Even a regular bus stop matches the wood feeling of Tahoe City. I found this town too small for its touristic potential, but it is a welcome anomaly since you tend to think that such places no longer exist.
You walk into a business with a little bit of apprehension since you feel like you are getting in somebody’s home. They are houses indeed, just with a bell hanging from the inner side of the main door. Inside you will find artwork, chocolates, organic food and antiquities for yard decoration. Even the auto parts shop obeys the design rules for the façade, so the main street has a consistent view of brown porches decorated with colorful flowers. Some businesses add stone walls and bear statues climbing them.
Even the mall was made of wood. You just go ahead some steps and find again the incredibly clear waters of the lake, proving that it’s not an accident or a visual effect of Sand Harbor. The image of the rocks underneath has a healing impact on your soul. It revitalizes your faith in beauty and makes you eager not just to preserve this place but to build similar landscapes in the rest of the world.
The clarity of this water is a combination of temperature, controlled pollution and adverse condition for the growth of algae, while still optimal for salmon. Science is closer to understand how all this is happening. We may be getting closer to an age where instead of suffering from the loss of natural resources we may be able to reproduce them. Proactive ecology.
And today is the time to realize than protecting this environment is not doing it a favor, it’s our duty. The transparency of Tahoe Lake is decreasing by one foot every year. The damage can be quantified and repaired with projects that are in place right now like reducing erosion by temporary closing certain roads and filtering the channels that drain water from the streets to the lake. If a number can be placed alongside the restoration cost, a fair tax can be charged to the visitors to compensate for the damage we inevitably do with our sole presence.
This spot is so beautiful and unique that its protection shouldn’t be considered an American affair but a universal obligation.
I feel an ambitious optimism flowing trough my veins, not a lame song of tragedy blowing out of my throat.