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By Tim Hauserman 

On July 9th I made the very good decision to attend my first Bluesdays Tuesday of the summer at the Village at Squaw Valley. The only thing that made me unhappy was that I realized that I blew it by not getting there earlier. There is something about spending a Sierra evening with a group of happy folks listening to outrageous blues guitar licks to make you feel alive. Especially, when Christone Ingram, known as Kingfish, was the guy pounding out those guitar licks. 

Kingfish is a 20 year old from Clarksdale, Mississippi. He’s been playing for about 5 years and it sounds absolutely amazing how he can make a guitar sing. Especially when he is not even old enough to legally drink. One of his songs, “Been here before,” is based on his grandmother’s declaration that Kingfish is an old soul, and that certainly appeared to be the case.  This guy can play the Blues! One highlight was when he sauntered through the crowd for about 10 minutes playing some mean guitar the whole way. He just came out with his first album a few months ago. I purchased it at the show, and can’t stop listening to it. 

Kingfish is the first of a summer long lineup of Bluesdays shows until September 3rd. If you haven’t attended a Bluesdays, you are missing out on a true highlight of the summer. The shows go from 6-8 Pm every Tuesday, and feature top notch blues talent. At first it is pretty astounding how great the talent is that they have been able to come up with for these shows, but then you remember: Hey musicians are just like everyone else, they want to spend some time in Tahoe in the summer!

There is several different food and drink vendors to take care of any hankerings you have at the show, but what makes these events great is the relaxed vibe. The place is packed, especially right in front of the stage, and everyone is gently rocking to the beat. Sure folks are here to feel the music, but they are also here because they want to be outside in the mountains in July. See you out there!

Here’s some upcoming shows:

July 16 Danielle Nicole

July 23 Coco Montoya

July 30 Chris Cain 

August 6 Sugaray Rayford

August 13 Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers

August 20 Dennis Joes Band

August 27 Honey Island Swamp Bankd

September 3  Papy Chubby. 

By Tim Hauserman 

The Memorial Day weekend is a great time to be at Tahoe. It’s not crazy busy like 4th of July, it’s more of a holiday that looks you right in the face and says…holy cow… summer is coming. Well, hopefully it is a reminder that summer is coming. Sometimes the weather is glorious and warm…and then sometimes…it snows. Either way, second home owners come up to brush away the cobwebs and put the patio furniture out. Locals take advantage of the opportunity to go for a bike ride or a hike and enjoy the beginning of summer. And visitors come to Tahoe to herald in the first of hopefully several trips up to the lake. 

Looking for a fun event to attend over Memorial Day? Here are two ideas: 

Tahoe Cross Country Parking Lot Sale, May 26, 9 am to 3 pm

For some Memorial Day is all about the garage sales. Remember those second home owners cleaning out their houses for the summer I talked about earlier? Well they throw away some of it, and decide to sell the rest. And perhaps what they consider expendable you might think is just what you are looking for. Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area and The Highlands neighborhood is trying something different. They are putting together a real hum dinger of a neighborhood sale in the Tahoe XC parking lot (925 Country Club Drive, Tahoe City). 

Highlands Homeowners Association President Ray Garner says that residents are encouraged to bring their barbecues and refreshments to make it a fun, block party like event. 

Once you’ve picked up some great bargains and socialized with some new friends, you can ride your mountain bike or take a hike on the trails at Tahoe XC. They leave right from the parking lot and head out over miles of forest and through wildflower dotted meadows. You can even climb up the Lakeview Trail, which perhaps you can imagine provides a nice view.  Trails should be perfect by May 26th. 

Made in Tahoe Festival. May 26-27th 11 am to 7 pm. 

The Village at Squaw Valley will be packed with artists, businesses, food and entertainment as this festival honors all things Lake Tahoe/Truckee. It’s a great opportunity to gather and appreciate what an amazingly creative and entertaining group of people call Tahoe home. Entertainment on the three stages includes local bands and dance groups. And then of course there will be lots of awesome people watching. Enjoy!


by Tim Hauserman

Nothing like a Saturday afternoon ride along the Truckee River to remind me to pass on a few tips about rafting or riding on the Truckee River.

Rafting the Truckee

The big winter we just had led to a topsy turfy summer for rafting on the Truckee River. The Goldilocks zone for rafting is between 200-400 cubic feet per second (cfs) released from the dam at Fanny Bridge. During much of the spring the dam was releasing more than 1000 cfs, and at times it was over 1400 cfs, which flooded the bike trail along the river. Once the lake reached it’s maximum and there was not the need to open the gates the Watermaster started releasing more water downstream from the full Boca and Stampede Reservoirs, and cut back the releases from Lake Tahoe to about 75 cubic feet per second…not enough to raft.

