Drought conditions are getting worse in California and Nevada as the summer comes to a close. According to the Drought Monitor report by U.S. agriculture and weather experts at least 58 percent of California is currently affected by the most severe drought seen in decades. Three months ago, only a quarter of the state was affected to this degree.
As the drought begins to affect more and more of California and Nevada, it feels as though Lake Tahoe is in a drought-free bubble. Where water is plentiful and residents are surrounded by lakes and rivers it is hard for the people living in the Tahoe Basin to understand the magnitude of the worst drought in recorded history.
I’ve always been passionate about nature: how it works and how to be a part of it. Brought up by outdoor enthusiasts, I innately knew nature’s rhythms from the beginning. My parents, who owned a popular rafting company in Mount Shasta, Calif. bestowed me with an everlasting appreciation for the one thing that always brings me joy and has taught me how to live simply – the wilderness.
You wouldn’t think getting outside for 30 minutes a day would be so difficult, especially living with wilderness just a step outside the front door, but the challenge is real for college student’s with busy schedules. For every hour I sit in the library, instead of satisfying my instinctual drive to be outside, my nerves madden and my young butt aches in discomfort, literally. Time to make the time, get off the struggle bus, and get outside.
As skiers and snowboarders, we can all relate to how our calf, quad and hamstring muscles feel after a long day on the slopes, tight and possibly achy. Skiing and snowboarding are intensive sports that ask a lot from our bodies, particularly in the hips and legs. As we progress in these sports, our muscles become agile and our movements more graceful.
However, the back and forth commands on the body can still be inadequate for healing the tired and tense muscles. Instead of a hop-to-it morning, and a sit on the couch with a beer kind of evening, try yoga before and after riding to slow down, relax, and strengthen your body’s muscles. Drink plenty of water and reward yourself with a beer afterwards.
We’ve all had the same conversation too many times, it’s an unnecessary downer. Furthermore, it’s a bandwagon rant. The same people who have been known to skip powder days to nurse a hangover are now “devastated” about the lack of snow. Why is it so trendy to complain? Instead of reiterating the obvious, here are a few more productive and positive ways to deal with the drought.
Open mic and poetry slam nights, community service and political forums are not high on a freshman’s extra curricular list at Sierra Nevada College. Freshman students prefer day hikes, rock climbing, whitewater rafting and trips to San Francisco.
Last March, I met with both Katie Zanto and Rosie Hackett to discuss some ideas I had for my service learning project. I figured I would do something with ski coaching, or volunteering for an outdoor leadership program. Both Katie the Interdisciplinary Studies chair, and Rosie, Outdoor Adventure Leadership program director, kindly and respectfully shut me down.
Through internships and service learning, Sierra Nevada College students are involved in a local nonprofit organization called Sustainable Tahoe, whose goal is to shift Tahoe’s outdated tourism model to one that connects visitors with Lake Tahoe and inspires a passion to interact with the lake in a sustainable way.
Wilderness Orientation, which took place from Aug. 7 -11, in Desolation Wilderness, brought 18 incoming freshman together, divided into two groups, for a backpacking trip that would serve as a tool for peer connections prior to Sierra Nevada College’s orientation week.