Winter in the Sierra and Tahoe Range is notorious for its hellacious winds. Wet storms coming in from the California coast sweep over the mountains and bring with it 80-100 mile per hour winds on the tops and 60-70 mile per hour winds in the valleys.
Time to go surfing.
When I was a teenager, if we timed it right and got up to the lake just when a storm was hitting, we could watch some of the Tahoe daredevils attempt to surf Big Blue. They were as far from Maui as you can get. Instead of balmy tropical breezes, the winter winds would blow sharp bits of snow in your face, and instead of board shorts, the surfers needed to wear 3 millimeter suits to protect their bodies from the 39 F degree water. But the gale force winds would kick up 3 to 5 foot waves that made for some excellent surfing.
Photo courtesy of [RickC/Flickr]