We have lived through an historical moment. Has it changed you? It has certainly changed me and reinforced my desire for Bliss.
Less is Good
The transition from "stay at home" to "normal" has an interesting vibration to it. There is an energetic buzz and a sense of exploding excitement over the opportunity to return to doing all the things we did before the pandemic.
While following the directives to stay at home I learned a valuable lesson: I don't need very much. I don't need fancy food or cocktail service. I don't need live concerts (although they are fun) or pedicures. I don't need to go shopping for new clothes, toys, or belongings. I don't need to be doing things all of the time. Less is more.
I grew up playing with whatever was available. We would run around the fields, climb trees, build rock & tree forts, and build mud pies. Our imaginations allowed us to create anything out of anything.
The first time my sister visited me in Tahoe she said, "You live in a postcard." When I guide tours and classes people ask, "do you ever get tired of this?" My answer is, "Never." I get to live the dream and value that I do it in Lake Tahoe and recognize how the choices I made in life helped me to get here. At Bliss Experiences our intention is to help you develop similar values for your life.
Every day I get to look at a beautiful lake, run through the forest, walk on the beach, stand on top of a mountain, hike through the desert, bike, ski, paddle and play. The pandemic has added stress to my life, but enjoying Tahoe has helped me to manage it.
Patience & Empathy
People fled the cities when the pandemic hit. There was a general perception shift that the mountains are safer than the seaside. Our tiny community became inundated with visitors and new residents. The lack of infrastructure, staff, response teams, inability to educate, and enforcement became increasingly evident and the impact has been significant.
Tahoe runs on tourism. We have gotten better, throughout the years, at supporting and sharing information with the influx of visitors that come to the basin every Winter and Summer. This year was a new opportunity for us to learn and change our practices.
As a business owner I had to become more patient. Messaging from my business had to change. I had to constantly remind myself to try to understand the perspective others have; they are just trying to do something "normal" The pandemic has helped me become more patient and empathetic with myself and others.
Sense of Community
Small businesses are the soul of our country. As businesses began to shutter it was obvious that the corporations and larger ones would survive. Small, individually and family owned business needed our patronage.
Bliss Experiences promotes and partners with the small businesses and professionals in our community. The pandemic further reminded me to remain in touch and to continue to bolster them. As we emerge from this historical moment we will continue to grow our list of providers so that you can continue to experience Bliss with them.
I believe that when spending time with someone it is important that your full attention be dedicated to that experience. When teaching classes, guided lessons, or out on a tour I am fully focused upon making the experience special for those joining in.
Now that we are using more virtual tools including live video streams it's easy to be doing many things at once: live feed while recording for later while doing an Instagram live and chatting over text.
I chose to continue to practice focusing upon the task at hand even while learning to use new formats for teaching. I have noticed that, as I venture back out into the world, I would rather be with a small group and have dedicated conversations than in a place where there is a larger crowd and many distractions. Being present and enjoying the moment makes for a far better experience.
When Bliss Experiences opens we will continue to honor quality of experience over quantity of participants so that we can be dedicated to making yours the best.
There are so many things to love about Tahoe, and a few that are not so loveable. Learn more about the things that bring us Bliss and the stuff that we could do without.
We Love Those Big, Blue Skies
One of my favorite views is that of the sky in Tahoe. The color changes daily. I love it on a crisp Winter day when the tree branches are tufted in white. During the Spring the flowering trees can make the blue seem even deeper. In the Summertime the sky sometimes appears tuquoise. Daily, hourly, even by the minute, the color of the sky can change.
But the Traffic. . .
A noticeable effect of the Covid-19 pandemic was a reduction in pollutants due to decreased travel. In Tahoe, it wasn't the air pollution that we noticed had decreased, but rather, how few vehicles were on the road and how quiet our town had become.
As the pandemic continued to limit activities in other places our town became more and more inundated with visitors in need of a mountain escape. The traffic increased and, soon, the roads were as packed as they become on Independence Day Weekends. Before you travel to Tahoe to get yourself a view of our beautiful blue skies take a moment to learn about how to travel safely to and around the basin.
Check out these resouces:
Tahoe Road Trip
Parking In Tahoe
Winter Driving In Tahoe
The Dangers of Parking for Snow Play
Fields of Fluffy Snow
A fresh snowfall leaves everything blanketed in white. It is one of the most quiet times to be outdoors. Walks in the woods, cross country skiing, backcountry tours, and resort adventures are "in." The forest colors and smells are a little different. The beaches have a different feel to them. It can seem like there is endless space for play. It's just magical.
But the Disprespect. . .
