Spent last week swimming on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, about 1/3 mile south of Cave Rock & 4 miles north of State Line & its casinos. It’s a pretty extreme place: dry & windy, with thin air (6100′) & cold clear water (60 degrees, more or less). We got good weather for late summer — 80 by mid-afternoon, down to 50 or below in the evenings & early morning. The old family tradition of swimming before breakfast got bent a little, by pushing breakfast to 10 am so that the sun reached the beach before our plunge.
It’s one of the world’s great swimming holes: Caribbean-blue clear water, and when you’re under in that cold blue everything falls away. Swimming’s a bit like outer space under any circumstances, but Lake Tahoe feels more moonlike than the moon: the windy chop at the surface vanishes & all of a sudden it’s just you and the still bottom, with huge granite boulders scattered haphazardly like giants’ marbles.
It was wetsuit water, mostly, except a few times in the afternoons when it was too much bother to suit up again.
Rock hopping was the way to go, mostly, moving from one barely submerged boulder to another just poking up its froth-bearded head. A tricky place for nonwet navigators: we brought a little El Toro, which made a few abrupt stops when the centerboard found a rock before we did.