Amidst the magnificent nature that surrounds this region, there should be an inspiration corresponding more or less with the grandeur of the aspect of the material world. The modifications impressed upon the moral and intellectual character of man by the physical aspects of nature, is a theme more properly belonging to those who have cultivated the aesthetic side of humanity. The poet and the artist can alone appreciate, in the fullness of their humanizing influence, the potent effects of these aesthetic inspirations. The lake districts in all Alpine countries seem to impress peculiar characteristics upon their inhabitants.
When quietly floating upon the placid surface of Lake Tahoe, the largest of the “Gems of the Sierra”—nestled, as it is, amidst a huge amphitheater of mountain peaks—it is difficult to say whether we are more powerfully impressed with the genuine childlike awe and wonder inspired by the contemplation of the noble grandeur of nature, or with the calmer and more gentle sense of the beautiful produced by the less imposing aspects of the surrounding scenery. On the one hand crag and beetling cliff sweeping in rugged and colossal massiveness above dark waves of pine and fir, far into the keen and clear blue air; the huge mantle of snow, so cumulus-like in its brightness, thrown in many a solid fold over ice-sculptured crest and shoulders; the dark cathedral-like spires and splintered pinnacles, half snow, half stone, rising into the sky like the very pillars of heaven. On the other hand the waving verdure of the valleys below, the dash of waterfalls, the plenteous gush of springs, the laugh and dance of brook and rivulet as they hurry down the plains. Add to this picture the deep repose of the azure water, in which are mirrored snow-clad peaks, as well as marginal fringes of waving forests and green meadows, and it is difficult to decide whether the sense of grandeur or of beauty has obtained the mastery of the soul.
THE TAHOE NATIONAL FOREST
The Tahoe National Forest was first set apart by proclamation, September 17, 1906. Previous to this there had been the Tahoe and Yuba Forest Reserves which were established by proclamation under the acts of March 3, 1891, and June 4, 1897. The original Tahoe Forest Reserve consisted of six townships along the west side of Lake Tahoe. Part of this territory is now in the Tahoe and part in the El Dorado National Forest. Changes and additions were later made by proclamations of March 2, 1909, and July 28, 1910.