As Others See It: Take time to notice surrounding beauty |

As Others See It: Take time to notice surrounding beauty

Here in the heart of another Tahoe summer when temperatures are beginning to rise and the patience of many locals for summer tourists begins to drop, it’s nice to take a minute or two to remember what has brought us to this mountain wonderland.

A few days ago I took a late evening bike ride along the Truckee River and was surprised at how inviting the trail became in the evening.

The murmur of passing cars on River Road was soon lost in the serene silence of the gently babbling waters of the Truckee.

As the evening progressed, a nearly full moon shone brightly overhead – the lunar glow seeming to brighten with each moment.

Gentle waves of pink rippled across a now-deserted Truckee River, save for a few fishermen content to cast a line in the late evening waters. Their efforts were disturbed only by a few passing cyclists, acknowledged with a friendly nod of their head.

The river seemed to belong only to myself and the few other evening dwellers along the trail that evening – a couple of inline skaters, a few fellow cyclists and a half-dozen fisherman. Now there’s a sight not often seen in Tahoe.

While reluctant to share my secret of the Truckee River, I was thrilled with my discovery of this magic hour of silence between sunset and the onset of night along the heavily traveled Truckee. If I had taken my ride in the afternoon, as I had originally planned, I would have found myself in the midst of a whirlwind of activity. The sound of scores of rafters upon the river like a swarm of locusts would have drowned out the sounds of the river; fishermen and their prey would have likely been absent among this hubbub, and the bike trail would have been fraught with danger – inline skaters weaving between families with 2.5 children pulling kid carts behind their bikes and overly dressed tourists stopping unexpectedly to admire the river.

Any peaceful contemplation of the river would have been lost on thoughts of making it to River Ranch without a scratch – an adventure in its own right.

But, not on this ride.

With no worries of what obstacle I would have to face around the coming corner, I was able to enjoy the Truckee’s beauty and my eyes were open to new wonders along the trail. The wildly varied and abundant wildflowers and other flora, the many small stone steps cut into the hillside affording access to the river, never-before-seen crags along the far shore of the Truckee, the normally imperceptible changes in temperature from the shaded to open spots and the sound of water rolling along the rocks to watch the alpenglow of a fading day pass into shades of purple and disappear into the night.

A friend once said beauty, in its many forms, was the most important thing in life; I think this was one of those moments.

Katherine E. Hill is the Managing Editor of the Tahoe World.

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