Tag Archives: lake tahoe

Kings Beach, California

View Larger Map

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.

KingsBeachMusic 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.   

Leaving Reno-Tahoe

There is a reason why I have not been blogging lately. I have a felt a certain vacuousness, like my brain is a barren and desolate place devoid of any real desire to communicate or express emotion. This feeling was initiated by the harsh realization that I was going to have to leave the Reno-Tahoe area.

I have been operating in some state of denial. Refusing to accept that I would have to say goodbye (for now) to the Sierras, to Tahoe, to Reno, to the West, and to all the friends I have had the pleasure of encountering within these realms. After almost 10 wonderful years of western exploration and experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world, I am heading East to support my wife in a career move that we could not refuse.

Julia was offered a job by the New York Times to head up their online initiatives out of their regional office in Tampa, Florida. It is what she has worked towards all these years, and I am supporting her just as she would do the same for me.

I heard a funny comment yesterday, “Tampa is a place for newlyweds and nearly deads.” Whether or not that is true, I can tell you the highest point in Florida is 250 feet. No mountains, no snow, no big beautiful whitewater rivers. What it does have, which a kayaking friend so eloquently put is, “atmospheric conditions at flood stage.” In other words, high humidity.

I will have to draw balance from the beaches and the water and the practice of discovering new places not yet seen or experienced. Fortunately, I grew up surfing, so I will be making frequent trips to the Atlantic side to try and feed my insatiable outdoor enthusiasm.

The other great positive is that I will be staying on with Twelve Horses. It is a web technology company composed of many smart and connected cohorts who telecommute from all over the globe. I will certainly miss the day-to-day interaction with all of my colleagues in the Reno office, but I suspect that I will be back for business from time to time. Our CEO, David LaPlante even suggested I leave my powder skis at his house.   

Still, it will be hard to fill the void. Even now I am overwhelmed with emotion as I contemplate my impending departure. My house is empty, my car is packed, and 2,800 miles away my wife awaits my arrival.

A picture from my final night in Reno taken in the backyard of what is no longer my house. Aside from the sunset, what else do you immediately notice? Trees. Reno is not a desolate desert devoid of life. It is a place with a subtle charm and beauty and a lot of promise. It has been a great base camp for me, and I will certainly miss it. Goodbye!


Meeks Bay, Lake Tahoe

Tis the season for weddings, and this past weekend I found myself right smack dab in the middle of one being held at Meeks Bay Resort on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe. Suffice to say, it was a good wedding. The bride and groom love each other, and friends from all over gathered to celebrate their union with plenty of dancing, drinking, and walking down memory lane. I won’t bore you with the details, however, because I assume you would prefer to hear about Meeks Bay and Lake Tahoe instead.

There are quite a few cabins lining the beach front at Meeks Bay, and at the very end of the road there is also the Kehlet Mansion, which is where the wedding was held and where Julia and I stayed. The property is run by the Washoe Tribe, and let’s just say that hotel management is probably not there favorite thing to do. Nevertheless, the rustic vibe has a certain charm, and it is positioned right alongside a beautiful bay complete with white sand, granite boulders, and mountain views. If you stay in the Kehlet Mansion, recognize that there are creaking doors and floors, thin walls, and shared bathrooms. It is really best to rent out the whole place with a group of close friends.

Meeks Bay was known by the Washoe as magulu watah. It was where they came in the summer to fish, hunt, and harvest wild plants. As the story generally goes, there were superseded by whites, but because of their peaceful nature they persisted, and as reciprocity would have it they eventually acquired the land back. But before that could happen Meeks Bay would go through an era of white control. Talk about a screaming deal, in 1884 the Murphys family bought the Meeks Bay land for $250 in gold eagles.

If you plan to hike in Desolation Wilderness, play in Lake Tahoe, and relax on the beach, Meeks Bay is definitely in a good location. However, if you are price conscious, like privacy, and don’t necessarily mind giving up being right on the Lake, then there are plenty of other accommodations to consider.

I posterized the above picture to protect the innocent. Needless to say, it was nice waking up to that beautiful view of the, umm, lake.

Bocce on the Beach

Summer in Lake Tahoe is here. While there is still snow in the upper elevations, around the rim of the lake the setting is almost tropical. The white sand and decomposed granite, coupled with varying terrain and interesting obstacles, make Lake Tahoe a great place for bocce.

If you have never played the game of bocce you are missing out. Whether it is grass, sand, dirt, forest floor, or a combination of each, you can have a lot of fun coming up with creative shots to play.

