Along the Truckee River -- Monday, 4/20/15

Time for another short get-away ... it's our 14th anniversary!  A few weeks ago, when considering this mini-vacation, we thought to visit San Francisco again, but the inn we like (Cow Hollow Inn) was booked this week. OK, if you can't go west, go east.  We booked a room on Donner Lake thru airbnb, and this morning we drove the Prius up into the beautiful (and basically barren of snow) Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Funny how weather forecasts can be so screwy, especially long-term.  A couple of weeks ago when we looked online at forecasts for this week, a happy little sun shone for every day.  The closer our week got, that cute little sun disappeared under big rain clouds.  As it stands this evening, for our week in the mountains:  the sun may shine and clouds may form, rain might fall, and even a thunderstorm could lash the area.  Whatever!   

We brought our bikes, just in case el sol did shine!  And this afternoon, in perfect weather, we rode the bike path along the Truckee River, but to say we were shocked is an understatement.

At just about any spot in the river, you could walk across, or hop from rock to rock, without getting even the bottom of your shoes wet.

An industrious beaver made a dam across the Truckee, leaving a trickle on one side and a nice little pond on the other side.  The pond (below) lasted as far as you can see in the photo, before petering out.

A couple of Common Mergansers (above), a handful of geese, and Mr & Mrs Mallard made up river wildlife.

Yes, I walked across this river that we rafted down last summer!

This is where the rafts put-in.  Not this year ... lots of people will be out of jobs this season.

No water is leaving Lake Tahoe flowing into the Truckee River.  None!  The lake level is down.  And this is only April, when snow melt should be filling lakes and streams and rivers.  We saw sketchy patches of snow above 7,000' today, but otherwise?  Nothing.  We're standing on a bridge that should have lots of water beneath it. Seeing sights like this brings the drought home to us more than hearing that we should curtail our water usage by 20%.  Downright scary.

Seems like much of the Truckee is a pool of stagnant water these days.

Don't know if you can see Jimmy on his bike (white shirt, center-right), as he rides toward Lake Tahoe on rocky ground that used to be covered in, well  ... Lake Tahoe.  Someone placed a picnic table way out there and he's riding to it.  When I joined him, we parked our bikes and continued walking to the lake edge.  You can barely see the water in this photo.

We won't mind if rain falls this week.  We won't mind it a bit.


  1. Oh WOW! Pictures say a thousand words ... and they're sad ones. Happy Anniversary!

  2. Oh my. Words fail me.....

  3. Hmm... That's not good.

  4. That is really scary. We've been traveling along Hwy 49 and the level of the water in all of the lakes is alarming. The water at New Melones Lake is so low that tree tops are showing - trees that were never cut down most likely because the water was never expected to go low enough to expose them.

    1. I had to look up New Melones Lake -- it's just south of Angel's Camp. Seeing tree tops where water used to be is crazy. Maybe rain will fall there this week. A drop in the bucket, but every little bit helps.

  5. It is scary. I live in the SF Bay area, and my neighbor was washing off his sidewalk and driveway the other day. I don't know what he was thinking, but I sure was mad at him. My entire yard is drought tolerant, no grass. I take this drought seriously since we might not get the rains needed this coming winter. The photo of the beaver pond is pretty. Happy Anniversary!

    1. Our yard is also drought tolerant and we reuse washing machine rinse water to keep our Dogwood trees alive in the hot summer. Could you report your neighbor to the "drought" police? :- )

      Thank you for your good wishes!

  6. Anonymous8:40 PM

    Happy Anniversary to an out and about fun couple. The water level out there is very frightening to see. So sad!


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