Lake Tahoe

Photos & Words: Justin Tyler Close

So to start off, I have fears. We all do. One of mine is the deep, dark, mysterious and massive bed of water called The Ocean. Not only its vastness but its unpredictable ways and unknowns.

For the past two months I’ve lived in a communal house that’s like an adult style tree fort with movie nights and lots and lots of weed. I mean love. Lots and lots of love. Given my fear of the ocean, we decided to rent a cabin in Lake Tahoe, drive out and escape the congestion called LA.

On the way up we did all the typical stuff you do on a road trip — plenty of In-N-Out burgers and gas station stops for pee breaks, Gatorade and spearmint Tic Tacs.

Once we got to our beautiful A-frame cabin, we filled the fridge with booze and food, got back on the road and immediately hit the lake where we jumped into the glacial cold water.

Lake Tahoe has something really fresh and special about it, it felt familiar like home, like Canadian mountain towns with their towering pine trees and small town vibes.

But it was also hard to avoid some of the darker myths and legends surrounding Tahoe. It started off with asking Siri, “How many humans did the Donners actually eat?” and then I learned about the hundreds of perfectly preserved dead Japanese bodies at the bottom of the lake. Suddenly, the ocean didn’t seem so bad.

Throughout the weekend we danced, told stories, played charades, some cried, most laughed, all got sunburnt. Getting away with a group of great people is infectious and the more you do it, the more you miss doing it.

To give credit to my comrades who hit the road with me and my much more beautiful better half Jessica, was Tyler, the heartbeat to every dinner table, Cameron and her black lab Zef, Veronica, Eleni, and the handsome Tarzan-with-a-cape Ves.

On the list for next time, a big hike up to Shirley Lake, then taking the gondola down and floating along the river, far away from large bodies of water.