Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tahoe Farmers' Markets

As summer approaches, people start thinking about Farmers' Markets!

But can you find any up in the mountains?

Yes, you can! As of this writing, we have a bunch scheduled all around the lake! I've organized them by territory and weekday.



June 5 - August 28 from 3 - 8 pm
Located on Ski Run Blvd, just up from Lake Tahoe Blvd.
South Lake Tahoe, CA

June 2 - October 5 from 8 am - 1 pm
Located at the American Legion Hall parking lot
2732 South Lake Tahoe Blvd (Hwy 50)
South Lake Tahoe, CA


May 6 - September 16  4 pm - 7 pm
Located at Kahle Community Park
236 Kingsbury Grade
Stateline, NV


May 7 - September 24  4 pm - 7 pm
Located at Tunnel Creek
1115 Tunnel Creek Road
Incline Village, NV


May 8 - September 22 (except July 3) 10 am - 2 pm
Located at the Tahoe Biltmore Hotel #5 U.S. Highway 28
Crystal Bay, NV


May 28 - June 18 & August 27 - September 24  8 am - 1 pm
Located at the Tahoe City Commons Beach
Commons Beach Rd and North Lake Blvd.
Tahoe City, CA

June 25 -  August 20, 8 am - Noon
Located at Tahoe City's Tahoe Lake Elementary School
375 Grove Street
Tahoe City, CA


June 2 - October 20  8 am - 1 pm
Located at Truckee River Regional Park
10500 Brockway Road off Highway 267
Truckee, CA

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Tao Of Tahoe

Okay, bear with me for a moment. 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

My wife and I were out on a hike. We talked as we often do. But we also were silent for a few miles, she no doubt pondering the mountains, forests, lake, and art, while I ruminated on the same, mountains, forests, lake, and writing. Yeah, I know, it sounds pretty trippy.

But many times there is an amazing thing that happens in the mountains where swirling clouds that one would never notice on the flats are given dimension as they wrap around the mountains, drop some snow flurries, and then evaporate into the blue. Just as quickly, the snowflakes evaporate, never pausing for that middle step of melting into water drops. They even have a word for that, ice crystals evaporating. It's called sublimation.

When it happens - the clouds, the snow flurries, and other phenomena that is beautiful to the point that words are insufficient to describe it - and then that beauty disappears, it leaves you at a loss. At once, you are so impressed with what you've seen that you want to tell the person next to you.

But a moment later, you can't point it out to anyone because it has disappeared. 

Life is full of ephemera. Beautiful ephemera.

Half way around the world, there are Chinese monks that have taken the ephemera of life - the Tao of Life - and made it into something bigger. So when I saw the picture above, I was frozen for a moment. Here's a guy who is painting calligraphy with water on stone. The work is beautiful, striking, impressive. And in just fifteen minutes, it will be gone forever. Like those spectacular clouds hugging the mountains. In a fit of huff and puff, they hurl a soft, downy, white rain that blankets the world and entices us for two minutes.

Then it's gone. Beautiful ephemera.

The Tao of Tahoe.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The One Animal Whose Eyes Can Change Your Brain Chemistry

Yet another study is out showing the remarkable relationship between dogs and people.

This study got fancy. Japanese scientists found out that both dogs and people who gazed into each other's eyes developed elevated levels of a hormone-like chemical called Oxytocin. Sometimes referred to as the "Cuddle Hormone," Oxytocin creates a wide range of positive effects that lead to bonding, attachment, and it plays a significant role between mothers and babies.

The study demonstrates that dogs and humans have a special - maybe even unique - relationship. When we spend time with dogs and stare into their eyes as they stare into ours, good stuff happens to our brains and to dogs' brains as well. 

Here are links to information about the study:
Scientific American
Today Health
Medical Daily

All pets are valuable. But dogs provide something extra to celebrate. Dogs are good for us, and we are good for them.

Now go give your dog a pet, look into her eyes, and watch how she looks back at you. Aside from dogs and people, no other animals on the planet will ever look at you that way.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Will The Drought Affect Tahoe Boating?

The short answer is yes.
But will there still be great boating experiences to be had on Tahoe in the summer of 2015?
Absolutely, but with a caveat. Read on...
Lake Tahoe is 1645 feet deep, so there will be water to enjoy no matter how long the drought lasts.
But the key to enjoyment is found in the size of your boat!
For those of you who like to bring your own boat to Tahoe, you need to know that the number of boat launches available to use this summer will be restricted. Some will never open because the water level is already below their ramps. For example, Sand Harbor State Park already announced that their boat launch will not open this year. Other ramps around the lake will be open but only for smaller boats.

