about every five minutes for close to a 60-mile stretch of highway.

We did arrive late, but Sorensen's had it covered. Our cabin was already unlocked, the lights on to welcome us and an incredibly comfortable, fluffy bed was beckoning these weary travelers to a quiet, restful sleep in the woods. After all, that really is the Sorensen's calling card: the "cabin in the woods" experience that just happens to have a few extra amenities -- such as gourmet dining. In fact, Lake Tahoe vacations always offer a great combination of wilderness scenery and creature comforts.
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