Some people prefer the structured course, but I find it much more fun when it is free form. What’s better? The game goes quite well with your favorite beer. You can only throw with one arm anyway, so you might as well give the other arm a strict regiment of 12 ounce curls to keep it in shape.

Backcountry Skiing Above Reno

There are several peaks above Reno, Nevada that offer excellent terrain for backcountry skiing. Here is a little video from this past Saturday that sums up the fun.

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

Here a couple of shots from a snowshoeing jaunt I did today in the mountains above Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe.


Skiing in the Sierras

What a fantastic weekend of skiing in the Lake Tahoe region. In the past week we have received more than 50 inches of new snow with more on the way.

It all started Friday morning at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort. Check out a little video I made to give you a sense of the conditions.

Turn your speakers on.

I intermixed some photos I took at Alpine last year just to make the video a little more interesting.

As usual, I was shooting in really poor light conditions with my Canon A620. Still, for a compact little digital camera that also has video with audio capabilities, it is a nice little companion. It is already difficult enough to get my friends to hold still on a powder day. Carrying and protecting a large camera in cold, snowy, windy conditions would make it even harder.

I am waiting for a camcorder that is small and compact, offers excellent video quality, saves to a hard drive, and also allows you to take high resolution pictures. Come on Canon or Sony, you can do it!

On Saturday, I did some backcountry in a place I cannot reveal, and today I went over to my backyard resort, Mt Rose Ski Resort. It was quite windy and snowing heavily, but the powder was endless and I skied as long as my body would allow me.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend!

Reno News & Review

This past week I appeared in the Reno News & Review along with my colleague, Josh Kenzer for an article titled, “Up all Night: It’s a brave new world called the blogosphere. Meet some of its denizens.” This photograph was taken by RNR staff member, David Roberts.

I posted about the article on the Horse Power blog, but I wanted to at least acknowledge it on my own blog because, well, it’s partially about me.

We were the lone business featured in the article, which I think says a lot about the approach we have taken with the blog.

We made a conscience decision in the very beginning NOT to make the blog a selling proposition. We try our hardest to provide information and analysis of the industry we are in without selling our business too aggressively. In other words, we hope our expertise shines through, so we do not have to go on at length about what we can do as a business. Plus, that is what the website is for, right?

Regarding the podcast, it is about local business professionals and not about Twelve Horses. Sure, it is an excuse to meet new people and put a voice to the company, but we really wanted to construct a forum that highlights interesting individuals in the community, and the fantastic work that they do.

I blog for business, but I also enjoy having a personal blog. I guess I could take up knitting or whittle a stick, but instead I choose to have a blog. It gives me a chance to express myself outside of my profession, and it introduces me to people that I doubt I would have otherwise known existed.

If you want to read the perspectives of some other bloggers that were featured in the same article, check out Reno and Its Discontents post about it. People get fired up about why they blog and how it effects them internally, as well as the external world around them.

In the end, it is the resulting actions that take place because of what is said or written. The rest is an exercise. The problem is you never know the end result until after the fact. So, you use your judgment, which hopefully consists of solid values and ethics, and then you forge ahead. But you have to be constructive in your approach, or eventually no one will listen to you.

When you blog about someone else, do it as if you were standing directly in front of them looking straight in their eyes. And, right before you do a blog post or comment about a topic, think about the fact that it is has been recorded, and can be forever attached to people’s perceptions of you. Hopefully that will keep you honest and fair.

Marlette Lake

Marlette Lake is situated above the East Shore of Lake Tahoe between Spooner Summit and Sand Harbor.

What is most notable about Marlette is the fact that it has been a source for trout fishing since 1887 when it was first stocked with Cutthroat Trout.

Today, it is still used as a source for Rainbow Trout eggs, which are gathered during spawning season in tiered gates that run into the south end of the Lake. They are then transplanted in both Lake Tahoe and Walker Lake.

Fishing is allowed on the Marlette Lake, but you must use barbless hooks. If you get lucky, it is catch and release.

Marlette is also a popular area for mountain biking and hiking, and you will often see people circling the Lake to access the Flume or Rim Trail. Keep in mind that biking is only allowed on even days, so if you are planning a hike you might want to do it on an odd day. 

Regardless, it is beautiful, especially in the fall when the aspen leaves turn a vibrant gold and yellow. 

Riding the Rim Trail

This past Sunday I met up with a couple of my fellow colleagues from Twelve Horses, and rallied up to the Lake Tahoe Basin for a little mountain bike ride.

We selected the 23 mile loop that takes you from Mount Rose Meadows, out along the Tahoe Rim Trail, around Marlette Lake, back on the Flume Trail, and down Tunnel Creek Road to Ponderosa Ranch.

Continue reading Riding the Rim Trail