According to Twain, Tahoe one ‘Bigler’ Lake

September 28, 2011

When one hears the name Lake Tahoe, thoughts of stunning natural beauty come to mind. Supposedly when Mark Twain heard it, he got “disgustingly sick.”

Born Samuel Clemens in 1835, Twain was an avid traveler. He left his Missouri home at a fairly young age and crisscrossed the countryside working as a printer, typesetter, and master riverboat captain on the Mississippi River.

The gold rush brought him west to Nevada in 1861, where he tried to make it as a miner. He failed as a prospector, but soon struck gold as a reporter for the Virginia City newspaper. That is where he first used his pen name, “Mark Twain” in a series of articles.

About that time, in a small cabin in Tuolumne County, he also finished his work “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” which garnered him nation-wide success.

The beauty of the Sierra Nevada – particularly Lake Tahoe – immediately captivated Twain. In his book, Roughing It, he stated:

“We plodded on, two or three hours longer, and at last the Lake burst upon us — a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snow-clad mountain peaks that towered aloft full three thousand feet higher still! It was a vast oval, and one would have to use up eighty or a hundred good miles in traveling around it. As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.”

He ended up not only hiking down to the shoreline, but staying there for quite some time. “Three months of camp life on Lake Tahoe would restore an Egyptian mummy to his pristine vigor,” Twain wrote.

While the alpine scenery of Lake Tahoe overwhelmed him, apparently the name itself had quite the opposite effect. He did believe that most natural wonders and locations should bear Native American-related names, but ‘Tahoe’ was not one of them. To him, it sounded awful to the ear and Lake Bigler was the more appropriate title.

“I hope some bird will catch this grub the next time he calls Lake Bigler by so disgustingly sick and silly a name as Lake Tahoe…They say it means ‘Fallen Leaf’ – well suppose it meant Fallen Devil or Fallen Angel, would that make its hideous, discordant syllables more endurable?” he wrote.

It is true that Mark Twain is one of the most prolific, talented American writers. Just about every child remembers reading Adventures of Huck Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in school. When it comes to his writing about changing Lake Tahoe to Lake Bigler, however, that may be one read better left on the shelf.

To think that the word “Tahoe” makes someone sick to his stomach is just downright comical. But, as one famous American writer once stated — “humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”

Perhaps that’s the big point.

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Plan A Trip to Lake Tahoe – The Economical Way

September 20, 2011

Dinner $100. Bike rental $75. Gambling $150. Shopping $200. Overnight accommodations $300. Vacation in Lake Tahoe priceless.

To steal a popular slogan from a credit card company, there really is no price tag one can put on a trip to Lake Tahoe. The expansive shimmering blue lake set amid the towering pine trees and dwarfed by Sierra peaks on all sides is one of the most gorgeous, soul-soothing sites in all the world. Still, if one can save a few dollars on the next trip to the lake, that’s just what he or she will do.

Tahoe Rim Trail Above Incline Village

To help do just that, there are a few tips to keep in mind when heading to the big sapphire of the Sierra Nevada.

Plan an Offseason Trip – While it may not coincide with the summer or winter holiday breaks, heading to Lake Tahoe in the fall or spring will save a lot of money on accommodations alone. Discounts are a plenty, too, when it comes to trips out on the lake, dinner, shopping, and rentals.

Take a Hike – Many tourists feel they have to engage in activities that cost money – shopping, boat rentals, bike rentals, tram rides, MS. Dixie or Sierra Cloud trips out on the lake. While all those are fantastic ideas, think about mixing it up with a simple hike. The area is filled with trails – like the Flume, Spooner Loop, and Tahoe Rim – and range from easy to hard in terms of distance and steepness.

Plan Ahead – If booked early, not only could there be big savings in terms of accommodations, but the savings in airfare may be enough to offset all other vacation expenses. Southwest Airlines, for example, has great deals into the Reno Airport.

Alternative Transportation – Despite the high gas prices, for those that live nearby, piling the family into the car and driving is the most economical way to get to Tahoe. For those that want to try something new – consider taking the bus or the train. Not only is it eco-friendly, but both are economic ways to get to the town of Truckee. It may be a bit slower, but the train as it rumbles through the Sierra into the Tahoe Basin has been known to be quite a scenic, wonderful trip.

Condo over Hotel – When it comes to planning a vacation, most automatically start searching for hotels. Since the number of hotels, especially on the north shore, are limited, the prices get fairly expensive fairly fast. With a plethora of beautiful townhouses, condominiums, and full-size homes to choose from, the prices remain relatively low. They also sleep more than one hotel room does, so the bill can be split if need be between family and friends. Also, by renting a home or condo, vacationers can purchase food at the local grocery store and eat in, which also saves precious ducats.

Best Bet is No Bet – Since nearly half of the Tahoe area is located in the state of Nevada, there are many locations to spend a little money gambling. Although it can be a very nice social night out, it’s important to remember all odds on every game is stacked in favor of the “house.” Thus, it may be wise to simply stay in for a nice quite evening at home.

There are many ways to save money when vacationing in Lake Tahoe. The beauty of it all is – it’s free. Most go to Lake Tahoe to get closer to Mother Nature and since it’s all around – and free to soak in and enjoy – means the trip will be way more economical than most others.

Taking a stroll along the shore, going to the beach, taking a hike, or simply sitting on the back porch sipping coffee or a margarita under a giant sugar pine tree is all gratis.

While the scenic beauty of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area is simply priceless, there are ways to enjoy it at prices less than others.

For more information on Lake Tahoe – including popular activities, trail and rental locations, or accommodations, please contact Goldfish Properties at (800) 948-7311 or info@goldfishproperties.com. Feel free to visit us at http://www.goldfishproperties.com as well. 


Vacationers Still Flocking to Tahoe

September 13, 2011

Despite no summer break or snow on the ground, visitors are still flocking to Lake Tahoe in greater numbers than Canada geese.

View of Lake Tahoe from high above Incline Village

While afternoon thunderstorms seem to be more frequent, all the amenities that greeted vacationers during the summer are still open and just as fun. And judging by the rather large amount of visitors in and around the area over the weekend, it appears many are still managing to get away for the weekend.

Despite that nice I-80 construction.

Perhaps fall is no longer the quiet time for locals to finally enjoy the Tahoe Basin by themselves. Since it’s still extremely hot throughout most of the country – especially in the West – Tahoe is still the perfect escape. Boating, golf, canoeing, rafting, hiking, biking, and just sipping an afternoon beverage under the towering pines are still fantastic options.

For the rest of September the high daily temperatures are supposed to be in the 70s. What that basically means is there is still plenty of time to join all the locals and tourists who are taking advantage of the great weather and all the activities Tahoe has to offer.

In case the busy schedule impeded a summer visit to the Sierra, or the views and laid-back attitude are drawing that mountain-man (and woman) soul back, it’s not too late to squeeze in another vacation before the temperatures drop and the interest switches to skiing and snowboarding.

And the Canada geese again flock to the vacant beaches and golf courses.

For fantastic accommodations and great weekend activities, feel free to visit http://www.goldfishproperties.com