First kayak of the year!

By Tim Hauserman

I’d been thinking about getting out onto the clear surface of Lake Tahoe for a few weeks. While Tahoe is beautiful all year, in the winter it is sometimes relegated to the lovely background while we are playing on the snow. But lately, while peering through my window at the lake while driving through Tahoe City, I began to make plans to more intimately reunite with my summertime love. When the Sunnyside web cam showed perfectly calm conditions, I quickly dragged the kayak from the basement and got onto the lake.

A mid May kayak on Lake Tahoe is a glorious thing. Sure the water temperature is a brisk 50 degrees, but even late morning on a calm sunny day there are very few boats out on the water. I set out from Sunnyside at about 10:30 am and saw only 3 boats over the next hour and a half of paddling. And never felt a boat wave. Try that when the water temp is 70 degrees in July.

I paddled past some of Tahoe’s oldest and most gracious lakefront estates towards Ward Creek and Hurricane Bay. Most of the homes were still ensconced in the slumber of winter, but a few folks were beginning to stir around the grounds, dusting out the cobwebs and getting ready for summer. It was eerily quiet with the only sounds the distant murmur of traffic on West Lake Blvd., and the rhythm of my paddles.

At Ward Creek, I made my way upstream a hundred yards to rapids, then turned around and let the water that was snow on the Pacific Crest a few hours earlier push me swiftly back into the lake. Then I gently floated by more classic estates to the pebbly shoreline at Hurricane Bay, my turn around spot, and another great place to put your kayak in.

Instead of hugging the shore on the way back I headed straight across the deep blue waters of the middle of the bay. There is something about gliding just a few inches above a sheet of several hundred foot deep water to get you a bit confused about which end is up. It was all cerulean blue everywhere I looked and I began to feel like I was at the center of the universe…just another great day at Lake Tahoe.

And speaking of a great day at Tahoe…perhaps plan on kayaking or paddleboarding on the morning of May 25th and then head to Sunnyside in the afternoon for the deck opening party. There you will find live music and a silent auction and raffle benefiting the Sunnyside Scholarship Fund supporting our local college bound North Tahoe High School kids.