“You come for the winters and stay of the summers” is a common saying among residents of the Tahoe / Truckee region. This could not be more true as even the most ardent skiers find freedom in having access to an endless number of trails, lakes and rivers that become prohibitive in some ways during winter. Further, there is no such things as a “bad snow summer” as temperatures remain fairly constant from June through September enabling a totally trustworthy environment for chasing outdoor pursuits.
This summer has been extraordinary in many ways. A light winter opened up trails for running and hiking as early and April and had the golf courses in pristine condition before Memorial Day. Little League season, already compressed into a shorter time window for us mountain folk, began in a snowstorm but largely saw nothing short of glorious conditions.
The Gene Upshaw Memorial Golf Tournament (blog link here) at Gray’s Crossing is an annual high-point as it combines the most worthy of local causes, Tahoe Forest Cancer Center, with incredibly nostalgia for a kid from Oakland who grew up rooting for John Madden-era Raiders.
There have been physical challenges from the Burton Creek Half Marathon http://www.tahoetrailrunning.com/ to this weekend’s Donner Lake Triathlon http://www.donnerlaketri.com/ or new challenges such as the Death Ride http://deathride.com/ covering 125 miles and more than 15,000 feet of elevation change over five mountain passes. I also had a remarkable experience in watching the start of the Western States 100 Mille Endurance Run in which some of the most elite athletes in the world go up and over Squaw Valley at the beginning of an odyssey culminating in Auburn, CA.
However, the best things are often the simplest. My favorite day this summer was a quiet Sunday morning after the 4th of July weekend spent with my family rafting the Truckee River from Tahoe City to River Ranch. I hadn’t done this is over 30 years and my childhood memories ranged from incredibly exciting to totally bored as I became a teenager. We happened upon this activity at the absolute perfect time both relative to the season and our family. For the kids it was an adventure. For us, it was quality time together unplugged from the world; and could not have been more rewarding.
There is lots more to experienced as the summer rolls on from Tuesday concerts at PJs to Downtown Truckee Thursdays. Ironman Tahoe stands out as the primary competitive event for the remainder of 2013.