A river roars through it

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By Tim Hauserman

When we think of Tahoe weather it is sun and snow that primarily come to mind. Tahoe is famous for blue skies or white powder. But the gray days of rain, like the glorious torrential events we’ve seen this fall, are a rare opportunity to see another kind of Tahoe beauty.

On the third day of a recent rainstorm I escaped the computer, donned my rain gear and walked from my house in Tahoe Park to Ward Creek along the bike trail. Even over the wet waves of sound coming from the wakes the cars made plowing through sheets of water, I could hear the creek well before I could see it. It was a rolling, churning mass of gray water, rushing to get to the lake.

I strolled into Ward Creek State Park, following the creek bank upstream. Granite rocks glistened with lime green lichens. Grasses and matts of pine needles wafted a gentle musty odor of decay and transition. The wet bark of Jeffrey pines and firs shown bright red. And the rain, kept coming down. Making puddles and building tiny streams. Dousing the recently parched land, and beginning the long and important process of filling up the enormous lake.

As the rain slowly stopped, the first rainbows lit up the sky and dipped their legs into the pile of liquid gold that is Lake Tahoe. Then the sun reemerged and the water quickly settled into the dirt, creating those trails perfect for mountain biking or hiking, while we enjoyed the last vestiges of the colors of autumn. A final chance to enjoy the fall before the winter snows are sure to roar in.