Tahoe and Vicinity The Boundary The story goes that a tourist, exploring the Tahoe Basin, asked a local how to drive down the Lake. The local replied that the drive had to be around the Lake. Hearing that, the tourist pointed to a map with a black line running north-south, just east of the middle of Lake Tahoe. That was […]
Tahoe and Vicinity Something Bit Me! Fleas and ticks may not be common in the Tahoe Basin, nonetheless, they are here — living here, some even thriving here. Don’t believe anyone who tries to tell you otherwise. In the Sierra Nevada mountains, fleas are commonly associated with rodents; squirrels, chipmunks, and mice, which serve as the primary hosts. Other animals, like […]
Tahoe and Vicinity This Little Light Our Sierra Nevada mountain range is home to Sequoia National Park, which is home to the General Sherman, the largest tree, by volume, in the world. Sequoia Park is also home to a tiny, blind, glow-in-the-dark millipede, Motyxia sequoia alia, which because of its bioluminescence, is unlike any other millepede in the world. Motyxia is […]
Tahoe and Vicinity Lake Workings Stand on any vista point overlooking Lake Tahoe, and you will be captivated by the seeming serenity of that big blue lake in front of you. That’s why it’s hard to believe you are really looking at a perpetual motion machine. Lake Tahoe has as many as 63 tributaries pouring their fresh water into the […]
Tahoe and Vicinity Just Common Pine Cones We kick them out of our way, we run over them with our cars, and we trip over them.  Occasionally, we appreciate their elegance, and decorate our homes with them. Mostly we just ignore them. Big or small, on the tree, or in your driveway, the ubiquitous Tahoe pine cones are just trying to do […]
Tahoe and Vicinity A Faint Glow Once upon a time, back when Lake Tahoe was full of commercial boat traffic, the lake was supposedly graced by four navigation lights. Only the remnants of one remain, with scant to no information about the locations of the other three. Originally built in 1919, the Rubicon Point Lighthouse, with its 70 candle power flashing […]
Tahoe and Vicinity A Simple Solution     Most people who hear the expression tree hugger picture stubborn, barefoot hippies either chaining themselves to trees, or setting up camp high in the branches, as their way of fighting lumbering. But, the term goes muchfarther back in time. In 1730, the original tree huggers were villagers belonging to the Bishnois branch of […]
Tahoe and Vicinity The Lake Up There Researching the history of Marlette Lake leads to many articles and write-ups about the flume and pipeline system that was built to service Virginia City and the Comstock Lode. Most of the online information is about the ingenuity of the engineers, the hard work and efficiency of the men, equipped with only mules and shovels, […]
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Tahoe and Vicinity Lakes of Lake Tahoe — Part II   Last month, our blog spotlighted three small lakes in the Tahoe Basin. This month’s blog shows off a few more of the lakes surrounding our Big Blue waters. Sawmill Pond If your family happens to have an avid, or beginning fisherman under the age of 14, South Lake Tahoe has the perfect destination for […]
Tahoe and Vicinity The Lakes of Lake Tahoe — Part I Lake Tahoe is so spectacular that it captures everyone’s attention, leaving little thought about other lakes that are close by. In our Sierra Nevada mountains, a small, charming lake is the rule, not the exception. A glance at a map of the Tahoe area reveals a surprising number of not quite hidden, easily visited lakes. […]
Tahoe and Vicinity A Remarkable Flower Orchids comprise the second largest plant family on the planet, and are known for their beauty, as well as their unique flower shapes and structures. Though, sometimes hard to spot, adaptive orchid species can be found throughout the Tahoe region, as well as in areas outside of the basin. Unlike their tropical cousins, all of […]
Tahoe and Vicinity S. S. Tahoe In 1872, the side-wheeler Governor Stanford, ushered in Lake Tahoe’s golden age of steamships. Based in Tahoe city, the ship carried about 125 passengers on its eight hour trip around the Lake. Three years later, the Governor Stanford was joined by the steamship Niagara, 83 feet of faster reliability. Not long afterwards, the timber baron, […]
Tahoe and Vicinity Populus Tremuloides Everyone loves quaking aspen trees. From the photographers who delight in the aspen’s fall displays, to deer munching on the nutritious fallen autumn leaves, to beavers using aspens as both dam building material and food, the tree seems to have something for all. The tree gets its name because the slightest breeze causes the leaves […]
Tahoe and Vicinity High Flyers One darn thing leads to another. Big and deep, Lake Tahoe will not freeze over in winter. That is why migratory waterfowl congregate in Tahoe water where they can find food in its wintery shallows. All those mergansers and mallards draw predators, like bald eagles, looking for relatively easy pickings. And the eagles draw amateur […]
Tahoe and Vicinity How To Fight and Win The plan was to make the desert bloom by irrigating 350,000 acres of land in the Carson River watershed area using Truckee River water. Never mind that the Truckee River flowed north, emptying into Pyramid Lake. Send some water south — it will be fine. In 1903, as its first project, the newly formed United […]
Tahoe and Vicinity Cave Rock, A Winner Anything 360 feet high, and 800 feet wide is hard not to notice. That kind of bulk might also get in the way of progress. Tahoe’s Cave Rock is that big, and was definitely impeding progress toward the completion of the Lincoln Highway, the first U.S. coast to coast road. The problem was solved by […]
Tahoe and Vicinity A Sierra Nevada Tale It seems like an early settler named Sierra Nevada would be well known around these parts, but the opposite is true. Few have heard of her. Born in1854 in Nevada City, Sierra was four years old when her parents, John and Mehitable Phillips, decided to become inn-keepers. The little family moved to a property about two […]
Tahoe and Vicinity Dam Tahoe Occasionally, when reading about some early plans for Lake Tahoe, the realization hits that it is a slight miracle we have a lake at all. For instance, in 1865, a San Francisco based engineer, with the elegant name of Alexis Waldemar Von Schmidt, created the Lake Tahoe and San Francisco Water Works Company. Mr. Von […]
Tahoe and Vicinity Forest Fires – Before and After For years, fires in our forests have been extinguished as soon as possible. That practice, when combined with warmer temperatures, and drier conditions, has made for larger and more intense fires. In fact, new words have been coined to better describe the immensity of recent fires; a megafire is being used to describe 100,000 acre […]
Tahoe and Vicinity A Spring Journey In 1911, Tahoe Tavern, an elegant Tahoe City hotel, hoping to drum up business after a record breaking snow-bound winter, offered a 3-foot-tall silver trophy to the driver(s) of the first car to complete a spring journey from California to Tahoe City. Fortunately, snowbrains.com posted two photos from that race. One black and white image […]