Lake Tahoe, Alpine Winter Wonderland (Part 1)

Lake Tahoe. My personal heaven on Earth. The greatest Alpine Lake in North America, Lake Tahoe is 1,645 feet at it’s deepest, about 22 miles long and 12 miles wide, with 72 miles of shoreline, and 191 square miles of surface area. (And, like the Loch Ness, Lake Tahoe may harbor a prehistoric creature fabled to be Tahoe Tessy!)

But, the scientific, (and mythic) details pale in comparison to the breathtaking wild, and natural beauty of this enormous Alpine Lake at an altitude of about 6,400 feet, surrounded by some of the most beautiful, and spectacular mountains of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

As a child, I was extremely fortunate to grow up having adventurous experience after experience on the north shore of Tahoe in my grandfather’s two cabins located in Tahoe Vista. One was an old rickety fisherman’s cabin that happened to be right on, and almost over the water. The patio was so sophisticated—the railings were a bit shaky, and it had astroturf!

The other cabin was across the street, and was actually a house, and had mostly orange shag carpet, and mid-century modern/kitschy accents. But, the benefit of the house was that it included the dock in front of the cabins. My grandfather even owned 80 acres of mountainside behind the cabins.

We played in the snow in winter, going sledding, making snow angels, making snowmen, and when we got a bit older, we occasionally went snow-skiing at one of the nearby ski resorts.

We also enjoyed playing in inflatable boats, and a dilapidated old metal rowboat in spring and summer. We set fishing traps to catch crayfish, which we liked to watch for awhile, and then release. Sometimes we’d just sit at the end of the dock and just watch the boating activity on the lake, and/or enjoyed the scenery. We also had a bit of fun behind a mediocre passenger boat that wasn’t the most powerful. However, we still had fun knee-boarding or water-skiing, even if we did have to wear wetsuits, and that little boat did okay.

We also hiked up the mountain, exploring all over. Played around on my grandfather’s backhoe that he kept there for reasons I’m unsure of. And, explored the extensive collection of some of the most random stuff in the garage. I could go on and on…

However, it had always been my dream to share a small taste of the experience of Tahoe in winter for my children, and that dream became reality and was so spectacular and wonderful.

So, last December I had a chance to do exactly that. These images are particularly of our first evening along the waters of Lake Tahoe at sunset.

This simple little walk we took along Kings Beach was so very strange for me. On the one hand, I was walking through my far-distant memories that came flooding to my mind. Yet the joy of creating new, and fresh memories with my children was so wonderful.

There really is no way to describe the extravagant natural beauty of Lake Tahoe with words. And, when I view the images, I truly do find myself speechless. And, this “travelogue” will be continued tomorrow… so please do come back to see more of Lake Tahoe, and the Tahoe Basin in winter.