For most of this month, with my colleague Adam Jensen out of the country on vacation in Southeast Asia, I’m working as interim editor, so to speak, of our sister publication Lake Tahoe Action.
It’s allowing me the opportunity to work on stories and reports of the wonderful entertainment and recreation options that make Lake Tahoe and Truckee famous. Adding these areas to my normal palette of news, opinion, sports and community coverage is truly enjoyable because it’s not often you can like writing so much — while getting paid to talk about living life and having fun here.
When I ask my friends or people living in or visiting our communities, “How’s it going?” I’d say about every eighth or 10th response is a simple and straightforward, “Living the dream.”
I’ve used that myself as an answer, particularly when the weather is fair, the sun is shining and I’ve just finished — or am ready to continue — playing in America’s greatest outdoor playground.
Monday and Tuesday of this week were perfect examples of why we really do live the dream here, and I bet it’s those kinds of days that inspired Mark Twain to write all the glorious things he did about this place, mainly to famously label Lake Tahoe as “the fairest picture the whole world affords.”
With the sun spoiling us with mild 60-degree temps and barely a breeze to disturb our shimmering lakes and lush evergreen trees, the views this week of our backyard have been simply dazzling.
Considering the Sierra Sun and Bonanza cover several communities sprawled across a large area — from Tahoma to Donner Summit to Sand Harbor and everything in between — part of my workdays often involve commutes to our offices in Incline, Tahoe City and Truckee.
While those drives can be, let’s say, “diminished in quality” due to the start of road construction season and the region’s once-again-rising gas prices — $4.39 as of Tuesday in Truckee, sheesh — nothing could get me down to start his week with spring (and glimmers of summer) frolicking through the air.
I barely noticed the lines of orange construction cones in Kings Beach early Tuesday as I drove to Truckee. The crisp blue skies, nearly void of clouds, were juxtaposed delightfully among the snow-capped and jagged Sierra ridge in the distance.
To my left, a glassy Lake Tahoe called out to me through my cracked car windows, allowing me to smell our fresh mountain air and hear the adventure coming from the soft hum of a few lucky boaters taking advantage of the warm April weather.
Traversing Brockway Summit with ease, I eventually rolled through the picturesque Martis Valley, where the cool air collided with the sun’s warm rays to once again create that layer of fog many of us early-morning drivers are familiar with, almost dancing across Highway 267 from Northstar’s shadows on the left to the open space and hangars of Truckee Tahoe Airport to the right.
Even the quick jaunts Tuesday on I-80 to and from the Donner Lake exit — often for me nothing more than fast-paced, get-there-because-deadlines-are-looming streaks of Interstate speed — felt more like leisurely strolls, happening during a few-minute span of time that held more meaning with better understanding, yet again, of the importance of the unmatched beauty that surrounds us.
About the only thing I could scoff at were the ugly condensation trails (or chem trails, depending on what one believes) that streaked and fizzled Tuesday across the otherwise blue sky.
Despite that minor gripe, there’s little negative I can say about this time of year at Lake Tahoe and Truckee. I’m a warm-weather guy, and the spring sunshine, spectacular skies and surreal sights and sounds this week are serving as yet another reminder that we really are living the dream and are damn lucky to call this place home.
Kevin MacMillan is managing editor of the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza newspapers; he may be reached for comment at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin1MacMillan.