April 2021

Thoughts about…

The End is in Sight

…to my winter of working at the cross-country ski resort, that is 🙂

This past winter had its challenges but I’m grateful for the opportunity to have again worked at the resort (my seventh straight season, if you can believe that!), logged a bunch of cross-country ski days, and photographed many (new to me!) Sierra Nevada birds. I’m going to forego writing an essay this month, however, since I’m so late in publishing this newsletter. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately finishing up last-minute projects before this coming weekend’s work shift at the resort, which happens to be my last of the season.

So, enjoy this extended photo album from the past month. Clearly, cross-country skiing and birding has been on the top of my list of activities. The latter, in fact, is actually a result of participating in the Tahoe Big Year hosted by the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science. The event takes place for the entirety of 2021, and involves seeing and documenting as many bird species in the Tahoe/Truckee region as possible. As of today (4/8/21), I’m in seventh place (out of 100) with 92 observed species. I don’t know for how long I’ll be in the top 10, but it’s been nice to be in it for at least a little while 🙂

I took the following bird photos while searching for new species to document. And I’ve gotten into the habit of having my camera with me wherever I go, even if I’m just making a run for gas or groceries. One of my longer-term projects, actually, is to photograph every species of bird that’s been observed at Lake Tahoe. There have been approximately 320 species, so I have my work cut out for me!

Click on each photo for its name and the date taken.

It’s obviously a bit late in the season at this point, but if you’re interested in another read about cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the Tahoe/Truckee region check out one of my friend’s recent articles. I offer it here because she was super generous to include a segment about me and my website, Tahoe Trail Guide 🙂

Osprey building their nest (4/7/21). © Jared Manninen

One of my recent projects, which isn’t necessarily a project but rather an online platform of which I now manage is a Patreon account. During this past winter, viewers and subscribers of my YouTube channel and website have asked about ways in which they could offer me gratuities and contributions for the work that I’ve produced. Patreon is basically a website designed for digital content creators (like myself) to use so that they can accept financial contributions from their viewers, readers, and fans.

I realize that many people find this concept odd, because … isn’t everything online free? Obviously I’m joking. But many people, unfortunately, do think this way. In reality, however, all of the articles I write and videos that I produce take countless hours to complete. And it’s generally all unpaid work, in spite of receiving a little money from ad revenue. I would produce this stuff regardless because I’m passionate about sharing the information and inspiring people to go outdoors. But it’s also nice when people are willing pitch in because they appreciate and value my work.

For people not interested in monthly contributions, but still want to offer their support I established a PayPal.me account. Basically, that option allows for a person to send a one-time gratuity.

Ultimately, I’m just trying to make a go of this digital and online career so I’ve been pulling out all of the stops lately 🙂

My video production and output has declined this past month. What can I say? I was grinding away all winter having published around 30 videos (and it paid off!), so now I’m taking a bit of a break. Besides, everyone who came to my YouTube channel this winter for cross-country skiing related content seems to have moved on for the time being. I don’t blame them. I’m in a similar state of mind now that Tahoe is seeing consistently 55-60 degree days!

Believe it or not, though, I’m still keeping the dream alive. As of this morning (4/8/21), I logged my 90th day on xc skis for the season. So I’m going for 100. Barring any unforeseen events I should be able to get those last 10 days by the end of April 🙂

Please subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already. Thank you 🙂 

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

-Jared Manninen

Tahoe Trail Guide is an online resource for hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing in the Lake Tahoe region. In addition to trail data, I offer backcountry “how-to” articles and information about the local and natural history of Tahoe. Tahoe Swag is a collection of art and design products I create based on my love of the outdoors and appreciation for Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains.

If you like any of the images I post in these newsletters, please contact me. I’d be more than happy to upload them to my RedBubble account so that you can order prints and other merchandise featuring the images.

Categories: Newsletters
Tags: #2021

Comments (4)

  • Greg . May 30, 2021 . Reply

    I appreciate your outlook and philosophy. I’ve been continually learning to xc-ski since 1981, and, ecstatic at open back country in the Tahoe area. I just want to know where affordable places to stay are and beginner ski areas. I’m retired and my wife and I prefer skiing during the week. Thank you!

    • (Author) Jared Manninen . May 31, 2021 . Reply

      Hey Greg,

      Thanks so much for the comment! And I’m glad to hear that you’ve been xc skiing for so long! I’m relatively new to the sport (seven seasons now), but I’ve fallen in love with it, especially backcountry and off-track xc skiing. I really appreciate the freedom of movement (i.e. you can go just about anywhere!) that cross-country skiing provides.

      As far as affordable places to stay in Tahoe goes, your guess is as good as mine. There are so many lodging options here in the Lake Tahoe region that it would be futile for me to keep track of them all. Mostly people have been doing the vacation home rental thing for the past few years. But, realistically, I don’t know that there are many inexpensive options for VHRs. At this point I’m almost thinking more traditional hotels/motels would be less expensive compared to the McMansion-sized vacation home rentals available out here.

      All of that said, if you’re looking for more off-trail and backcountry xc ski options that aren’t super steep I’d recommend staying on the south shore of Lake Tahoe. There are numerous xc ski locations in the backcountry that are favorable for beginner backcountry xc skiing. As far as groomed xc ski resorts go, however, you’re better off staying on Lake Tahoe’s north shore as there are a bunch or high-quality groomed cross-country ski resorts located up there. Most people pick one side of the lake or the other to stay at during the winter (and don’t necessarily travel to the other) as driving conditions can be challenging trying to get from one side of the lake to the other. There are so many things to do on either side of the lake that sitting in a car for a couple of extra hours on a vacation day seems like a waste of time to me.

      I encourage you to check out my main website (https://tahoetrailguide.com/) and YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/jaredmanninen) for more xc skiing options. I have a bunch of backcountry xc ski related articles on the site for the south shore. Unfortunately, I don’t have a whole lot for North Tahoe at this point as I’m usually working at the cross-country ski resort when I’m up there during the winters (and don’t get out much to ski elsewhere). But I can offer feedback if you do have specific questions regarding the north side as many of my xc ski friends live up there.

      Anyway, thanks again for tuning in!

  • Joan Treppa . April 9, 2021 . Reply

    Awesome photos and great vlogs! Kudos for being mentioned in the article. Well-deserved recognition.

    • (Author) Jared Manninen . April 13, 2021 . Reply

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Joan 🙂

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