By Tim Hauserman
After the recent snow and drop in temperatures it’s once again in-between time in the Sierra. The time of the year when it is not really fall, but not quite winter. After a gloriously warm fall that kept us swimming until nearly November, it has finally become time to put away the swim trunks and bikes (and everything else outside that could get inundated with snow). A few inches of wet sloppy snow arrived last night at lake level, but there is not enough snow to ski yet. So what is an outdoor recreational devotee to do this time of year?
First, enjoy the quiet. The off-seasons at Tahoe are much shorter than they used to be, so take advantage of the slow times while you can. You can now drive your car to the main highway and quickly and easily turn left. Try it, it’s quite exciting. Or you can take a walk around the neighborhood or take a stroll on the sloppy snow through the woods and find yourself being the only person on the trail. Or you can find solitude along the shore of Lake Tahoe or Donner Lake. Both lakes are enticing places this time of year. The boats are put away for the winter, and it feels a bit like Tahoe was 150 years ago.
A second thing to do now is to breathe an incredible sigh of relief. With the recent rains and snow, the fire danger that has been hanging over our heads this summer and fall has dramatically reduced in the Sierra (Of course a few minutes after I wrote my first draft, a fire popped up in the dry foothills of Coughlin Ranch in Reno). Sure, we can’t let our guard down and should be moving full speed ahead on plans to reduce fire danger next year, but to be able to cross a wildfire roaring through the region off our long list of things to worry about in 2020, is a very good thing.
And a final fun thing about in-between time is the thrill of watching those first few storms come rolling into the area. The winds begin to howl, pine needles fly, and eventually the clouds arrive. Then the pavement starts to get a bit wet, followed by the slow transition to moisture, hopefully in the form of snow, and the world is transformed to its winter coat of white.