Vivid in Black and White

Tahoe is known at the “lake of the sky” because it reflects the vivid, deep blue skies of the Sierras.   On this day, we had some interesting clouds happening.   I think this black and white treatment does the trick in showing just how dramatic this part of the world can be.   Enjoy.

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Lake Tahoe by Kayak, Part Three

We’re almost half way around the lake!    In case you are just tuning in to my kayak adventures, here’s PART ONE and PART TWO so you can get your paddle up to speed.

This weekend we added another segment to the circumnavigate Tahoe journey:   Rubicon Bay to Sunnyside on the west shore of the lake.   The goal was originally to make it another two miles to Tahoe City where we left off last paddle but the winds and boat traffic picked up and just made it miserable.   So, we took the opportunity to meet some friends on the beach and call it a day.   We added 10 water miles to our total, putting us at roughly 30-ish of the total 72 miles around the lake.   And, yes, my arms are sore!

My kayaking buddy has several boat options so this week’s paddle was done in a double-seater.   We were a little worried about our mileage and thought we could make better time in the double.   Last time, we averaged about 2 miles per hour and this week we brought it up to 3 miles per hour.   Pretty good, eh?

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And, in case you were wondering, Lake Tahoe is notorious for its cold water.   I think the average summer temperature of the water is usually high 50s, maybe 60 degrees.   Brrrrr.    This is a common beach sign:

1 a tyak extremely cold water

 

So, take notes, water peeps.   It’s chilly out there!   We’ve gotten lucky and had decent weather but, even on the good days, let’s not pretend this is the warm Caribbean or anything.   I can’t imagine what 80 degree water actually feels like.   Weird.

What’s your favorite water spot?   Is warm or cold?   I’d love to get some water time on Tahoe this winter because I love the snow but I’m not sure that I have enough gear to protect myself from the icy water.   And, some of the portage points are not available in the winter.    I might have to reconsider that idea.

Stay tuned … more adventures and photos will be posted soon!

Roadside Sunflowers

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I take pictures all day.   While I’m driving, I see things that would look good on real film.   I see things that would be fun to Instagram.   When I’m at work, I imagine how everything would look with a digital filter.

These sunflowers grow wild on the side of the road every summer.   They are wild and free.

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Now, they are mine to share with you.

Get outside and enjoy some summer.   Maybe, take a picture or two.

Morning Kayaking

This past week, I have been at the annual camping spot.  My husband’s family has been setting up shop in the same spot for the last few years and it’s always a ton of fun to get everyone together.   Most of us live in the Reno area but there a few Californians that travel up to visit and Stampede Reservoir is a nice mid-point for everyone.   We are a good group so there’s lots to look forward to at big, family mealtimes and lazy afternoons on the lake shores.

But, my special treat is to wake up ridiculously early and kayak.   It’s just me and a few early bird fishermen before the water skiers that drank too much around the campfire the night before manage to roll out of their campsites and fire up the ski boats.

And, now, thanks to a waterproof Nikon, I can share some of it with you:

glassy waters

 

the peninsula

So, where is this oasis?   Stampede Reservoir is just outside of Truckee, California.   I did a little homework and discovered that the man-made dam was built in 1970 as a Bureau of Reclamation project.   For more info, click HERE.   If you are interested in the local fishing report, click HERE.  I’m not into fishing but was impressed by the Mountain Hardware site.   It’s a pretty neat store for all kinds of stuff in Truckee, too.

Back to kayaking …

campsites
if you look really hard, you can see some of my family’s campers … sorta

tree reflection

I wanted to lean over and do a selfie here but had the sense to not tempt fate and end up in the cold water.
I wanted to lean over and do a selfie here but had the sense to not tempt fate and end up in the cold water.

I did a little video of some morning zen paddling to share with you, check it out on YouTube HERE.   I haven’t figured out how (or paid for the upgrade) to embed the video into the blog so you’re just going to have to deal with clicking through to it.

Have you been out on the water this summer?

Now, for some artsy stuff:

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There were tons of feathers floating on the water all morning.   This is a shot including the reflection.   Which do you like better: color or black and white?

 

 

Mountain Trails

One of the best things about Nevada is that there are tons of mountain trails into the vast open spaces.    This is a glimpse of one of the trails from my house into the woods.   I love the ATV tracks in the dirt.   It is interesting how much the desert changes when you get to the mountains–by far, the best part of having an ATV is being able to get to these places.

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Sometimes, it is a lot of work to get out to the middle of nowhere but the reward is always an incredible view.   This is Mount Rose from way back in the Virginia Range between Virginia City and Fernley.    Way out in the boondocks.

z mt rose full

Freshly Shorn Sheep

The weather pretended to be spring-like here for a few days and I am getting a touch of the fever for warmer days.

There is a ranch in Washoe Valley between Reno and Carson City, Nevada, that has little lambs and their mommies in the fields every spring.   These photos are from last spring, but I am already looking forward to seeing them again this year.

Slide Mountain

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sleepy little lamb

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Ice Fog

I have a pretty spectacular view on my daily commute.    I drive down from about 6,500 feet near Virginia City, Nevada, into the valley where Reno hugs the Sierra mountains.    Today was one of those days where a weather inversion is holding the clouds down and providing an interesting photo opp.   Enjoy.

FYI:  All photos were taken with my phone, a Samsung Galaxy IIIS.   And, yes, I pulled over to take the pictures.   Safety first.

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This is what it looks like when you are in the valley.   The blanket of fog was pretty thick and makes a “pogonip” of ice crystals all over everything.   It’s one of my favorite things about winter because it doesn’t happen very often and, thankfully, never lasts very long.

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