Breeze Turner and Captain Moo are back for the 7th leg of their 72 mile adventure circumnavigating Lake Tahoe. This time they are joined by another guest paddler for this 9.5 mile trip from DL Bliss to Homewood!
LEG 7: DL Bliss to Homewood
Instagram has become such an incredible avenue for me to not only share my story and photos but to also connect with people that have similar interests. When I first set off on my trip around Lake Tahoe, I really started to pay more attention to Instagram. One day, I came across the page of a girl named Ashley who had commented on one of my photos. This girl was, in my opinion, my San Diego doppelgänger. Looking through her gallery of photos, I couldn’t believe how much we had in common. A couple of months went by and Ashley posted a photo of herself paddle boarding on Lake Tahoe! I immediately reached out to her and she suggested we paddle together. What she didn’t know was that what I had in mind was no casual paddle. Ashley was about to get reeled into a full day adventure with yours truly and Captain Moo, and at this point in the game everyone knows the potential for disaster that could have.
Ashley was a trooper. She agreed to meet me, a perfect stranger she met on the internet, on the West Shore of the lake for a 9(ish) mile paddle from DL Bliss to Homewood. I could very well have been some 50-something year old male predator with hairy ears and a stand-up paddle girl fetish, but she trusted me (and my super shady Golden Retriever) and followed through.
We met in Homewood, left a car there and launched from DL Bliss. Ahhh DL Bliss in all its glory— this time much earlier in the day and with a slightly different feel. We set out fairly quickly, not wanting to get yelled at for having Marley on the non dog-friendly beach. When that’s the case I usually scurry her quickly to the water and have her sit on the board while I get myself ready. See? My dog’s not ON the beach, she’s on her paddleboard. Booyah.
As we set out we immediately had to stop for photos. The water was UNREAL. The color rivaled the water in Anguilla, the island where I grew up, and if you’ve ever been there you know that’s a huge feat. The first couple of miles we paddled were over perfectly clear, flat calm, turquoise heaven. Amazing. I had never had such a calm day paddling before. We definitely lucked out.
After a few miles we were ready for a little break and some lunch, so we stopped at a rocky point just after Meeks Bay. We floated on our boards between large granite boulders and ate our lunch while Marley waded nearby searching for her beloved crawdads. Ashley and I were able to get to know each other more as we chatted about work, life and our shared love for adventure.
As we continued our paddle with no wind to offset the heat of the sun beating down on us, we decided a stop for a drink at Chambers Landing was in order. Now, this place is cool. A bar, outdoor seating, and fruity, frozen cocktails, all on a dock where boats (or paddleboards) can pull right up. This was my kind of place, for sure. I paddled right up to the dock and waited amongst the boats with Marley as Ashley went up to order us our well-deserved drinks.
I could practically taste the rum in that Chambers Punch on my tongue as Ashley appeared in the distance carrying our long-awaited drinks. I already had this perfect plan in my head of enjoying my ice-cold adult beverage while floating over the majestic Tahoe waters, my sweet puppy calmly and patiently relaxing on my board. Ha. Nope. Ashley stopped as she began to descend from the upper deck. “No alcohol beyond this point” was clearly displayed on a sign in her path.
Ashley did her best to battle brain freeze while sucking her drink down quickly, telling me she would come down to wait with Marley while I went up to take my turn with my little plastic cup of frozen bliss. I’m sure I could have convinced her to bring me my drink, but to my dismay, two dock employees lurked behind her watching her every move like they were the designated fun police.
Now, I’m not a big drinker, but I wanted that drink badly. I don’t even really like rum but seriously, something that refreshing needed to not be thirty feet away. When Ashley came down and took over dog duty, I got onto the dock and skipped up the walkway to claim my drink. After surveying my surroundings, I took off my hat, placed it on top of my cocktail, and waited for the employees to turn their backs. A boat pulling into dock required their attention and I knew I had my chance. I grabbed my smuggled alcohol, power walked back down the ramp and got back on my board. Just when I thought I was in the clear, I looked up to see the owner (I’m assuming) of Chambers Landing smiling down at us. Oh man.
I suddenly flashed back to my Sophomore year of college when I climbed out of a window and hid in a tree to avoid the cops when they busted the house party I was attending. Luckily, as it turns out, he had just come down to say hi and welcome us to his establishment, not to arrest me. Captain Moo was enough of a distraction for the fellow Golden-lover and I was able to slowly move my drink-hat to where I could hold it out of sight: right below him under the dock. As he told us about his Golden and asked about Marley and our adventure, I noticed my hat floating away from me. With no available hands, I scrambled to somehow hold onto the dock, my paddle, and my hidden drink while grabbing my hat and maintaining my cover. This guy must have thought I was a complete nutcase. As he finally said goodbye and headed back up the walkway, I could see the dock hand squinting suspiciously in my direction. He was on to me. I let go of the dock, tossed my hat back over my cup, and we paddled away until the coast was clear.
While by then my drink was half-melted (or half-frozen for you eternal optimists out there), it didn’t take long for me to inhale every last glorious drop of it. With my fugitive SUP Pup, our history of wedding crashing, and now my alcohol smuggling, it may seem like I am becoming quite the delinquent. Well, at least I still pick up dog poop, so I’m not a complete lost cause… Yet.
After making our get-away, we paddled a couple more miles along the West Shore to the beach in Homewood where we had parked. The sun had begun to dip below the trees and the heat of the day was quickly fading. Ashley and I grabbed our boards and loaded up my car while Marley rolled around on the rocky beach thanking the universe for another day of paddling (I can only assume).
I dropped Ashley off at her car at DL Bliss and then headed home, exhausted from the day but thrilled about a new friendship and another incredible stretch of Tahoe lakeshore under my belt.
About Breeze Turner
Breeze is a transplant from Anguilla, a little British island in the Northeastern Caribbean. She spent most of her childhood on the water, snorkeling, surfing, waterskiing, and exploring, until moving to the US for school. In 2010, Breeze moved to Reno, where she works as a Realtor.
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