|Well, if you scrape those slides hard enough you can get rid of the dust (and then deal with scratches), at least, that was what I found this winter.
I lived in Northern California for half my life (Sacramento area, San Jose, SF, and Palo Alto). I think you're in a great spot for those nature things (Lake Tahoe, Emmigrant Wilderness, Yosmeite, Muir Trail). It's not more dramatic than here, but your season is longer!
I noticed your photo. This year I got my kids (7 and 3) kayaking and they loved it. So now I think I may have to buy a tandem.