us and looked over its side into the water below, the immediate shock of surprise cannot be well described. Every pebble at the bottom showed as distinctly as if held in the open hand. We had all seen clear water before, but, as a severe but unscholarly sufferer once said of his rheumatism, “never such as these.” The day being perfect, no breeze stirring, and the Lake without a ripple, the gravelly bottom continued visible when we had steamed out to a point where the water reached a depth of eighty feet. Two gentlemen on board who had made a leisurely trip round the world and were now on their way home to England, remarked that they had seen but one sheet of water (a lake in Japan) of anything like equal transparency. It is presumed that they had not visited Green Lake, Colorado.
Our course lay along the California shore, toward its southern extremity, the steamer stopping at several points for exchange of mail. These stopping places are all summer-resorts, where the guests, snugly housed at the base of the mountain-range, divide the time between lounging or rambling under the shadow of the tall pines and angling for the famous Tahoe trout in the brightness of the open Lake. All looked inviting, but we were not wholly enchanted until, gliding past many a snowy peak, we suddenly changed course and put into Emerald Bay. This little bay, or rather lake in itself, about three miles in length, is the gem of the Tahoe scenery. Through its narrow entrance, formed by perpendicular cliffs some two thousand feet high, we moved on toward an island of rock and a succession of flashing waterfalls beyond.
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For a time the dazzling mountain-crests and glistening gorges absorbed attention. So high, white, silent! We longed to be upon the loftiest one, from the top of which can be seen thirteen charming little mountain-lakes, midair jewels, varying in feature according to the situation. Two of these lakes, widely dissimilar in character, are but two miles distant from Tallac House, a comfortable resort at the base of the noble peak from which it takes its name.
But not even the crystal summit ridges delighted us as did the changing waters in the path of the steamer. Following immediately upon the transparency preserved to a depth of some eighty feet, a blur passed over the surface. This changed by imperceptible degrees to a light green. The green, again, speedily deepened, shading into a light blue; and finally, in deepest water (where the Lake is all but fathomless), the color becomes so densely blue that we could not believe our eyes. Indigo itself was outdone. Description fails; the blue deep of Tahoe must be seen to be appreciated.
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