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Lake Tahoe Mountain by chateaugrief Lake Tahoe Mountain by chateaugrief

This is lake Tahoe, again.  It’s 1600 feet deep, the second deepest in the US next to Crater Lake.  Such a deep, mysterious lake will naturally have some deep mysterious legends surrounding it, and Tahoe’s seem to center on Mafia Graveyards, a Loch Ness Monster, and Jacque Cousteau.  The Cousteau Legend, thoroughly debunked, says that in the 1970s he took a submersible to film the bottom of Lake Tahoe for a tv program, but when he emerged from the lake he destroyed his tapes in terror, and refused to talk about what he’d seen saying only, ‘the world is not ready to know what I have seen’.  The other legend has some backing in the science of the very cold lake, and it was even dramatized in the Godfather films, when some mafia goons shoot a guy and dump him in the lake (Fredo? right?)  The idea is that the cold water preserves the bodies so well that they can be seen just as they were when they were dumped, pinstriped suits and gold watches, eyes staring into the green abyss, cement galoshes, their bodies perfectly preserved by the icy cold depths of the lake.  In general, one might scoff and say, even cold lakes don’t work that way…but in 2011 a scuba diver’s body was recovered from the lake 16 years after he went missing, and was so perfectly preserved that they could do a full autopsy.  

Legends come from somewhere, from some thing, though and so I did a little digging on this whole thing and found that these legends are very very old…pre-European in fact. 

 In 1875 the California historian Hubert Howe Bancroft, of whom the famous Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley is named, wrote an ethnography of the California Indians, recording their tribes and nations, their languages, their stories and their legends. Here’s what they have to say about Lake Tahoe:

 Native Races, v.iii. p89 “The natives in the vicinity of Lake Tahoe, ascribe its origin to a great natural convulsion.  There was a time, they say, when their tribe possessed the whole earth, and were strong, numerous, and rich; but a day came in which a people rose up stronger than they, and defeated and enslaved them.  Afterwards the Great Spirit sent an immense wave across the continent from the sea, and this wave engulfed both the oppressors and the oppressed, all but a very small remnant.  Then the taskmasters made the remaining people raise up a great temple, so the they, of the ruling caste, should have refuge in case of another flood, and on the top of this temple the masters worshipped a column of perpetual fire.  
Half a moon had not elapsed, however, before the earth was again troubled, this time with strong convulsions and thunderings, upon which the masters took refuge in their great tower, closing the people out.  The poor slaves fled to the Humboldt River, and getting into canoes paddled for life from the awful sight behind them.  For the land was tossing like a troubled sea, and casting up fire, smoke, and ashes.  The flames went up to the very heaven and melted many stars, so that they rained down in molten metal upon the earth forming the ore that the white men seek.  The Sierra was mounded up from the bosom of the earth; while the place where the great fort stood sank, leaving only the dome on the top exposed above the waters of Lake Tahoe.  The inmates of the temple-tower clung to this dome to save themselves from drowning; but the Great Spirit walked upon the waters in his wrath, and took the oppressors one by one like pebbles, and threw them far into the recesses of a great cavern, on the east side of the lake, called to this day the Spirit Lodge, where the waters shut them in.  There must they remain till a last great volcanic burning, which is to overturn the whole earth, shall again set them free.  In the depths of their cavern-prison they may still be heard, wailing and moaning, when the snows melt and the waters swell in the lake.”

So there you have it, what did ‘Jacques Cousteau’ see in the legend?  The Tower of Babel meets Twin Peaks. So what if there’s a graveyard of bodies down there…that aren’t dead…they just can’t get out?  

See Xander isn’t the creepy one at all.  

Add a Comment:
 
:iconrosiecrafts:
rosiecrafts Featured By Owner 6 days ago  New Deviant
Beautiful art!
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:icondoogz75:
doogz75 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Love this.  The sunlight is a great touch.
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:icondjmattricks:
DJMattRicks Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2018
...Wink/Razz ...
Reply
:iconkayandjaycreate:
kayandjaycreate Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow these are great. Your landscapes are magical
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:iconkanago:
KanaGo Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very cool!
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:iconyourmastur:
Yourmastur Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2018
Great art!

