Archives for August 2011

6415 Flicker: Chamberlands Price Drop $299,900

This is now the lowest-priced Chamberlands home since Tahoe Sierra MLS data went online. A great price of $299,900 shows a highly motivated seller who is very interested in getting things done! The house has had a pest inspection showing very good condition. It had a new roof put on in 2005. The lot is level with lots of sun in the front and filtered sun in back. It does not have membership to the Chamberlands HOA but they are available and I can supply details to interested parties. This is not a short sale no a foreclosure. Just a longtime (original) owner who is ready to part with his sturdy little Tahoe cabin.

North Tahoe: Mountain Bike Mecca

As his mountain bike spun forward in mid-air all I could see was the black rubber of its wheels as they went over my friend’s head and I had just one thought “has he fully recovered from that ski injury a year ago?”


We were at the trailhead about five minutes before and this was supposed to be the tame, coasting part of the ride. We casually passed hikers and little kids then before I knew it my buddy was doing high-speed yoga right in front of me. He got up with a dumbfounded look on his face and said, “Uh, I guess I didn’t see that” as he pointed to a little water drainage ditch in the trail. Laughing, we continued the ride which is one of the best in all of Tahoe. It doesn’t have a proper name but it winds down the East Shore from the Mt. Rose Meadow all the way to Chimney Beach, a distance of about 21 miles.


The beauty of mountain biking here is that you can transport yourself from the really pretty thoroughfares of Tahoe to the incredible backwaters and unbelievable backcountry that’s all around. As a full-time resident it’s easy to get caught in a routine but I have been absolutely blown away by simply pedaling up and out into the slightly remote sections of this place. As tourists others have the luxury of unplanned days and can get out to these spots if the mood strikes. And it is in these varied places that you see the funkiest of trees, hear the strangest of sounds, and sometimes get the peace of mind that only exists out in the wild.


There are two major networks of trails around the North and West Shores. One is at the Nordic Center by Dollar Point. The other starts near Granlibakken Resort (Tahoe City) and is generally referred to as Paige Meadows. This is a classic riding zone with awesome single-track trails, tough uphills, some man-made bike bridges and features, and also enough options that it’s fun to just poke around and see where you end up.

The highlight is the number of interconnected high-alpine meadows that link up to frame the most beautiful views of snowy peaks and quiet marshes. Right now the wildflowers are blooming and the lupine are just beginning to come into their own.  With tacky ground it’s like a moderate powder day for skiers and when your crossover sport reminds you of your favorite sport, well that’s always a good thing!

There are two easy ways to get to this immense network of hiking and biking trails. One is to pedal to the back of Granlibakken and you’ll see a light-blue sign for the famous Tahoe Rim Trail. The other is to go up Rawhide Drive – when it dead ends you’ll see a double-track trail heading up. You get a helicopter view of  Granlibakken after about 15 minutes of huffing. 15 more and you’ll be in sublime Paige Meadows.

Tahoe Homes on Mobile Phones

Here is one of the technical aspects of my Tahoe property marketing campaign. I do this for every listing – a custom mobile-specific webpage with property description and photos. Buyers who are driving around or searching on their smartphones find the page or see the address and QR code on the listing yard sign. They can ‘see’ the inside, learn about the best features, and contact me for a showing. Check it out:



6415 Flicker Ave, Chamberlands Lake Tahoe

My newest listing is in the classic West Shore neighborhood of Chamberlands. Here’s the write-up straight from the Tahoe MLS:

Affordable Chamberlands home on a level, sunny lot. Centrally located in the neighborhood, this cozy, owner-built cabin has a nice-sized living room with freestanding woodstove and many windows for forest views. Features a large kitchen and eating area with sliding door out to the back of the property. This is a fixer with future development opportunity. Chamberlands Beach & Mountain membership includes summertime shuttle, private beach and plow service in winter. Upgraded HOA memberships available.

Tahoe Moonrises

Before moving here in ’95 I’d never really given moonrises their due. Maybe because it was always rainy, foggy or just too darn humid to see anything back East. In reality it’s probably because I didn’t live anywhere that showcased the moon as spectacularly as Lake Tahoe – and I didn’t know people as crazy the locals here who do all sorts of weird stuff in that ethereal glow.

Partying with Natural Fireworks

At Squaw, the nastiest skiers attack closed sections of the mountain – the Tram Face in particular – under the light of the moon because they know they won’t get caught…if they live. Snowshoers revel in these bright nights, too. Up above Granlibakken at Paige Meadows people drag kegs and wood and whatever else they need for late-night vigils on nights when the moon is round. In summer, mountain bikers get it on with lights which are powered by batteries that have been adapted to fit in their water bottle holders. I was recently asked to join a group of world-class athletes in a moonlight paddleboarding rally later this summer. The plan is to cross the Lake from East to West. Actually these guys will have already crossed the long way (South to North, roughly 21 miles) earlier that day – I’m just one of the hacks who’ll join them for the ‘easy’ passage 10 miles to the East Shore.

The view from Blackwood's Picnic Area

But one of the best things to do on a Full Moon is simply pick a good spot and watch it rise. Tahoe’s West Shore is one of the best places in the world to watch a moonrise. You can have a drink at Sunnyside or in Homewood, or go even more low key and hit the public pier and BBQ area directly across from Blackwood Canyon. This is a five minute drive from Tahoe City – you just go a couple miles past Sunnyside and watch for the “Blackwood / Caspian Wilderness” sign. There are a number of grills and picnic benches. For the romantically inclined there’s even a beautiful old stump with a 2-person bench carved on the lake-facing side and a big old heart on the back.

Two Lovebirds on the bench for the first time

Another incredible place to take in a Tahoe moonrise is at the top of any mountain peak. The easiest to reach are those at Squaw because the tram runs all summer. Once there you can either hang at the huge decks of High Camp or hike 30 minutes and reach your favorite ski summit. The amazing thing about being this high is that you literally feel the pendulum of the universe (stay with me): you’ll watch a burning sun disappear in the lower ranges that approach the Valley and then, just like watching tennis on TV, glance the opposite direction and you’ll see the first fringe of that impossibly-colored moon coming over the eastern side of the Sierra and light the Lake on silver fire.

Wakesurf Tahoe

One of the most summery things you can do up here is go surfing off the back of a boat. It sounds weird but with the proper boat and a good driver you can take up this sport easily. If you don’t have access to a boat you can still rent a boat with instructor right in Tahoe City or at Sunnyside Marina.

My little family got treated to an afternoon of wakesurfing with Surf Tahoe, located at the Grove Street pier in Tahoe City. Our instructor was Chris Lange who we met while he was bilging water into two huge fatsacks used the make one rear corner of the boat super-heavy so our wave would be huge. After some easy instruction we were on our way – just 20 feet of rope from the stern of the boat and chatting with Chris all the while, we could throw the rope back into the boat and surf Tahoe with only the ramp of the wake propelling us. This is Surfing Tahoe and it is very cool.

Although it doesn't LOOK that cool!

Although I don’t look cool doing it…

If you do have a boat (and you’re still reading this) it probably isn’t built for wakesurfing. So have fun with it. Grab an old surfboard and pile some buddies on a rear corner of whatever old bucket you’re running. I did this the other day with a friend who’s engine stuck out the back of the craft – not the best set-up for having your face right off the rear transam while learning to surf. So we long-lined it at regular wakeboarding speed – it was hilarious. Massive higher-speed splashes, rope-splitting pulls on the line, and sore consequences from new moves tried – these were the name of the game that day. And although it wasn’t real wakesurfing the thrill was there.

No matter how you end up going about it, this new rave just might grab you.