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January 23, 2014
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To the Storm King, from Truckee Tahoe

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — I am loathe to admit this, but it’s my fault.

New three-pin boots purchased to replace 1,000-year-old pink and white xc bunny boots. Check.

Extra set of street tires and rims swapped out for studded snow tires, extra set of rims, even, to avoid that first snow day crush at Stone’s. Check.

Ugly snow man (evil looking little guys with crazed charcoal-dot mouths) sheets on the bed. Check.

Bonfire built with some old beaters tossed in for good luck. Check.

Perhaps worst of all, I succumbed to great hubris, pooh-poohing a Denver friend from what seemed a merely amusing Facebook post: Denver called and said “It snowed.” Tahoe said, “How cute.” The image showed a Denver man shoveling a wimpy two feet of snow, while the Tahoe image boasted berms bigger than a brontosaurous (or two).

I confess. I confess. I confess.

Now, eyes peer to the heavens, with residents and businesses offering up Storm King rituals to blow the doors open.

Mark Brown, town of Truckee councilman and local chiropractor said, “My pray for snow ritual is to wash my car. Today I started a wash your car week for all of Northern California on Facebook. In the first hour I had many people sign up to pledge to wash their car this week.

“I hope the success will be felt within the week.”

The interminable high pressure and resulting lack of snow has Tahoe Truckee residents a little down, so in an attempt to ease the pain, Cottonwood Restaurant is extending its Happy Hour program, renaming it “We ain’t happy hours.” Effective immediately, happy hour will last all night, every night until the restaurant receives a foot of snow on the deck.

“We understand that many of our local patrons are having their hours cut, and want to make it a little less painful for them to get out and socialize,” said Cottonwood owner Mike Blide. Cottonwood has no intention of curtailing live music. Catch free shows from local artists and touring musicians every Thursday and Friday beginning at 7 p.m.

Blide, ever the winter and snow enthusiast, has a unique ritual that just might include throwing (empty) beer bottles in the general direction of the television when he watches weather forecasters.

Jon L., a River Ranch bartender of some repute, now with Sierra Agape in Truckee, said, “It used to be imbibing at a party, that was more a coping mechanism than a serious attempt to change the weather. Now my ritual is about awareness and amazement at what is … and not just wishing for it to be different.

“I am not sure if any of those parties helped change the weather, but they were certainly a momentary distraction and helped ease the suffering felt by the owners of empty restaurants.

“Now 10 feet or no feet, amazement is always possible.”

OK, Jon L. discovered new amazement and an inspirational measure of mellow. But we need snow.

According to Jaclyn Ream, marketing coordinator at Diamond Peak Ski Resort, “We’re pretty much praying for snow every day, year round … but our favorite ‘rituals’ include the Hacienda Pray 4 Snow Party and Ullr Fest.” This year, pick up the beat for the new Ullr Fest event — a special Snow Dance with drum beats and audience participation. The Snow Dance will be performed following the torchlight parade on Friday.

Guests are encouraged to bring their own hand drums or percussion instrument to participate. Ullr, by the by, is the Scandinaviangod of winter and snow, widely regarded as the patron saint of skiers. For more information about the Diamond Peak festival, check out the story in the Tahoe World (inside this Sierra Sun edition).

Get out your drums, burn your bonfires, wash your cars, and send up thanks and praise advanced, of course, for the wild days of winter to blow in.

To quote a Bud Light marketing mastermind, “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.”


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jan 23, 2014 05:35PM Published Jan 23, 2014 03:36PM Copyright 2014 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.