North shore odyssey

After our trip to Tahoe for momma’s birthday and mother’s day, when we got a couple unfinished sections of our Tour de Tahoe done, momma realized we were actually maybe going to be able to do the whole thing and got excited about it.

Unfortunately the perfect spring weather went by the wayside just after that trip and every day was filled with storms (and some even with snow!). In fact, we canceled our Memorial Day weekend camping trip because of the winter storm warning! However, the Friday of Memorial Day weekend had a small weather window where the storms were going to take a break, and the wind was going to be calm. That was all we needed to hear to get ourselves out of bed at 4:30 a.m. so we could make it to Kings Beach for an early morning paddle of a big distance to finish up the entire north shore.

It was pretty cool and very moody when we put in, but honestly we were relieved to not be in an inversion like all of Truckee and Donner Lake was! Any breaks of blue in the sky were most welcome as even though the forecast said it would be fine, it is the mountains in the spring and anything can happen!

Our objective for the day was to paddle Carnelian Bay and Incline Village. It was a pretty tall order, made even worse when momma decided she didn’t want to risk putting in at Speedboat Beach after she saw something online about dogs not allowed to be at the beach there.

I’m not really sure whether that is true or not, how many things can you believe that you read online now anyways?! And Speedboat Beach is literally like not a beach at all right now because the water is SO HIGH right now.

But momma doesn’t like conflict, and didn’t want to have to either get yelled at or have to go backtrack to Kings Beach to put in (where dogs are allowed to go in on a SUP!) so we just added extra mileage on to make sure we were doing the right thing.

We had previously paddled a bit into Carnelian Bay when we first did a big chunk of the North Shore from Waterman’s Landing on a brilliant day last fall when we had Lolo with us. But we had a lot further to go today and momma wanted to make sure we didn’t get caught too far out in case the weather turned poorly, so we stuck really close to shore.

There were plenty of crazy houses to see from the edge of the shore, we always wonder how many of those lakefront homes on Tahoe are actually occupied full time. It seems like only a few have activity going on, like landscapers or builders, but at this time of the year many have all the curtains drawn and don’t have boats out at the dock.

We admired the deep, dark blue of Carnelian Bay before we got into the beaches of Incline Village.

We didn’t take many pictures in Incline Village because there really wasn’t any point. We were not allowed to go onto any beaches in Incline Village because they are only open to residents who have a pass. We sure would have loved to take a break though because we still had a long ways to go!

We eventually hit the end of the Incline Village beaches which was technically the link-up point from a time we’d gone from Sand Harbor to the eastern (or southern) edge of the Incline Village beaches. But momma knew we were so close to some amazing rocks on the northern edge of Hidden Beach and could not resist stopping for some pictures.

We were extra lucky the sun started to come out while we had all these rocks and perfect water to take pictures of!

Finally I told momma we still had to go ALL THE WAY BACK and she better get it moving because it was a long ways to go!

As we headed back across the Incline Village bay momma wanted to try to cut the corner a bit to save some distance. This was a dumb idea because that is when the wind picked up for about one hour, slapping waves against us that more than once made momma think we were for sure going to go for a swim! By the time we neared the end of Incline Village the wind died down and we were so very relieved to be able to relax for the rest of the paddle.

The only last place momma was nervous about was the point right near the state line which can get awfully choppy even on the calmest of days, but the weather held and we had a smooth crossing back into California. We took some pictures around Speedboat Beach thrilled that we were getting so close to finishing!

Finally, 5.5 hours after we started we landed back at Kings Beach. That was the most tired I’ve ever seen momma after a paddle. It was probably also the longest paddle we have ever done, but I think the stress of worrying about the weather, worrying about Lolo who was at work with our daddy, and just wanting to get this section that logistically was a big challenge because she wants to paddle with me (you know, of the canine species), and that we don’t live in Incline Village and have put-in or beach rights made her relieved to get it done.

It is a shame that it’s not likely a paddle we’d repeat, Carnelian Bay’s blue water is simply dazzling and the rocks on the north shore are second in prettiness only to the east shore. But unless or until we make friends with someone in Incline Village or have another perfect opportunity to do a long paddle without bringing Lolo (it’s too hard for him to not be wiggly for that long) then we will have to always remember that one cold, gray Friday we finished up the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.

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