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I find it strange, looking out the window at all the recent snowfall, that my mind is already thinking of the summer months. This recent trouble in our country has certainly put a pause on what is normally a strong finish to a winter-focused lifestyle, and while I’ll still enjoy the remaining winter weeks, I am excited for warmer weather, and what will hopefully be a return to normalcy. Like many other transplants in Tahoe, I moved here to enjoy the world-class winters, but I stayed because of the summer, and summer in Tahoe is defined by time on the water.

“Tahoe and Donner provide some of the best starts to my days, and even better finishes.”

Lake Tahoe is famously breathtaking, and hard to beat on calm, sunny day (especially if you have access to a boat.) However, I find myself more drawn toward Truckee’s favorite body of water: Donner Lake. Donner has a quieter vibe, slowed-down a bit. If you’re an early riser, you can enjoy a morning paddleboard on clear, glassy water, or find a pier to sit and dangle your toes in. Donner Summit sits on the lake’s west end, and for many years on July 4th I’ve joined friends on a short hike to get incredible views of the fireworks over the water.

While I like to make time for golf at Northstar, Old Greenwood, or Gray’s Crossing, and take my mountain bike out on the endless trail systems in our backyard, any and all of my summer activities are framed by time on the lake. Tahoe and Donner provide some of the best starts to my days, and even better finishes.

It’s easy to look at this time in our life through a darker lens; to focus on what’s been taken away. These adjustments have certainly been jarring, but I know that Tahoe isn’t going anywhere, and once the days get long and we move to the other side of this moment in history, the water will be waiting for us.