It could have been any other beach. The sand was hot and grainy under my feet, the sun a warm embrace, and rainbow-colored beach umbrellas bobbed down the coastline. But the evergreens, marching down the mountainside, told another story. And when I stepped into the clear blue water, I was unmistakeably at Lake Tahoe. The cold water, cold even in August, took a few minutes to get used to, and instead of the salty grip of the ocean, I felt the light, cool touch of fresh water, and I emerged feeling refreshed, like after a baptism.