The Encinitas and San Diego surf culture is a menagerie of style and circumstance. Wade through the tattoos, tans and thongs, and you ultimately find a flow that is a little funky, fun and free. Whatever your role is it will never be as big as the Pacific Ocean’s command of the scene.
Just wrapped up the BIO International Convention in San Diego. From the Welcome Reception on the USS Midway, to the incredible life science companies that are changing the face of healthcare, it was well worth the time. Seeing Richard Branson speak was interesting as well. Here are a few pics:
Located on the north shore of Lake Tahoe lies the last little hold out when it comes to the price of real estate on the Lake. Don’t get me wrong, it is still expensive, but in comparison to the other lake locale prices, well, it is hard to beat.
Kings Beach has changed a lot since I lived there a few years ago. It always had a distinct charm about it, but it was certainly more rustic than the neighboring towns of Tahoe Vista and Tahoe City to the west, and Crystal Bay and Incline Village to the east. The fact that Kings Beach was not inundated with McMansions, exclusive clubs, and expensive restaurants meant the rent was cheaper, and there were fewer tourists clogging up the place in the winter and summer.
The sacrifice of living there meant few restaurants to choose from, even fewer cultural activities, and a tired neighborhood consisting of many dilapidated houses. It was still a great place to live, but there were a few things left to be desired.
Now, Kings Beach seems to be injected with new energy and focus. This could be the result of finally being truly discovered, but I think it is more than that. I am seeing more concerned citizens consisting of a diverse demographic who are carving out their lives at roughly 6,300 feet. They are motivated and want to see positive change for Kings Beach. There have been many lessons learned when it comes to planning and redevelopment in Lake Tahoe, and the inhabitants of Kings Beach will certainly benefit from that knowledge and experience.
The last time I was there I took in some music at the new outdoor stage that was recently constructed right on the beach. In the summer, there is free music there every Wednesday night. I observed many different families and overheard conversations oriented around the future of Kings Beach. People talking of promise and new, exciting projects like sidewalks, which have long since been planned but have never been a reality. I suspect they will soon be brought to fruition.
Riding my bike around I observed refurbished homes and new businesses springing up. One new business that recently opened in town is Pastore/Ryan. These two entrepreneurs are symbolic of the evolution that is occurring. They focus on sustainable design and engineering with a mission to “improve efficiencies and minimize environmental impacts.” What I see is a business that wants both its business and its surrounding environment to be successful, and this does not happen without a healthy community as well.
With change and growth come new challenges, and Kings Beach will certainly face them. Striking a balance between the preservation of Lake Tahoe, and the economic challenges of maintaining a community there will be difficult. Affordable housing, parking and traffic, and the pressures of tourism and 2nd-home ownership are just a handful of the issues. But from the perspective of someone who would often get a little bored with the tired surroundings of old, I am excited to see how Kings Beach will meet these challenges and maintain their community, bolster their economy, and preserve and protect Lake Tahoe.
5 swims and fun had by all. At least no one vomited from exhaustion like the guy who just beat me by a few seconds the last time I raced. While I didn’t get a chance to shoot video this time around, you can check out some Cherry Creek action from this video I put together a few weeks ago.
Thanks to Keith for all the logistics, effort, and money he applied to make it a great party, complete with live music by Kipchoge right on the banks of the Tuolumne River. Here is a little taste of the tunes that I shot from my beach chair as I relaxed under the stars. Not very professional, but basically I just wasn’t into filming and simply wanted to listen. Either way, it gives you a taste. Notice you hear the river directly behind them. We are an hour away from pavement down a steep and treacherous road.
Here are a few mug shots of some of the racers and general attendees.
For the week of July 4th I found myself at the bottom of a river canyon with no cell phone reception, no Internet connection, and nothing to do but kayak and kick it with a dozen friends who were all there to do two things - paddle Cherry Creek and forget what we do on a daily basis.
Cherry Creek is such a perfect combination of hydrology, geology, and geography that if I were to stand up and give a presentation on what constitutes the ideal class V river it would be this place. If you are a confident class V boater then it presents few worries and plenty of excitement. Basically, everything goes but in a big way. To quote Lars Holbek and Chuck Stanley,
“This is where they come to strut their stuff or to get stuffed while strutting.”
The only stress I experienced over the course of the entire week was the unfortunate run-in with a rattlesnake. Several of us were in the midst of an extremely competitive bocce game when we first became aware of its presence. It crossed a dirt road that we were on and hunkered down in a hole presumably built by a mammalian species. I threw a warning rock across its bow and hoped that it was the last I would see of it; but alas, it was not.
Later on that evening it presented itself again. If it were not for the fact that we had a campground full of paddlers sleeping on the ground and dogs oblivious to the powers of poison, I would have left it alone. I don’t like killing things unnecessarily, but in this case it was a problem.
Kayak paddles can serve multiple functions, some of which do not involve actual paddling. A swift blow to the back of the head, a few saw-like motions, and it was not long before I had extinguished the life of this poor yet deadly reptile. I thought for sure I would pay for this action on the river the next day, but as luck would have it I was spared. Regardless, I am sorry rattlesnake. It is not your fault that you were engineered with an extremely effective defense mechanism. It just so happens that humans have a pretty good one too.
Now for the video. There are a few rapids not featured, but if you are new to Cherry Creek then this compilation should give you a pretty good idea. It’s a definite “Splash Party.”