April 2019

Thoughts about…

Staying the Course

Lake Tahoe’s winter of 2018/19 has been an exceptional one. I don’t know the actual snowpack totals to-date, but we did nickname the month of February #februburied due to the relentless snowstorms we received all month. As grateful as I am for all of the snow (and the work derived from it), it was nice to see blue skies return in March.

On March 31st, I logged my 100th day of cross-country skiing for the season. I also kept alive my streak of skiing at least 100 miles per month for the fourth month in a row. So, at some point this season, it felt as if I officially transitioned from being a hiker who cross-country skis in the winter to a cross-country skier who likes to hike during the summer.

Copyright © 2019 Jared Manninen

Cross-country skiing in The Great Ski Race on March 3, 2019. © Jared Manninen

Life is grand!

But I want more. Not necessarily more snow and skiing. Nor am I talking specifically about more time and money. Although, I would gladly accept any of those things if they were presented to me.

Copyright © 2019 Jared Manninen

Cross-country skiing at Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Area along Sundance trail on March 8, 2019. © Jared Manninen

I understand that building something of value that’s meant to last seldom happens overnight. However, for the past two years, I’ve established consistency in my work habits and developed a streamlined workflow (at least with my core projects) that have enabled me to produce quality material.

Whether I’m writing articles, making videos to complement those articles, or just putting forth the effort to post inspiring photos on my social media accounts, momentum is building.

Copyright © 2019 Jared Manninen

Cross-country skiing at Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski area along Upper Crazy Horse trail on March 11, 2019. © Jared Manninen

Most people I’ve spoken with about Tahoe Trail Guide have been enthusiastic and supportive of my efforts and execution in developing the site. Often they’re quick to offer advice and feedback regarding my “business.”

Some ideas are better than others, but no matter what there’s always merit to what they have to say. The problem is that my usual response is, “Yep, that’s a great idea but it’ll have to wait.” It seems as if I’ve found myself in a situation similar to being “so busy doing my job that I can’t get any work done.”

Copyright © 2019 Jared Manninen

Cross-country skiing in South Lake Tahoe on March 12, 2019. © Jared Manninen

So what I really want is actually just more of the same, but on my own terms. I want to continue living and working in the outdoor recreation industry, but I want to be the driver and initiator. When a new idea inspires me or an opportunity presents itself, I want to be able to implement that idea or capitalize on that opportunity.

The world moves at such a fast pace nowadays that if you’re not prepared, flexible, and timely enough to embrace that change or opportunity, it’s almost guaranteed that someone will be waiting right behind you to snatch it up for themselves.

Copyright © 2019 Jared Manninen

Cross-country skiing at Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Area along Upper Crazy Horse trail on March 25, 2019. © Jared Manninen

Does that mean I need more time or want more time off to focus on my projects? Does that mean I need more money so that I don’t need to work at my job quite as often? Does that mean I need more money to buy better gear or equipment to use in my projects or to pay somebody else to perform the work that I don’t have the time to complete on my own?

These are the questions I’ve been struggling with as of late because I feel like I’m reaching a tipping point in my operation. Everything I’m doing right now is complementing everything I’m doing right now, and I’m finally on the verge of successfully merging art and commerce and balancing my work and well-being.

Copyright © 2019 Jared Manninen

Cross-country skiing at Grass Lake on March 27, 2019. © Jared Manninen

I imagine it’s still some years away. However, I will make the transition from having seasonal jobs in the outdoor recreation industry to being a driving force within the industry that inspires people to safely and responsibly recreate outdoors. And, hopefully, achieve a better quality of life.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to work on my projects and, more importantly, take my own advice and develop a plan.

Copyright © 2019 Jared Manninen

Cross-country skiing through Washoe Meadows State Park on March 28, 2019. © Jared Manninen

My latest Tahoe Trail Guide articles are as follow. It’s taken me awhile to write the planning series, but I just have one more article to produce before I can officially call it finished. Over time I’ll expand upon some of the concepts discussed in those articles, but for now these are a great starting point for people who haven’t done many extended outdoor trips. The snowshoeing article isn’t as timely right now, but when I originally published it we were in the middle of winter. And, it’ll be there for people to read next winter!

Click an image to read its article.

This video features examples of how to adjust the straps on a bunch of different cross-country ski pole grips, as well as how to properly hold the grips. I would classify this video as something niche. However, you’d be surprised at how many specific and unique questions I’m asked when it comes to cross-country skiing — things that I take for granted, but are a mystery to new people to the sport.

This video is a bit more broad in topic. Not so much a traditional “how-to,” but rather a demonstration of how I apply classic diagonal striding technique when cross-country skiing in the backcountry.

Thanks for being a part of my life. Until next time…

-Jared Manninen

Tahoe Trail Guide is an online magazine for sharing my knowledge about hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing, as well as information about traveling to (and through) the Lake Tahoe region. I refine that information for a younger audience and produce it in a printed format under the title Wilderness Activity Books. Lastly, Tahoe Swag is a collection of art and design products I create based on my love of the outdoors and appreciation for Lake Tahoe.

Categories: Newsletters
Tags: #2019

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