21st Snowshoe Thompson Ski & Snowshoe celebration set for March 5 | TahoeDailyTribune.com

21st Snowshoe Thompson Ski & Snowshoe celebration set for March 5

Submitted to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Lake Tahoe Historical Society is hosting the 21st annual Snowshoe Thompson Ski & Snowshoe Celebration from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 5. The event will be held at the South Lake Tahoe museum complex, 3058 Lake Tahoe Blvd. 

The day will be full of things honoring the “Mailman of the Sierra.” For 20 years he traversed the snow-covered Sierra each winter on what he called snowshoes (in America today we call them skis). Snowshoe was the nickname of Norweigan-born John Thompson. 

Thompson would carry mail 90 miles each way through the Sierra Nevada, from Placerville to Mormon Station, Utah (now Genoa, Nevada). He made the roundtrip in just five days.

The legendary mailman would make the 180-mile round-trip twice each month, three days out and two back, carrying an 80-pound mailbag and little else. No blankets or tent, no map or compass, only matches and a bit of jerky and crackers. He wore a Mackinac jacket and broad-brimmed hat and rubbed charcoal on his face to guard against snow blindness.

At the celebration, there will be a Chautauqua performance of Snowshoe Thompson by historian David Woodruff, Norweigan dancing by the Sacramento Area Nordic Dancers, a display and talk by Meyers resident Longboard Ski Revivalist Adam Henriques, and a remembrance of the woman who had continued the tradition of celebrating her fellow Norweigan, Nina Macleod.

Area museums and groups will have displays including the Alpine County Museum, El Dorado County Historical Museum, Friends of Snowshoe Thompson along with the Lake Tahoe Historical Society. 

The event is free and there will be hot chocolate, coffee, and cookies available for a donation. The museum will have books and photos for sale during this time. 

Source: Lake Tahoe Historical Society

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