After a damp Friday, the weekend finally felt a lot more like summer. The beginning of the week looks warm and dry with a cool down by mid week and a few sprinkles possible but no snow except at the highest elevations. It will warm up again by next weekend. Have we finally turned the corner and broken out of our cooler than normal spring? Just like we depend on cold weather and snow in the winter to draw visitors to the Tahoe-Truckee area for recreational activities like skiing and snowboarding, we depend on warm, dry weather for summer activities like boating and water skiing. While there are many beautiful lakes in the area, most of our summertime water activities revolve around Lake Tahoe. Known all over the world, it draws thousands of visitors to our area every year and it vital to our economy.In last week’s weeks blog I talked about the upcoming 2010 Lake Tahoe Concours d'Elegance on June 18-20. This event highlights the long history of boating on Lake Tahoe and reminds us how important the long term health of the lake is to our future. There is no better way to enjoy the lake than from a boat, surrounded by the crystal blue waves and snow capped peaks. On June 1st, the Get On Tahoe water taxi shuttle service began taking passengers to the North and East Shores of Lake Tahoe. The 36-foot, 20-passenger boat called the M/V Blue Warrior offers pickups and drops offs in Tahoe City, Kings Beach, Incline Village, Sand Harbor State Recreation Area and more. It is a nonprofit organization owned by the Tahoe Divers Conservancy and 100% of the proceeds from the tickets go towards their mission to “document, study, investigate and conserve the complex marine environment that defines Lake Tahoe. Data collected by divers is utilized by numerous agencies in their planning efforts.” They fight against the invasive species that have invaded Lake Tahoe, such as the Eurasian watermilfoil, Curlyleaf Pondweed, Asian Clam, and quagga mussels. The Get On Tahoe shuttle does not own or manage any piers, docks or marinas so you will be picked up in a dinghy on the beach for a short 2-3 minute ride to the boat. This in itself may be an adventure for those not used to being on the water and may not be appropriate for young children or those with handicaps. You can find out more and see schedules at www.getontahoe.com and www.alpengroup.org/tahoe-divers-conservancy
Another factor in the future of our Tahoe-Truckee area and Lake Tahoe is long term climate change. On Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 7pm at the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences, Incline Village, the Squaw Valley Institute is presenting a program called “Changing Range of Light: Portraits of the Sierra Nevada” with Elizabeth Carmel and co-authors Geoff Schladow, Ph.D and Robert Coates, Ph.D. Elizabeth Carmel is an author and photographer based in Truckee who will show photographs from her latest book, “The Changing Range of Light”. Her book explores the 21st century environmental threats to the Sierra Nevada region while honoring the past contributions of John Muir and Ansel Adams. The photographs are accompanied with text from top scientists detailing how the terrain shown will be affected by the warming climate. The program is presented in collaboration with the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC). Read more at www.squawvalleyinstitute.org.The air is warm, the skies are blue, and it’s time to get on with summer. Don't forget to check out our Olympic Village Inn Facebook page for things to do in the area. Next time you’re out on the lake or on your favorite hiking trail, take a minute to look around and really appreciate the beauty that surrounds us and how important it is to protect it. Have a great week!