Today, I saw a lot of private rafts in the water. Unfortunately, I was seeing rafts in the water being pulled by people who were dragging them over rocks instead of floating. There are two ways to find out when is a good time to raft the Truckee. First, if the rafting companies are open and floating down the Upper Truckee, there is the right amount of water being released (they are not operating now), and second, you can go to the USGS Link that shows how much water is being released.

https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ca/nwis/uv?site_no=10337500

Look for somewhere in the 200-400 cfs range.

Riding along the Truckee

The five mile bike trail from Tahoe City to Squaw Valley is one of the prettiest trails anywhere, traveling next to the river the whole way. It’s a narrow trail, and as you can imagine, a popular place. Here are a few tips to both keep you safe and to literally avoid running into others on the trail:

Remember a bike trail is like a road, and just like on a road, if you stand in the middle of it and don’t pay attention, you may get run over.

Ride on the right, walk on the left (so that the walkers can see you coming).

If riding, say, “On your left” as you pass people on the left.

If walking, be prepared for fast moving bikes, so you don’t freak out when you hear someone say “On your left”

Take up just one side of the trail. If you are a group of four people, please don’t walk or ride four abreast, this makes it impossible for a fast moving bike to get around you. Remember a bike trail is like a road, and like a road, you are only allowed one lane.

Watch out for: children and adults who are oblivious to other users and rafters coming off the river without looking.

 

 

By Tim Hauserman

After this past winter, any paragraph with the word summer in it is a welcome relief. So here it comes, a blog post about Memorial Day weekend: The unofficial start of summer in the Sierra.

While the 4th of July is when things really start to get busy at the lake, Memorial Day is traditionally the time when Tahoe folks rake up the branches, take down the shutters and start to enjoy their favorite summer activities. With the lake still pretty dang cold and many hiking trails still covered in snow, it’s also a great weekend to take advantage of some of the cool events going on in the area.

Two can’t miss Tahoe events to get to this weekend are the Made in Tahoe Festival in Squaw Valley, and Opening Day on the Lake along Tahoe’s West Shore.

Made in Tahoe Festival, May 27-28th 11-7 pm each day. Village at Squaw Valley

Celebrating all things local, the Made in Tahoe Festival will be a place to check out the products of over one hundred artists, photographers, furniture makers, clothing sellers, community organizations and anybody else that is creative and comes from Tahoe. Music and live performances will be going on all day at three different stages including a series of fun events such as hula hoop and dance workshops put on by Tahoe Flow Arts. And don’t worry, there will also be over a dozen locally inspired food and drink vendors to keep you satiated.

 

Opening Day on the Lake, May 26-28th.

From morning to night at a variety of locations.Organized by the West Shore Association, restaurants, museums, and a host of small businesses on the West Shore are celebrating Memorial Day with deck opening parties, live music, BBQ’s and special tours. Highlights include a 30th anniversary deck opening party at Sunnyside on May 26 at 11:30 am, and a Launch Party at the new Tahoe Maritime Museum location near Granlibakken on May 26 at 5:30 pm. Tours of Vikingsholm in Emerald Bay State Park and the Ehrman Mansion at Sugar Pine Point State Park will begin for the season on Saturday morning, the 27th.

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By Tim Hauserman

It is often said that it is better to focus on the journey then the destination. That seems to be especially true with the 2.5 mile hike from Alpine Meadows Road to Five Lakes. Sure, there are five lovely little lakes set amongst the granite and trees at the edge of Granite Chief Wilderness that are worth a gander, but what is truly remarkable about this hike is the journey to get there.

First, your going to get a workout, because almost all of the route is uphill. This is good, because it gives you the opportunity to take frequent breaks to ponder the view. You immediately enjoy expansive vistas of the mountains, ridgeline and deep bowl that is the Alpine Meadows Ski Area. Further up, after passing through thick groves of red fir, it gets even better as you see the varied and spectacular rock formations of the ridge between Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley. It’s a mish-mash of stunningly pink granite sculptured into all sorts of intriguing formations, next to humongous splatters of black volcanic rock which appears to have been tossed onto the ground by the worlds largest monster. The rocky outcroppings are surrounded by waves of green brush and a few wind blown western white pines, all adding to the fairy tale feel.

About halfway to the top, you pass several chairlift towers. There are no cables or chairs, even though the towers have been there for years. It’s all part of a long term effort to bring skiing to this slope by local skier Troy Caldwell who owns a big chunk of the land you are walking through.

Eventually you climb out of the canyon and level out at a deep forest where you pass side trails providing access to the small lakes. The last leads to the biggest, which is surrounded by an open forest on one side, and granite on the other. Still have plenty of hiking in you? Continue straight ahead past the lakes towards the Pacific Crest Trail, where a right turn heads towards Canada and Whiskey Creek, and a left begins a journey towards Mexico, your first stop: Ward Peak at the top of Alpine Meadows.