The cool morning air is just starting to burn off as I dip my paddle into Lake Tahoe. We’re launching from Baldwin Beach and our destination is Emerald Bay. But first, there’s about 25 yards of smushy, gravely sand to walk across, from the parking lot to get to the water. We buddy up and carry the boats down one by one. I’m ready to peel off a layer before I even start and am excited because it’s going to be a great day.
I mean just look at the color of the water and the backdrop of the mountains.
The clarity of the water is pristine. The color changes to a deeper blue as you move away from the shore.
Nancy is excited and I’m excited for her. This is her first time paddling on Lake Tahoe. It took a little bit of arm bending, but I finally convinced her she would love it.
The wind is hardly stirring and I’m hopeful the forecast keeps its promise. We make it to the mouth of Emerald Bay in about 45 minutes. We approach slowly as most of us know this place can be a circus as boats are entering and exiting the little jewel. What we find is amazingly flat water and the place to ourselves. Should I pinch myself? Wow!
I’m sitting in the middle of the mouth that leads to Emerald Bay here. Far off in the distance you can see Fannette Island. I think of Emerald Bay the green pendant of Lake Tahoe.
We decide to cross over and paddle along the Northern shoreline as we make our way to our landing spot for lunch and a good stretch. The water here is just as pristine as it was when we started.
Here’s a shot of Duke. He likes jumping in the water, over and over, so he’s looking a little wet in this picture.
We continue along the shoreline, passing the Emerald Bay boat in camping area.
Oh, look. An Osprey is waiting to have his picture taken. He’s on the small side so I’m guessing he’s juvenile. Well, he’ll enjoy a long life of catching fish. Perhaps he’ll snatch up a Kokanee Salmon as they begin their short migration up Taylor Creek in October.
We reach the beach in front of the Vikingsholm, built back in the late 20s (1928), for a short lunch break and to walk around the grounds so we can stretch our legs. If you’ve not visited this beautiful ‘castle’, you should. The architecture is stunning. Mrs Lora Knight visited Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland to gather ideas for her new home. You’ll notice some similarity to these two chimneys up on top of her home, to those on top of a rustic Scandinavian home.
I walk down to my kayak to grab my lunch and snap a picture.
After we are finished with lunch, we load back up and head over to take a little spin around Fannette Island. This is where Lora and her guests would occasionally be served tea, after they took a little motor boat ride to the island. The tea room is 16 X 16 and used to have a little fireplace in the corner.
As we leave Fannette Island, the boat traffic has picked up quite a bit. The water is starting to get choppy as the wind funnels into the mouth of Emerald Bay. If you’re like most people who visit Lake Tahoe, the only way to see Emerald Bay is by way of a ferry made to look like a paddle wheel boat. Here’s one as she departs and take her passengers out and back across the big blue water to Zephyr cove.
Our return paddle is much choppier, there are jet skis zipping by us and speed boats pulling skiers. The wind is at our back though, so we’re moving along at a decent pace. I see the sandy beach from where we started this morning. We all safely pull up onto the beach and exit our kayaks. The winds are picking up a bit and we know we were fortunate to have had such a wonderful paddle.
As I stand on the shore and look out at the lake, I notice there are at least three shades of blue water. Beautiful, yes simply beautiful.