How to act at Tahoe

T. Alan Moore is a lifelong Nevadan and disillusioned envirotopian.

As the mercury climbs and the waters of our favorite alpine jewel, Lake Tahoe, become more tolerable for summertime fun, let all who desire loving, considerate East Shore excursions consider the following well-meant suggestions:

• During the drive up, take time to notice the sign that says slow-moving vehicles leading five or more cars must use turnouts. Translation: Even if you’re only keeping one driver from an extra six minutes of high-altitude sun exposure during your scenic drive, be alpine-cool and let him or her pass.

• If you get stuck behind the inevitable Incline old-timer, the tourist or the clueless, just chill. They won’t notice your flashing lights and hand gestures anyway. If you get all agro, blaze past them and spin over the cliff two turns up, they’ll laugh at you as they drive by.

• Beach loners are urged to park in Incline and ride their bikes to Hidden Beach. It eases the parking hassle and makes you look local when you show up—like you just rolled down from your ski shack for some poetry writing and a dip.

• Tahoe is a peaceful refuge from the noise and pollution of the city. Personal watercraft spoil that enjoyment even more than traditional boats. If you must bring your high-powered toy to the fragile blue ecosystem, go four-stroke, and perform your amazing “drive around in circles on the water” trick at least a mile offshore.

• If you’re a peace-seeking soul searcher out to connect with Tahoe’s serene essence, consider arriving later in the day. The mechanical mayhem usually dissipates after 4 p.m. or so, and the crazies are usually worn out or gone by then, too. You’ll still have a golden four hours of ever-decreasing sun intensity, and the afternoon waves add a touch of oceanic grandeur.

• Well-behaved dogs are always welcome on the beach, but stepping in dog doo is not an acceptable consequence of that tolerance. Clean up after your best friend on beach or trail.

• Go naked when and where the vibe is right. Don’t get all high-horse if it seems that people around you want to keep their shorts on and want you to also. You’re not that much more enlightened than they are.

• Whether you’ve been enjoying Tahoe in your own special way all your life or only since your parents got transferred here from Walnut Creek, your special lake is everyone else’s special lake, too. Only a handful of Native Americans and about six really rich white folks can lay claim to “owning” Tahoe.

• Using whatever spiritual inclination works for you, pray for the lake and give a moment of reflection to the invisible presence of the Washo and Paiute Indians. Picture the rocks not slimy and the water not full of murky particulates. See what Tahoe has to say to you about that.

• If it’s the weekend, ignore all this advice. I gave up on it a couple of seasons ago. See you Monday.