Across the Universe: Are you ready for the big one, Lake Tahoe? |

Across the Universe: Are you ready for the big one, Lake Tahoe?

It’s that time of year again, folks. We’ve seen high temperatures in the low-70s this week in Truckee. In April. THE SEVENTIES!!!

Sure, we just had a bit of a cold snap a few days ago that actually led to a few inches of snow coverage at Lake Tahoe. Plus, as just about any local will tell you, with Memorial Day looming, you know it’s bound to snow that weekend, so you might want to think twice about that outdoor barbecue party you’ve got planned.

But still, it’s coming. May 1 beckons. Lake Tahoe’s boat inspection stations will open up, various campgrounds, hiking trails and playgrounds throughout the Tahoe National Forest and Sierra Nevada are going to see more and more activity, and those aromas from the barbecue grill are only going to get stronger and more inviting.

Summer is closing in on Lake Tahoe, and if the above examples aren’t a good enough reminder of that reality settling in, well, you will most definitely have time to take in the sights and sounds of a bustling summer season while sitting in construction traffic for the next several months.

Tongue-in-cheek comments aside (we all know “construction season” is an actual thing here at Truckee and Tahoe, so there’s no point in belaboring the issue), it is important for everyone here — and this includes locals, home owners, renters, second-home owners and visitors — to understand that summer is near.

I’ve said this several times over the past few months, but it is worth repeating: I feel this summer will be one of the busiest in terms of congestion and tourism traffic that the Truckee-Tahoe region has ever seen. I’ve little basis for comparison, of course, as this will only be my ninth Tahoe summer, and all the true locals out there can scoff at my Tahoe summer immaturity.

But guffaws, too, aside, with the economy perhaps fully rebounded, and with the state of California drier than it’s been in a long, long time, Lake Tahoe and Truckee will be a literal hotbed of activity this summer.

To quote Bachman-Turner Overdrive, when it comes to a busy Tahoe summer, well, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Which brings me to a repeat of my top three pet peeves when it comes to summer at Tahoe. Familiar readers will recall seeing the below list around this time last year, offering advice to everyone on how to have a fun summer here at Truckee-Tahoe, while not being selfish.

The tips are worth repeating, because I believe that while you can’t fix stupid, that’s not going to stop me from trying:

1. BUTT OUT: If you choose to smoke, no worries. But what is a problem is when you stomp your butts out and leave them on the ground or lying on the beach. Please, put them fully out and toss them in the trash. And don’t ever, ever, ever, EVER toss a lit cigarette or cigar or anything with an ember on the ground or out of your moving car.

2. PACK IT OUT: Please do come out to our beaches and hiking trails and other recreation hot-spots. And have a blast while you’re here. But it’s unacceptable and lazy and terrible for the environment if you leave your plastic bags and beer cans strewn about. Remember what your parents told you: Clean up after yourself!

3. TAKE A CHILL PILL: Summer driving is going to have its challenges. Tourists will drive 10 mph in Kings Beach, and they will have no clue how to navigate the Bridge Street/Donner Pass Road intersection in Truckee. But what I find frustrating is the over-aggressive motorists blaring horns and speeding and tailgating to get their points across. Me? I opt to take a deep breath, turn the music up a couple notches and drive patiently. Don’t worry — you’ll get to where you’re going.

Kevin MacMillan is managing editor of the Sierra Sun; he may be reached for comment at

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