Pine Nuts: Sir Charles is back in town |

Pine Nuts: Sir Charles is back in town

As a 17-year-old lifeguard, I found Tahoe to be astonishingly beautiful. As a 50-year-old impressionist of Mark Twain I found Tahoe to be heartbreakingly beautiful.

And now at 60 something, as Mark Twain aboard the M.S. Dixie II, I find Tahoe to be inexpressively beautiful. I’m beginning to understand that to fully appreciate Tahoe, you must view her through the evolving lenses of several decades.

Around this time of year, when the zephyr is out of the west, dandelions can be seen scudding across the lake as they make their way from Emerald Bay to Zephyr Cove at the same speed as the Dixie, about ten miles an hour.

They dip down and dance across the surface without touching the water, and how they do this only the Creator knows. The important thing, the essential thing, is to make a wish when you see one of these dandelions floating in the air that angels breathe.

I see them all the time from the deck of the Dixie and never fail to make a wish, and that wish is the same wish every day. I wish that education will one day become the focus of humankind, resulting in our being kinder to one another and becoming better stewards of our environment, which will serve to clean the air, clean the water, and keep our treasured lake blue.

Other Tahoe scenes I like to make wishes upon that bring good luck are bears swimming in the lake, eagles flying with a Tahoe trout in their talons, steller’s jays fledging from the nest, and getting flashed from a passing speedboat.

Should you happen to see any of these spectacles, make a wish and go straight to the crap table. Lucky dice wait for no man, and very few women.

To feel the full surreal effect of moonlight on water, catch the rising of the full moon from Crystal Bay Lookout this Monday, the 22nd of July, and if at all possible, take a date.

A Tahoe sunset from Clemens Cove is the most scenic splendor one can experience in this life through the bottom of a tumbler.

The lake is striking from every angle, but better viewed from above than below, as the Hermit of Emerald Bay can attest, for he is on the bottom and we are looking for him yet.

Finally, if you see Sir Charles at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship this week at Edgewood, please tell him Mark Twain is waiting out on the Dixie to buy him a drink.

I was told Charles toured a Tahoe neighborhood following the Angora fire and wrote a check for $100,000 to the victims. Then he came back the next year, toured the same neighborhood and wrote another check for $100,000.

Sir Charles might have the ugliest swing in all of golf, but in his chest beats a heart as big as the Lake of the Sky.

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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