Book calls Truckee one of the Best Outdoor Towns | SierraSun.com

Book calls Truckee one of the Best Outdoor Towns

Kelly RuaneSierra Sun
Sierra Sun file photosTruckee was selected as one of the nation's best outdoor towns on the strength of its four-seasons outdoor activities and its small-town ambiance.
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According to Sarah Tuff and Greg Melvilles 101 Best Outdoor Towns: Unspoiled Places to Visit, Live & Play, Truckee is one of the best places in the United States for outdoor adventure.While the claim might make some residents of Tahoe City or Squaw Valley indignant, one of the authors explained in a phone interview why they chose Truckee.Its got to be a place that feels more like a hometown than a resort, said Melville. Thats probably the reason [Truckee] is in there as opposed to some of the resort towns that surround it.Melville and Tuff chose the criteria for picking the best outdoor towns. Both are free-lance writers for outdoor-related publications as well as newspapers including the New York Times.We tried to use criteria that would kind of create a select group of towns, Melville said about the selection process. We factored in proximity to national and state parks and trails, the cost of living and population, proximity to airports; and when we plugged in all these numbers, we came up with fewer towns than you would expect.After narrowing down the small communities they wanted to visit, Melville drove across the country in a vegetable-oil-powered car. The author said he spent a decent amount of time in Truckee during September, 2006.Hopefully in the eyes of the people who live there, we give them an accurate glimpse of their town, Melville said.In the book, the writers describe Truckee as a premier snow-sports destination, though they concede thats not all the town has to offer. Its tough to decide whether Truckees best in winter or summer, the authors state in 101 Best Outdoor Towns.Besides verifying that the towns in their guide were unspoiled, as they claim in the title, Tuff and Melville focused on finding great outdoor activities. In a quick list of outdoor endeavors, the authors list downhill, cross-country and backcountry skiing, hiking, mountain biking and canoe and kayak paddling as the main activities available in the Truckee area. Melville described unspoiled towns as places with a hometown feel. Anywhere that is overrun with condos and resort-type business would not be considered unspoiled, he explained.And while Truckee locals might not want to envision their town crowded with international corporations, suburbanites using the guide might be fascinated with a small town that still has mom-and-pop enterprises and locally owned boutiques. Among those suburbanites are the authors of 101 Best Outdoor Towns. In the books introduction, Tuff describes a day when she and Melville rode mountain bikes down the congested streets of New York City.The novelty of riding a mountain bike in New York City was exhilarating; Ill never forget navigating the city streets along the East River to meet Greg [Melville], Tuff wrote. It was such a simple thing, but suddenly I knew I had to move to a place where riding a mountain bike or taking a hike, going for a trail run, or skiing fresh snow wouldnt involve dodging cabs.The pair began researching the book in 2004, and the finished product arrived on bookshelves this May. We wanted to write a book that was the type of book we would buy and read to escape to great outdoor locations, Melville said.