With the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe displaying its quiet splendor mere blocks away, the artifice and forced glamor of the casinos just on the Nevada side of the border are set in stronger contrast than I’ve ever seen elsewhere. At least in Las Vegas, you’re so surrounded by casinos and flashing lights that it’s […]
I’ve only been to Lake Tahoe itself during winter once. An acquaintance and I stopped here on the way to Reno. Excited to see the snow and the lake, she jumped out of the car almost before I had parked, and ran toward the water amid the swirling drifts of something halfway between snow and fog. After changing into warm boots and putting on a winter coat, yes California does get cold, it’s not all beaches and sunshine all the time. I followed her footprints toward the water, pretty much the only way I was going to find my way.
When I found her, she was shivering — and no wonder, in her light shirt, leggings, and tennis shoes. She was utterly unsympathetic to my desire to explore this mood of the lake, even after I traded her my warm winter boots in exchange for her tennis shoes. And so I took the time to take one picture of the pier stretching out into the fog, straining toward a point where sky, fog, snow, and lake were indistinguishable, and then followed, like a trail of breadcrumbs left behind, her footprints back to the car.
In summer, the lake is more approachable. The sun sparkles on the water in a way that reminds you of how cold and pure the water is. Up close, that water is so clear that the lake’s bottom looks as if it’s just a foot or two below the surface, because you can see it so easily. When you gaze across the lake, though, the water is shades of blue and green that you’d expect to find in a piece of turquoise. In other words, it’s the perfect place to bring an underwater camera for an aquatic photoshoot, just try to remember in Winter it gets cold, no matter how beautiful the water, try to stay out of it unless you’re joining the polar bear club.