Sounds like summer is in full swing in the City – word is that fog plus cold, blowy temps are a fixture of the Richmond district and all the other usual places these days. It’s one of the things that makes that place so darn romantic sometimes. Well, up here at Tahoe we have Summer in Disguise. Some days are full-blown four-alarm sunshine but we seem to be collecting a few more of those ‘other’ days where we actually see clouds.
Lots of us love it because not only is natural variety the spice of a place with little culture but also because it’s a change from the Big Tahoe Sun days of mid-summer. And the great thing about it is that you can do just about everything that’s so popular in the middle of summer – the difference now is that you have to be a little more self-reliant, oh, and there’s no traffic.
Want to raft the river?
Rafting co.’s are closed – bring your own floatation and you’re off!
Want to swim on top of Squaw?
Hike Shirley Canyon and get in the river!
But come to think of it, most other businesses are still open for one more week. Shakespeare performances at Sand Harbor are still happening. Boat, paddleboard, kayak, and bike rentals (Granlibakken also has rental bikes) are full swing. You can go high up on a parasail or hot air balloon over Tahoe. And most importantly, all the major restaurant decks are still open: Sunnyside, Jake’s, River Grill, River Ranch, The Bridgetender, GarWoods, Blue Onion, Caliente, Jason’s, Steamer’s, and on and on!
One of the most summery things you can do up here is go surfing off the back of a boat. It sounds weird but with the right boat and the right driver you can do take up this sport easily. If you don’t have access to a boat you can still rent an instructor and boat right in Tahoe City or at the Sunnyside Marina, both within a ten minute spin down the bike path (or five minutes’ drive) from Granlibakken.
My little family got treated to an afternoon of wakesurfing with Surf Tahoe, located at the Grove Street pier in Tahoe City. Our instructor was Chris Lange who we met while he was bilging water into two huge fatsacks used the make one rear corner of the boat super-heavy so our wave would be huge. After some easy instruction we were on our way – just 20 feet of rope from the stern of the boat and chatting with Chris all the while, we could throw the rope back into the boat and surf Tahoe with only the ramp of the wake propelling us. This is Surfing Tahoe and it is very cool.
If you do have a boat (and you’re still reading this) it probably isn’t built for wakesurfing. So have fun with it. Grab an old surfboard and pile some buddies on a rear corner of whatever old bucket you’re running. I did this the other day with a friend who’s engine stuck out the back of the craft – not the best set-up for having your face right off the rear transam while learning to surf. So we long-lined it at regular wakeboarding speed – it was hilarious. Massive higher-speed splashes, rope-splitting pulls on the line, and sore consequences from new moves tried – these were the name of the game that day. And although it wasn’t real wakesurfing the thrill was there.
So no matter how you end up going about it, give this new rave a try and how it catches you!
© 2009 Alex West