Check out Yellodru and her amazing art and make sure to watch. Thank you!
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:icontaemart:
taemart Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
nice work, this is really amazing 
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:icongibbyloves:
GibbyLoves Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Looks very lovely!
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:icontelian24:
Telian24 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Somehow I got the impression that there is a maelstrom lurking somewhere in there ... *shudder*
Probably shouldn't have read the spooky stuff before looking at the picture :)
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
There's something very interesting about Lake Tahoe, and I've only been there once...but it felt familiar...eerie
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:iconel-serran:
El-serran Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2018  Professional Filmographer
This is amazing ! Good job!
I wish I could be on this place!
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:icondragondoodle:
dragondoodle Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So gorgeous :love:
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
Reply
:iconharrybelton:
HarryBelton Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great work! I love the Tahoe area---except in the dead of winter.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!  Do they close the roads in and out of Tahoe in the winter?  Must get a lot of snow!
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:iconharrybelton:
HarryBelton Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think they try to keep them plowed but yes, a lot of snow. I lived in Grass Valley and sometimes you could not get over the pass. Truckee is really bad in winter. I had friends there who had to climb out their 2nd floor window sometimes!
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
brrr!  stay warm up there!
Reply
:icongnoll-el:
Gnoll-El Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018
Speaking of fires in Norther California, Mark Twain in his book "Roughing It" confessed to burning down most of the forest surrounding the lake in the 1860s. 
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Oops!  lol Mark Twain burns down lake Tahoe.  I wonder if people spent the subsequent months ringing church bells over the eternal California drought or if they were too busy discovering gold.  
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:icongnoll-el:
Gnoll-El Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2018
Come to think of it, California was in the midst of severe drought at the time which bankrupted the huge Spanish/Mexican land grant ranches and broke them up.  So my guess is both.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
drought in the 1860's? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Fl… man, you just never know from one year to the next with California, do you?   
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:icongnoll-el:
Gnoll-El Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2018
Like the average rainfall of 14 inches which has been hit only a couple of times since they have been keeping records.  It's usually much higher or much lower.

Did I mention the smallpox epidemic of 1864? :D
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:iconnurrayart:
NurRayArt Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Traditional Artist
Good
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
Reply
:iconthearcartist:
TheArcArtist Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
gorgeous!
Reply
:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
Reply
:iconem-473:
em-473 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018
Wow very beautiful. love the color, snow and the sunlight.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
Reply
:icondarkfairygurl:
DarkFairyGurl Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018
Amazing, I wish I was there.Wink/Razz 
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconblackyoshi818:
blackyoshi818 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018
It looks like an amazing place to go to. 
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Yes it is! Bring a jacket, it's pretty cold though
Reply
:iconblackyoshi818:
blackyoshi818 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2018
Yeah, it looks pretty cold as well. Didn't even notice that. If I go there, I will totally need one. Otherwise I will fall down to Nether. 
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:iconwhitecraw:
whitecraw Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018
Nice.
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:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
Reply
:iconkuopansetae:
kuopansetae Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018
Awesome! Really dig the depiction of light & sense of distance in how the mountains fade away :)
Reply
:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
thank you!
Reply
:iconmpz28:
mpz28 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018
Very nice  Cool WinkBlue Love Applaud fella (Reactions)  
Reply
:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
Reply
:iconheartofwing:
Heartofwing Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Student Artist
pretty mountain
Reply
:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
Reply
:iconheartofwing:
Heartofwing Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2018  Student Artist
your welcome
Reply
:icondarkzterroid:
Darkzterroid Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful artwork!
Reply
:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
Reply
:iconhousethtdrippedblood:
Good.
Reply
:iconchateaugrief:
chateaugrief Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
thanks!
Reply
:icondrawingwithmouse101:
drawingwithmouse101 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
beautiful
Reply
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