It seems like years, probably 3 or 4, since I have been up in Tahoe basin in general, or Truckee and the North Shore of Lake Tahoe in particular. I always preferred the North shore of Lake Tahoe to the South, except for gambling, and top name entertainment in the casino showrooms. The north has always appealed to my love of the outdoors, skiing and golf in particular, along with some water sports, and now, some cycling.
I can relate many funny stories from my skiing days in the Tahoe basin. But it was also the vacation site of many family vacations, encounters with bears, lost kids, and family reunions. My parents loved Tahoe when they were alive, perhaps fostering my love for the area. During the summer, often on the spur of a moment, my Dad would tell us to load up the car for several days vacation at Lake Tahoe, usually on the South shore near Stateline, and the big casinos.
We often pulled a ski boat up to the Lake, ostensibly to water ski. But more often, just to find other kids our age (read that as young ladies) who wanted to go for a ride on our boat. We generally hung out on the beach, had many outdoor cookouts, and filled the waking hours trying to find something creative to do. My brother was much more adept at attracting members of the opposite sex.
Truckee itself has changed over the years. First, they now charge for parking. Second, they have tried numerous schemes to deal with the traffic flow, all to no avail. And most importantly, third, Truckee has grown up a little, a little more mainstream, catering to a wider range of tourists and adventure seekers than years past.
Winter was just skiing, summer was just water sports and golf. Now, the sports and adventure options are numerous, including cycling, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, and just relaxing. Back in the 1970s, Tahoe was hardly a thought for summer vacations. Now, the summers are packed with families and adventure seekers alike.
Dining options remain somewhat limited, though I can usually find something to my liking in the downtown area, or one of the nearby resorts. They are actually having several food and wine events this weekend. Years past, this would never happen! I always saw it as a place for funky softball tournaments, drunken beer fests, and good old-fashioned barbecue cook-offs.
BTW, Truckee was not named for the key of a truck. Truckee was the name of a Paiute chief, the father of Winnemucca, and the grandfather of Sarah Winnemucca. Chief Truckee was a guide for John C. Fremont. The population now is still less than 20,000 people, though at times, it seems like all of them are trying to find parking in the old downtown area. The area is perhaps best known through our history books and its recounting of the ill-fated Donner Party’s attempt in 1846-47 to reach San Francisco. And nearby Squaw Valley was home to the 1960 Winter Olympics.