Now, I have only lived in Tahoe for a dozen or so years, but I have never seen what I have seen this Winter before. The meadow near my home is a lovely place to enjoy a walk or snow play. There is a small parking lot nearby that provides all you need including bathrooms and baggies for dog poop. Instead of accessing these amenities visitors parked on highway shoulder to access the meadow and even created fires which could have easily gotten out of control and put our homes at risk. Trash from broken sleds, packaging and food was picked up by the pounds.
It's important to look for signage before stopping to take photos, a walk, or play in the snow. If there isn't a parking lot or sign that indicates you can park, don't do it. If you don't see a fire pit you probably shouldn't have one. If there aren't trash cans available be prepared to carry out that which you brought with you. Look for and read the signs posted. They are there to help you know how to respect and protect the area.
All That Open Space
Living in Tahoe is not easy. You have to earn the lifestyle. We pick and choose our days off, where we play, what we do, and who we do it with. Yes, we have secret stashes and hidden spots. Sometimes we choose not to go to a place we love because it's better to allow those who can't always get to it to enjoy it. Timing is everything. We know exactly where to be, when, so we can experience Bliss.
But, the Evidence of Humans. . .
Leave no trace is an important practice. Like staying within the ropes at a ski resort or putting away your toys at home; leaving no trace is a way of demonstrating integrity. Remember those big blue skies and fields of fluffy snow? You can be the one who let's everyone else enjoy them when you leave no trace.
-Carry out your stuff (and whatever else you find that doesn't belong)
-Leave stones, sticks, logs, etc. where they are (unless they are dangerous)
-Leave the snow as it was before you arrived
-Clean up after your pet
Bliss is Everywhere
Bliss can be shared among all of us if we are all considerate of each other wherever we are. Whether you are enjoying the views, playing in the snow, exploring a new spot, or spending time in your favorite place consider how your behavior could be effecting others. Can you make the change to have a positive effect?
If you're seeking more information about planning a trip to Tahoe we're here to help. From experiences to resources and classes to guides our intention is to shared Bliss with you.
Tahoe is a wonderland. Every season creates not only beautiful landscapes, but also new opportunities to get outside and play. For those of us that enjoy playing in the outdoors there are some simple practices we can all engage in to spread cheer all year and everywhere.
In the show “The Crown” the queen educates Margaret Thatcher on proper behavior while stalking a stag. She mentions the importance of dressing properly, speaking quietly, and avoiding wearing perfumes. The same is true for spending time outside while visiting Tahoe.
Before heading outdoors consider your clothing; are you dressed practically for the temperature and weather? Have you dressed up as though going out to dinner or spending time in snow, dirt, and potentially changing weather conditions? Feel free to skip putting on scents that distract from those naturally occurring in the forest and you’ll be able to enjoy the smells of juniper, ponderosa, and sage.
Listen to the Silent Trees
There are so many magical sounds to hear while you are outside. From unique birds to the whisper of the wind and the crunch of snow beneath your feet the opportunity to fully experience the outdoors includes listening.
Leave your personal speaker or stereo at home. If you do choose to listen to music do so with one headphone only. Not only will you be better able to hear the sounds of the next osprey or eagle that flies overhead, you will also be able to hear other people as they approach you.
Leave Only Footprints
As you travel take notice of the naturally occurring flora and fauna around you. Banana and orange trees do not grow in Tahoe. Plastic bottles and wrappings do not grow on any of our plants.
Help to decrease litter in the basin by not only carrying out what you have brought with you, but also by grabbing any trash you find while outdoors. In addition, leave the outdoors outside. Building cairns, taking pinecones, or gathering other items from the forest impacts the basin. Take only photos and leave nature in its place. Leave the place you visited just as it was before you arrived.
Not all parking areas have parking spaces delineated. When parking at a trailhead or in a backcountry access area take a moment to consider the shape, how other cars are parked and how your vehicle can fit while taking up the least amount of space.
It helps to check out the license plates. Look for a car with local plates and take note of how they parked. They may know some unspoken rule and following their example is likely a good choice. Remember to get out of your car cautiously when parking in outdoor access areas and be sure to keep your person, pets, and belongings out of the way of other vehicles. Be considerate and aware of your surroundings at all times. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to turn off the “beep” sound that your car alarm makes when you lock it up.
Share the Space
You are unlikely to be the only person exploring Tahoe’s outdoors. With every step you take, imagine that you are about to walk into a stranger’s home. After all, you aren’t in yours anymore.
While adventuring into this new territory remember that all of the animals and plants call it home. Not only are you likely the only animal in the area, you are probably not the only human. Allow others to enjoy the sights, sounds, and scents.
Show your respect for the wilderness and it will show you it’s magic
We're always happy to share Bliss with you! Allow us to be your guides when you visit Tahoe. Our inside knowledge and connections will make your trip blissful.
Jenay Aiksnoras, Experience Curator