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30 Nov 2020
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Fall in Tahoe
Early Season Switcheroo

On Sunday afternoon, Lake Tahoe was a sheet of glass. The deep blue sky was veined with wispy high clouds, reflected in the crystal clear water. Above the mirror, the highest peaks sat clothed in the white of the first snows of the season. I softly paddled my kayak along the shoreline, the only other craft plying the calm waters, was a fishing boat slowing trolling in the distance. With December about to arrive it was a sublime way to spend a few hours, and a chance after having cross country skied the day before to do the early season switcheroo.

This in-between season when it has snowed enough to limit hiking and biking, but not enough to ski at my winter home at Tahoe Cross Country, can be a challenging one. But with a bit of ingenuity, a close eye on the weather and an ability to jump when the time is right, you can find opportunities to delve into several sports in short order this time of year. 

Near the top of the Mt. Rose highway, the non-profit group Nevada Nordic has been grooming about 10 kilometers of trails since 2 plus feet of snow arrived about two weeks ago. At 8000 feet, the snow always piles up on the Mt. Rose Highway, and this donation based organization has delivered a nice product for us anxious nordic skiers. 

On Saturday, I XC skied for the third time this year, and on Sunday my legs were feeling the steep kilometers I’d skated up the day before. So I was pecking away on the computer attempting to create coherent sentences, instead of skiing, when I took a break to check out the Tahoetopia Sunnyside webcam. It showed an absolutely calm Lake Tahoe. The sentences would have to marinate, I tossed the kayak in the truck, and was plopping the boat into the lake in about 15 minutes. Yes, it was cold for a kayak, temperatures in the mid 40s, and my feet were the coldest as they had to get into the water on the way out, but the views, and the peace of mind that comes from a silent day on Lake Tahoe were well worth the chill. 

Tomorrow, I can bundle up for a careful hike on a packed down icy trail, try a mountain bike ride up Ward Creek Blvd., or toss the road bike in the car and drive an hour to somewhere a few degrees warmer for a spin? It all gets back to taking the time and energy to keep the body moving before the deep snows arrive and it becomes all about skiing.