Shoulder Season Makes Way for Lodge-to-Lodge Kayak Tours
Published in Sierra Sun, Tahoe.com.
By Linda J. Bottjer
September 17, 2009
It has arrived.
The quiet time, between the high summer and winter seasons, when both visitors and locals can enjoy the lake for its natural wonders without the overrun of crowds.
Kayaking is a great choice for the experience.
To glide across the sparkling waters of the lake under a bright blue sky while surrounded by towering peaks is one of those special moments when the phrase "pinch me" is appropriate.
For more than a decade the Tahoe Adventure Company has been offering that magical wondrous feeling through their day rentals and full moon paddles. Now for the first time beginner and intermediate kayakers have the ability to commune deeply with Mother Nature during TAC's multi-day Lodge-to-Lodge tours along the west, north and east sides of the lake. The first such tour offered in the region is a four-day, three-night tour will be happening Sept. 24-27 and October 1-4.
Guides, skilled in both water sport and storytelling, will lead kayakers for easy paddles from early morning to afternoon.
For novices in the sport it is important to be aware one need not be a champion rower with shoulders like an Olympic weightlifter to enjoy the kayaking. Most of the energy required for paddling comes from one's torso. A personal flotation device will keep all afloat and ready to observe the wildlife, which this tour highlights.
Shadows against the waters will circle in rhythm to the wingspans of bald eagles and red tailed hawks along with ospreys as all catch wind currents high above.
Stories of the Native Americans, like the Washoe who summered by the lake and the Comstock Lode loggers who encountered them will be told as well. Even longtime residents might be surprised to learn of an ancient tsunami that formed a popular part of the western shoreline.
TAC's owners, Kevin and Katie Hickey, both stress the ease and safety of the journey. Having guided in diverse locales like Alaska and Mexico Hickey understands the importance of arming beginners with informative knowledge. Before setting out instruction will be given on kayaking gear, paddling techniques and the all important self-rescue basics.
Each day will feature an easily achievable seven to 10 miles journey.
It all begins at Meeks Bay.
The first night will be spent at the mid 20th century Sunnyside Lodge. Day two finishes at Tahoe Vista's Mourelatos Resort and the final night is spent at the Hyatt Regency in Incline Village. With each day's paddling ending while the sun is still high tour participants have time to intake more nature with a trail hike or a walk along the shoreline. Some might opt to pamper sore muscles by getting a massage.
As in any adventure food is an important consideration. Breakfasts and dinners will be at the accommodations or area restaurants. Deli lunches will be packed in and out.
The aquatic adventure ends at Sand Harbor State Park. Here kayaks will be left, as a shuttle will transport participants back to Meeks Bay.
Recognizing not everyone has four days to spare for such a paddling trip, the Hickeys urge anyone interested to call and discuss one of their two-day, one-night custom packages.
Now as autumn colors begin to tinge the trees, and with only the wind rippling the water's surface it is a perfect time to paddle the lake, Katie Hickey said.
"You feel like you have it all to yourself."