NY Times and Tahoe Adventure Company

NY Times and Tahoe Adventure Company
By CINDY PRICE ~ New York Times
Published: August 18, 2006
NY Times Article

POLITICS and religion aside, 200,000 people can't be wrong. According to the California Tahoe Conservancy, that's the estimated crowd at Lake Tahoe on a busy summer weekend. That's enough people to make you rethink your vacation plans, but Tahoe never feels too frantic. Maybe it's the enormous mountain lake standing center, proudly straddling California and Nevada, that lets you know right away who's in charge, but the weekenders who flood the 72 miles of shoreline instinctively bow to nature's pace. And there's that other little fact, too - far less provable, but widely asserted: There's nothing quite like a weekend spent circling Tahoe. The endless activities of summer are standard enough, but they're set to a Sierra backdrop of soaring evergreens and crystalline water worthy of a thousand poets. Throw in the late-night siren call of the Nevada casinos, and it's a tough act to follow.

3 p.m.

"It's just like the Caribbean!" the tour guide, Kevin Hickey, is shouting over his paddle. "Until you dip your hand in." Wordsmiths have beaten themselves silly trying to capture the true color of Lake Tahoe, so take your pick - cobalt, azure, electric, sapphire. Suffice it to say that it's pretty darn blue. And cold. Even in late summer, the water averages 65 to 70 degrees, given the many mountain streams that slither into it. Judge for yourself on a guided kayak trip out of Sand Harbor, Nev., with the Tahoe Adventure Company (866-830-6125, www.tahoeadventurecompany.com), which offers individual tours that are part geology lesson and part history lesson. Paddle out past the children cannonballing off the rocks, and learn about the lake's underlying fault lines, or that a tsunami may have burst forth there in the last 10,000 years.