Intern Recommended Mildly Challenging Adventure #1 !
James the intern here! It’s the beginning of another exciting week here at OutsidePR, and though the high hanging clouds above and chilly breeze blowing through Sausalito would suggest a dreary and dull Monday, the office is already abuzz with energy. Perhaps our amigo Mr. Coffee has a little something to do with this office-wide defeat of that oft pervasive disease we call “The Mondays,” but it must be expressed that the active out-of-the-office lifestyles of the staff here obviously translates into the active approach they take to their work. I like that, and as a result have in the last few weeks decided to dramatically increase the level to which I am increasing my fitness and adventuring. But I am taking baby steps.
One such adventure I partook in last weekend and very much recommend is rafting Lake Tahoe’s Truckee River. To call the rafting I did “White Water Rafting” would be an outrageous piece of hyperbole, but the thrills of the river were enough for the rafting bug to take a big bite out of me. Thus, we are making the Truckee River the inaugural IRMCA, or Intern Recommended Mildly Challenging Adventure!!
- Location: The River begins just off of Lake Tahoe in Tahoe City (my childhood hometown, boo ya), which is located on the lake’s West Shore directly off of Highway 89. The lake is at around 6000 feet, and the weather is optimal from July to early September. The raftable area starting from Tahoe City is a mere five miles, which may seem paltry to more experienced rafters, but more raftable water can be found a few more miles down the river.
- Must do: Purchase a less expensive inflatable vessel from any outdoor sports store rather than rent a raft from the multiple rafting companies located near the Tahoe City launch points. You could always go Huckleberry Finn’s route and fashion your own raft, but pardon me for assuming you will not. The rafting companies on the Truckee are despicably overpriced and geared toward gouging tourists. Plus, their rafts are mini-fortresses less useful in providing a wild and fun ride than they are in protecting children’s handheld video games from unexpected splashes. Get your own raft for a less predictable and bumpier ride. **Also, once on the river, make sure to stop once or twice on the many sandbars and enjoy the brilliant blue waters of adjacent swimming holes.
- Must eat/drink: Snacks are a must, and as we all know hydration is key. Conveniently, at the end of the five miles there is a delicious (if a tad overpriced) outdoor barbecue and restaurant called River Ranch. It is one of Tahoe’s most legendary restaurants, and though there is no shortage of intoxicated local patrons all too happy to tell you how awesome the place was in the eighties, it is still a very pleasurable setting. There is often live music and revelry to be found at River Ranch. It is a perfect place to end a leisurely day of rafting, to be sure.
- Where to stay: The Tahoe basin has an astounding amount of campgrounds, hotels, and cabins for rent. I suggest Bliss State park for pristine camping and some of the lake’s most beautiful swimming.
- Misc: I again must stress the utter lack of danger of these initial five miles of the Truckee. There are a few rapids to be found, but they require very little skill, although some poor work from my navigator last weekend resulted in a head on collision with a rock that flipped our raft. Knees were scraped and ankles were bumped, and we nearly lost some precious cargo. That unfortunate incident is embarrassing in the ease with which it could have been avoided, however. If you seek a more difficult experience on the river it can be found farther down the river. If sun, relaxation, beautiful water, and the company of like-minded and leisure-seeking rafters suits you, this portion of the Truckee is for you.
– James the Intern