Editor’s Notes: Reflecting on 1 year at Lake Tahoe (opinion)
Those of us in the media business have a strange fixation on anniversaries. Rarely do we turn down a chance to note the passage of a year, five years, 10 years, etc.
It’s a habit born, in part, out of the need to feed the always-hungry copy beast. It also affords us an opportunity to see and evaluate what, if anything, we have learned during that time. How have things changed?
In the past several weeks, I’ve thought a fair amount about the past 12 months and what I’ve learned since moving to Tahoe a year ago (Nov. 21, 2016 was my first official day here at the Tribune).
Safe to say the first lesson came early: Give yourself more than two days between jobs, especially when those jobs are separated by a 13-hour drive.
I also learned to love, or accept, snow — that stuff that originally drew so many people to Tahoe, and then they never left. As an aside: I am excited to try my hand at skiing this winter, hopefully with more knowledge than the “pizza / French fry” lesson I learned from an episode of “South Park” … which likely explains why my first attempt at skiing three years ago went so terribly. More on this later.
Looking at the pre-Tahoe me, I can say with certainty the past year has made me more grateful. Perhaps it’s the view of Big Blue while descending Ski Run during my morning commute or the wonderful people I work with, but I am more aware of how great my life is and I’m more thankful for it.
Not many of my non-Tahoe friends can say they’ve kayaked in an area as beautiful as D.L. Bliss. (Enjoying an ice cold brew on Fannette Island before the flotilla of obnoxious speedboats and pontoons entered Emerald Bay was definitely a high point this past summer.)
Few of my non-Tahoe friends’ views can rival the scene from the top of Mount Tallac, which I was able to experience just before the recent winter storms painted it white.
And I’m willing to wager most of those same friends cannot walk out their front doors and find gourmet tacos five minutes in one direction and an awesome hiking trail five minutes in the other direction.
I realize, especially to those who are not fortunate enough to call this place home, it might sound like I’m bragging. On some level I am — I’m proud I get to call Tahoe home. Some may take issue with that statement (Can he really be a local when he’s only been here a year?).
As far as lessons and realizations go, that deep-rooted pride held by the longtime locals came across early and clearly. As a friend, one who certainly qualifies as a longtime local, recently explained: That pride stems from survival. In a place that is transient by nature and, more recently, becoming harder and harder for the average person to forge a reasonably comfortable life, those longtime locals have found a way to make it work, my friend explained.
However, she added, that pride should not simultaneously serve as a reason to dismiss newcomers trying to make a go of it in Tahoe.
While I don’t always agree with this friend on all issues (I’m convinced uniformity in thought and opinions is unhealthy), I appreciate that perspective.
This newcomer is happy to have survived a year in Tahoe and looking forward to many more.
Ryan Hoffman is editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He can be reached at 530-542-8006 or at email@example.com.