Lake Tahoe by Kayak, Part Four

Yes, folks, I am still working on paddling my way around Lake Tahoe.   It’s a whopper goal so I didn’t really expect for it to be easy.   And, it hasn’t been.   To make it 72 miles, a strong paddler has to break it into at least six or seven segments.   And, well, that’s just not possible all in one shot for me.    I knew from the get-go that we would be making multiple trips to the lake and there would be issues.  Last year, we started in July and thought it was manageable to expect at least a September finish.   Wrong.   All sorts of things got in the way; road construction, a massive wildfire, bad weather, bad timing, a sinus infection and life.   Oh, well.   There’s always next year …

tallac reflections

Welcome to 2014!  There’s no time limit to this kind of goal so we are still paddling!  If you are just tuning into my little adventure here are links to my previous kayaking segments: PART ONE PART TWO and PART THREE so you can get your paddle up to speed.

the view from the south shore ... paddle style
the view from the south shore … paddle style

Today, I am going to share my first kayak of 2014.   My paddle buddy and I decided to pick one of the most scenic and popular routes on Memorial Day weekend.   Why?   Well, why not?   And, I think we might have been hoping that going early in the season (albeit during prime time opening day) that some of the crowds would have forgotten to back their boat for a weekend at Tahoe.   We might have been right and just a little lucky.   It turned out to be a gorgeous warm day and not too crowded.  (Lucky us!)

We put in our boats at Lester Beach at Rubicon Point in D.L. Bliss State Park early in the morning, paddled through Emerald Bay and around Fannette Island then on to south shore’s Pope Beach.   No small feat in nearly 9 miles of paddling on out of shape arms, let me tell you.    Including our stop at Fannette Island in Emerald Bay at the “Tea Room” for photos, our boats spent about five hours on the water.   No joke, I was tired.   I think I am still am.   My arms are telling me that last statement is just all too true.   OUCH.

Of course, there are too many stories to tell from kayaking for that long but I don’t want to bore you with stories of eagle watching and calling seagulls in Emerald Bay “bagels.”   (Get it??   Bay-gulls.  Har-har.)   I know the real reason that I was out there was to get some awesome photos.   And, that I did.   How about a look?

First, we set out from Rubicon Point at Lester Beach, found the old lighthouse and got an osprey surprise:


Then, we entered Emerald Bay.   Vikingsholm Castle and Fannette Island are located here.    We didn’t stop for the castle but we did make it around the island and up to the “Tea Room.”   I have been to Emerald Bay many times and always wanted to get out on the island.   This was a big deal for me!

Just based on the number of photos alone, I should have split this post into several.   But, I can’t hold back.   There was just too much awesome.

Did I mention I fell out of the kayak at Fannette Island?   Yup.  Cold, cold water.   I didn't mind, though.   It was still a good day.
Did I mention I fell out of the kayak at Fannette Island? Yup. Cold, cold water. I didn’t mind, though. It was still a good day.

For the record, all photos were taken with my Nikon CoolPix AW100.   It’s a good, waterproof point-and-shoot.

Please leave me a comment with your feedback or just a “like” to let me know that you stopped by the blog.   Thanks!

ABE, American Bald Eagle

close profile

I finally shot a bald eagle!  OK, wait.   To clarify, I have been trying to get a photograph of an american bald eagle for years.   And, technically, I have about a dozen or so crappy, out of focus and from too far away to count as a real picture shots of bald eagles.   Even when I went to Alaska, I did not get a decent picture of this beloved bird.

Where did I shoot this one?   Nevada.   Ya, go figure.   Apparently, we have quite a few, though.   They like the kokanee salmon that spawn from Lake Tahoe through Thomas Creek.   They like to feast in the fields in the spring after the cows and sheep give birth.   They even like muddy, almost dry Washoe Lake State Park.   Have I ever seen a bald eagle during any of the photo trips that I have done over the past ten years?   Nope.    I saw one once while playing golf.   No camera, of course.

Today was my lucky day.   And, by luck, I mean I have been stalking this huge bald bird for weeks and missing it.   My husband, who doesn’t really take a lot of photos, sees the bird every day.   He calls me from the truck on his way to work to tell me all about it.   So, after many misses, I decided to leave for work a few minutes early and go the long way around the lake to get to my office.    Nope, not Lake Tahoe but Washoe Lake, Nevada.

you lookin at me

The weather has shifted and it was pretty cold this morning.   The fog curled around the south end of the lake, even though the water in the lake is very low.   It’s nearly dry, actually.   The lighting was horrible and the fog kept coming in and covering me in grey.  But, he was there.   My bald eagle.

And, I got him.

Getting ready ...
Getting ready …


Almost take-off
Almost take-off



I had to drive around and sneak up on him, trampling through the dirt and sagebrush in my work khakis.   But, I got him.   Oh, ya.   I was totally late for work, too.

Worth it.   I got my ABE.