The biggest issue is the draft of your boat. If it has very little draft like a Jet Ski, you will have more success. If you have a deep-keel sailboat, this is not your year for Tahoe.

There are multiple websites that provide boat launch information, but this summer it's especially important to confirm launch information by phone or email before you make plans. As the water level continues to drop, boat ramp availability will change throughout the summer. Here are some websites with launch information:

Cave Rock Boat Launch (East Shore)
El Dorado County Boat Launch in South Lake Tahoe (South Shore)
North Tahoe Boat Launch Facities (North Shore)
Obexer's Boat Launch (West Shore)

As always, remember that ALL boats (even kayaks and paddleboards) must be inspected at one of the inspection stations. To go out on Tahoe without an inspection is to risk infecting the lake with nasty foreign critters (mussels, fish, sea weed) that will spread through the lake and do it irreparable harm. (And of course, there are large fines and worse for interlopers!) Here's a blogpost on Tahoe Boat Inspections.

Another great approach this year is to rent your boat, i.e., a boat that is already in the water. There are many businesses around the lake that won't let you launch your own boat, but they'll let you rent one of theirs. An example is Camp Richardson.

Camp Rich is on the southwest corner of Tahoe. They have multiple kinds of boats to rent.
In addition to the marinas that rent boats, there are several "beach vendors" that bring kayaks to the beach so you can rent them there. Check out Kayak Tahoe.

Or, if you want to go on an organized kayak tour, check out Tahoe Paddle.

Tahoe Paddle will take you to great boating locations
Perhaps you want to get out on the lake in the easiest way possible. Consider taking a ride on a tour boat. Some tour boats won't be in operation this year because of the low water. But others will. 

The Tahoe Queen is just one of several tour boats that will give you a great tour.
Check out the Tahoe Queen. (South Shore and Southeast Shore)
Tahoe Gal (North Shore)
Safari Rose (Sails from Roundhill Pines Resort on the East Shore, but they have free shuttle service from many points around the lake.

The Safari Rose is an 80-foot luxury yacht that gives tours all over the lake.

Now comes important information to consider if you want to maximize your potential fun and minimize your potential frustration.

Consider making this season the year of the Kayak, Paddleboard, or Canoe. Why? Because then you can launch your boat without an official boat launch facility. You merely bring your paddle-powered craft (after you get your inspection, of course) to any lakeside park or public beach and carry your craft to the water! If you want to make it even easier, you can get wheels for your craft. Here's an example of Amazon's Kayak Carts.

Here's a post on launching a kayak from Baldwin Beach.

Paddle-powered craft are unaffected by the drought!

The bottom line is that, with a few adjustments in your expectations, boating on Lake Tahoe will be great during the summer of 2015!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Psst... Want To See A Great Concert In Tahoe This Summer?

Sure, Tahoe is increasingly known for year-round recreation. It's been decades since people flew in from all over to gamble in the mountains. However, now you can gamble anywhere. But there is still only one place in the world with our combination of hiking, biking, boating, and skiing all centered around the highest, biggest, clearest lake in the Northern Hemisphere.

While people often think the big stars (think Sinatra and company) left with the big gambling days, the reality is that some of the biggest stars in the world - people like Elton John (Billboard's #1 solo male artist ever), Aerosmith (biggest American rock band ever), and others - still come to perform in Tahoe, and this summer is no exception.

All of the events listed are at the big South Shore Hotels.

Here's a list of coming concerts by dates:

May 23   Boz Scaggs (Mont Bleu)
May 30   Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Harrah's)
June 6    Elvin Bishop (Harrah's)
June 6    Foreigner (Mont Bleu)
June 11  Brad Paisley, Justin Moore & Mickey Guyton (Harveys) 
June 20  Dave Mason's Traffic Jam (Harrah's)
July  3    Aerosmith (Harveys)
July  18  Imagine Dragons (Harveys)
July  18  Carlos Mencia (Mont Bleu)
July  21  Train The Fray & Matt Hathanson (Harveys)
July  22  Kenny Chesney (Harveys)
Aug  1    Three Dog Night (Mont Bleu)
Aug  7   Jackson Browne (Harveys)
Aug  8   Elton John (Harveys)
Aug  13 Slightly Stoopin, Dirty Heads & Stick Figure (Harveys)
Aug  23 Dierks Bentley  (Harveys)
Sep  5  Sammy Hagar and the Circle (Harveys)
Sep  9  Dave Matthews Band (Harveys)

Come on up the mountain and take in some tunes!