The California winter of 11-12 brought something unfamiliar: extreme drought. And I mean real extreme. When I arrived in Tahoe just a few days before the new year I was greeted by nothing but green. Well brown too, but nothing resembling snow. After two back to back snow years that were all time (and even record breaking) the lake to my north was void of winter. Not stepping foot on my snowboard was killing me, but that was mainly because I had broken my clavicle three weeks prior. Had there been snow, I wasn’t going near a snowboard anyway. So with my normal winter focus far from reachable, I had only my camera and music to keep me company. What I didn’t realize until later was that this was exactly what I needed. With no board-riding to distract me, my photographic vision took the driver’s seat.
This New Year’s celebration trip was my third visit to the lake in as many months and I now felt quite comfortable scouting my scenes. While there was no snow in the forecast, the weather was still shifting. I kept my location scouting fluid knowing that a cross lake drive could be impending at any time. Friday afternoon brought surprise rainfall and a complimentary rainbow which I was lucky enough to snag from the West Shore. Once the temporary color bands disappeared, I had just enough time to make the journey around the lake and arrive back on the Nevada side. Post rain clouds were still lingering and I knew the conditions were right for a strong sunset. Cross lake winds picked up and began to sing their song of turbulence. Orange and red washed over the swirling clouds as the winds morphed the lake into brush strokes of blue and purple. With the storm now a skeleton of it’s earlier self, the sky faded into deep blue I as reflected on the past few days. Only a day away from the new year and I couldn’t have been happier about where my journey was headed.