Archive for the ‘Summer Recreation’ Category

Thimbleberry – Harvesting at Lake Tahoe and Truckee   Leave a comment


By Tim Hauserman

Once, in my early 20s I went backpacking in Desolation Wilderness with a copy of a book about edible plants of the Sierra Nevada. I was bound and determined to locate wild food that could sustain a person in the wilds of the Sierra. It’s a good thing I brought food, because there was a real dearth of wild foraging to be done, with one exception: The Thimbleberry.

In late summer and early fall, depending upon the amount of moisture we received the prior winter, thimbleberries finally turn bright red and are ready to eat. The name comes from the fact that the berries look like tiny thimbles.

Thimbleberry, rubus parviflorus, is a member of the raspberry family, and while I find raspberries delicious, thimbleberry are just as good, with perhaps a bit more flavor. They are smaller, more fragile, and soft, and thus are not grown commercially, although in some parts of the country they are prized for making jam.

In the Tahoe region, thimbleberries are quite common in the shaded understory of pine and fire trees, as well as near creek beds. The plants grow in the 1-2 foot range for the most part, with large palmate leaves with five lobes. They have a very large similar to maple leaf appearance. The cycle begins with white flowers with yellow centers in the early summer, transitioning slowly through hard green berries to the lush red ones by harvest time.




A highlight of many an early fall hiking trip for me was to run into a patch of thimbleberries at the height of ripeness. It’s always worth a short break to forage your way through the berries. It’s somewhat of an art to pick the right berry as some are not so tasty or too seedy, while the really red and soft ones are delicious and melt in your mouth.

While thimbleberries are also a popular plant for Tahoe area landscaping, they seem to grow more berries in their natural surroundings, away from all the coddling they get from humans. Which is good, if you wish to savor something as tasty as a thimbleberry, you should have to work for it.

Your best bet for finding thimbleberries right now is at the higher elevations, as the berries at lake level are almost gone.



Lake Tahoe’s 2016 Concours d’Elegance   Leave a comment

By Michelle Portesi


thunderbird 2

The Thunderbird


Long time locals have often lazily just called this ‘The Wooden Boat Show’, but as South Shore has a similar event by that name, it’s more accurate to call it by it’s real moniker – The Concours d’Elegance. This marvelous annual event is put on every year by the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation.

This year’s Condours is this weekend, August 12 and 13 in Homewood, at Obexer’s Boat Company.  Friday’s hours are from 10am-4:30pm and Saturday from 9am-4:30 pm, with the ‘Roar Off’ at 4pm.

Sporting a large display of vintage boats from across the country, connoisseur’s  of these lovely nods to Tahoe’s past delight not only those who own and cherish these boats, but everyone who has the pleasure of viewing them.

The Opening Night Dinner is on Thursday evening for the first 150 people who make reservations, but what is truly wonderful about this event is that it is being held at the new location of the Tahoe Maritime Museum. Located in what was the original log building of the Tahoe Tree Company on the West Shore just out of Tahoe City, even if you don’t sign up for the dinner, it’s well worth visiting the museum where you can wander and explore more of the history of Tahoe’s maritime past. (Future post on the museum itself coming soon.)

On Sunday there is also a Ladies Luncheon or the Men’s Grill.


concours d'elegance

Photo by Joan Spelletich


Pre-sale tickets are $25, ($3o the day of), or both days pre-sale for $35 ($40 the day of). Children under 12 get in free!

For more information on the event or to buy your tickets, go to their website:

For more information on the Tahoe Yacht Club:

For hours of operation and more information on The Tahoe Maritime Museum:



Go Take a Hike, Part 8. Into Desolation Wilderness   Leave a comment

By Tim Hauserman


Tahoe is full of things to do outdoors in the summer. You can bike, swim, paddle, sit on the beach, grill up some burgers along the shoreline, or motor around the lake. But a hike into Tahoe’s own Desolation Wilderness is a trip not to be missed by anyone visiting Lake Tahoe.

While in the summer it is way too busy to feel like its name, you can still find plenty of places to enjoy the quiet and mystery of Desolation Wilderness. It’s a land of crystal clear mountain lakes, high granite and volcanic peaks, and waves of wildflowers. The easiest trailheads into the wilderness from the North side of Tahoe are at Meeks Bay and Emerald Bay.

Known also as the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail the Meeks Bay entrance to Desolation brings you in five miles to Crag Lake (first you reach Lake Genevieve, but take the extra quarter mile to get to the much more compelling Crag). The lake is classic Desolation. A mix of smooth granite and pine and fir forest along the shore, with a few bonsai tree topped islands.



Heading into Desolation at Emerald Bay takes you in five miles to five awesome lakes: Dicks, Fontanillis, and the Upper, Middle and Lower Velma Lakes. The lakes are granite rimmed gems surrounded by high peaks, which often hold snow well into the summer. They are also just begging for a swim, although given the brisk temperatures, swim might be an exaggeration of what usually is a quick dip, and then a concentrated effort to remove yourselves from the water quickly. The hike is quite challenging with a steady, fairly steep ascent for the first two and a half miles.

The lakes are accessed either by the Eagle Falls or Bayview Trailheads. Since they are at Tahoe’s most popular attraction, the trailheads are busy and parking is at a premium. If you can hike on a midweek day, do so. The lakes are also prime backpacking terrain, but excessive popularity has led to a permitting system, which means you have to plan in advance for a trip, and perhaps be flexible where you camp. Day hiking for many is the easiest option and it also has less impact on the fragile ecosystem.

Whichever method or trail you choose, Desolation is an amazingly pretty place, and well worth the effort.



Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee

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