When redesigning JaredManninen.com in 2017, one of my plans was to build my newsletters directly on the website. This ads up-to-date content to the site, provides an archive of past newsletters, makes the newsletters available to everyone (rather than being trapped in MailChimp isolation), and enables you to comment directly on each newsletter (post your message at the bottom and I’ll respond as soon as I can). Once built on my site, I copy and paste the content into the MailChimp newsletter format and send it via email.
Although I’ve managed to accomplish this for many months, I’m finally acknowledging that it takes more time and effort than I’d like to admit. To streamline this process I’m going to continue to build the newsletters on my site, but then provide a brief introduction to them (via MailChimp) along with a link to their corresponding JaredManninen.com webpage. I understand this won’t be as convenient for you because you’ll have to travel to my site to read the entire newsletter. However, in the long run, the one click you’ll have to make will eliminate dozens of steps and lots of time consuming formatting for me. Besides, these newsletters look so much better and are easier to read on my site than in the email format, so I hope you stick around.
Based on the photos I’ve posted, you might have deduced that Lake Tahoe received some significant snow in the last month. Needless to say “miracle March” did not disappoint. Things were looking so dire by February, that I wasn’t sure I’d get more than a couple dozen days of cross-country skiing this season. Thankfully, with March’s near-record snowfall I’ve managed to get in 53 ski days so far. I’m shooting for a total of 60, but we’ll see how all of that plays out in the days to come. Lake Tahoe is supposed to receive about two inches of rain this weekend which will wash away much of our snow and bring about flood conditions in many locations.
It’s amusing to me that I find myself frequently checking the forecast and talking about the weather. I always thought that discussing the weather was reserved for small talk and “old” people. But when living in the mountains and working in the outdoor recreation industry, keeping an eye on the weather is simply good practice.
During the winter, not only does more snow yield more days of play and work, it encourages me to be more flexible and conscious of my route selection both when playing outdoors and when driving to work. Heavy snowfall usually causes the west shore of Lake Tahoe (specifically Emerald Bay) to temporarily close due to avalanche danger. When this happens, I’m required to drive around the east shore to get to work. Twice this winter, under those snowy conditions, my typical hour and a half one-way commute to Truckee took me over three hours to complete. During the 2016/2017 Snowpocalypse, this was the norm and, in fact, sometimes it took over four hours to make the drive. Full disclosure … I stay with friends while working in Truckee so I don’t have to make that commute each day. However, those 3+ hours of driving in whiteout conditions up and over mountain passes on roads often filled with tourists (i.e. people not familiar with or savvy about driving in blizzard conditions) can make for quite the adventure.
Believe it or not, I’m grateful to live in a place where the weather plays such an integral role in my day-to-day life. A byproduct or result of this daily adventure routine of mine is that it forces me to perpetually evaluate what it is and what is not important in my life. I’ve become more present in the moment and more realistic about what I can accomplish on any given day or week. And for better or worse, it’s caused me to let go of some activities and people in my life that tend to require more energy, attention, and logistical coordination than others. As much as I would love to hang out with all of my friends and play to my heart’s desire, that will simply never be the case. There is only 24 hours in a day, after all.
Monday night I returned home from a 5-day work stint at the cross-country ski center. Normally I’m not away for that many days in a row, but because it’s nearing the end of the season I took the work. Then, during my subsequent days off I’ve had some appointments to keep and was gifted a recently felled tree (i.e. firewood for next winter). So, I spent some hours (and lots of calories) rolling those heavy rounds up the hill from my neighbor’s house and down the road to my yard. I still have a long list of tasks and projects to accomplish, and would’ve much preferred to write another Tahoe Trail Guide article, design another Tahoe Swag infographic, or just finish this newsletter days ago, but when opportunity comes knocking I’m compelled to answer. Again, there’s only so much time in a day (and a lifetime), so one has to frequently ask themselves whether or not they’re making the best use of it.