In Search of Summer // Part 1: Tahoe
When you get home from a big trip it usually takes a bit of time to get back to reality. And my reality is San Francisco - in the summer - which consists of long foggy, windy, grey days. I am far from the days of bikinis, jean shorts, and flip flops, which is weird because it’s still summer! So even though I had been in paradise for a month, and I’ve only been back home for 3 weeks, I needed to get rejuvenated with some vitamin D… stat. So I left the boy in SF and traveled up to Tahoe to do some mountain biking, hiking, hanging with friends, and to get back into summer.
Summer in the mountains is awesome. That old mountain saying “You come for the winters, but stay for the summers” is so true because there is so much to do in the mountains during the summers - especially in Lake Tahoe. Vail doesn’t have a huge lake where you can wake surf, wake board, sail, SUP, fish - which adds a whole other layer to summer in the mountains.
I drove up to Northstar on Friday afternoon to try to catch their all women’s mountain biking clinic: Pumps on Pedals. I was an hour late because of traffic (damn you weekend warrior status), but at least I was able to catch the second part of the session which was super informative. I’d say I’m an intermediate beginner mountain biker with no official training so it was awesome to get some tips that I could definitely use on my next ride. Here are a couple of them I picked up:
- Use only your pointer fingers to break, then you will be able to use your whole hand to guide and stabilize the bike.
- When making a bank turn make sure to stay on the high side - For example: if your are making a left turn stay on the right side of the trail - it’ll make your turns flow better and you’ll have more room to make your turn.
- Visualize where you want to go
- Keep your pedals even
On Saturday, I met up with my friend Margo at the Meeks Bay Trailhead and we head out on a mellow hike to Lake Genevieve. You can definitely hike further to other lakes but we were anxious to get to the beach.
Meeks Bay Resort has a really nice beach to chill at - I dipped my toes in the water, but I will def be back for some relaxing beach time - no pets!
After our hike we dropped our cars off at the Raleighs parking lot and biked back towards Baldwin Beach since traffic was a nightmare. But I didn’t mind. The bike path is awesome. With my beach chair on my back and a beer in my hand I felt like I was on vacation. I had never been to Baldwin Beach, and I’m glad I had an awesome tour guide to show me around. Baldwin is a gem of a beach along the south shore of Tahoe. It’s pretty wide and there is actual sand. We spent the next 2 hours napping and swimming - the way it should be in the summer.
Next stop was some sunset drinks at Camp Richardson’s Beach Bar - The Beacon Grill, which apparently serves the best rum runners this side of the Caribbean. The Beacon will now be a staple stop during my summer time adventures in South Lake Tahoe. The people watching is amazing, as are the rum runners. Also it really felt like I was at beach bar, which is first and foremost.
On Sunday, before hitting the road back to SF, we went on a mountain bike ride in Meyers. I’m a big fan of cross country mountain biking where you grind it up hill, cruise down hill, and pedal along some long rolling meadows, but it seems here in Tahoe there aren’t many of them and there are mostly down hill runs. Margo took me to “Sidewinder” which is actually a pretty awesome downhill trail. I was stoked to use my new skills that I picked up at Friday’s Pumps on Pedal’s clinic. We pedaled for about 30 mins up a paved road (which kind of sucks) but once you get to the top you get a really fun run of not too tight switch backs, table tops, banked turns, and some wide single track through a forest. The only thing I was wishing was that the trail never ended! It was so much fun!
But alas - all fun things must come to an end (wait no they don’t) - let me rephrase - all fun things come to an end because a another fun thing is around the corner.
I headed back to SF wishing I could stay in the warmth and sunshine but excited to see the man - and practice my skateboarding.