Monthly Archives: May 2013

BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag

Plastic bags don’t seem like much, but they pollute and do quite some damage to our environment when they slip out of our possession. They pollute waterways and can kill wildlife.
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There are communities around the nation that are doing away with plastic bags. South Lake Tahoe is trying to do the same by encouraging the city council of South Lake Tahoe to adopt the Bring-Your-Own-Bag Ordinance on June 11th.

Plastic bags end up everywhere in our environment. I was hiking along the Tahoe Rim Trail and found some grocery store plastic bags that had been caught in the bushes. They can easily end up in storm draims that lead to the lake. Did you know that the average plastic bag is only used for 12 minutes. There are 19 million plastic bags used in California annually. Plastic does not biodegrade and has entangled or killed many different types of animals.

Click here to sign the petition. You are more than welcome to attend the city council meeting on June 11th to support the ordinance. If you are unable to attend, you are encouraged to write a letter to the South Lake Tahoe City Council. You can also help by bringing your own bags to shop, eat lunch, and do other things. Canvas and other material bags are becoming popular for these uses.

Let’s rally behind this and show the city council that we care about our environment, so they should too! For more information, click here. What are your feelings on this? Please share!

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Outdoor Activity – Golf!

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Golf is a sport that’s increasing in popularity and is also a great way to get outside and see the natural beauty around us. I didn’t grow up golfing, but I got into it in high school. Golf is one of the most challenging sports out there because it requires excellent muscle memory as well as mental strength and endurance. The greatest golfers can start out playing great and end up totally messing up their round because of the mental aspect of the game.

The nice thing about the game of golf is that if you are beginning there is minimal equipment needed. Golf clubs and some nicer clothes are all you need. The cost of a round of golf can be pricey, but if you take advantage of “twilight hours” it can be affordable. Used golf clubs can be found at thrift stores, used sports equipment stores, and on Craigslist.

There are some great courses in the Reno Tahoe area that offer easier and more challenging courses. Carson Valley golf course in south Gardnerville is a great course to learn on. It is a little less challenging and it is also cheaper. Edgewood in South Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful courses. It is located along the lake shore for part of the course. Edgewood is more challenging and also more expensive, but the beauty of the lake is definitely worth it. Genoa lakes is my favorite golf course. I worked there for 2 summers so I am a little bias but in my honest opinion it offers everything. There are beautiful views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and Carson Valley. The course is also challenging and the price is competitive.

If you are not a golfer I challenge to go and play once. It is a great sport to learn and is a lot of fun! You may get frustrated if you aren’t playing well but just remember that’s its just a sport and you’re out there to have fun. I bet that when you are having fun is when you’ll play your best. Where is your favorite course? If you don’t have a favorite, then why do you love golf? Please share!
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Memorial Day Weekend

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Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! Memorial Day is usually known as the kickoff weekend to summer. With this transition there comes tons of festivals, barbecues, weekend trips and ways to celebrate Memorial Day and the three day weekend.

If you are in to music, the strawberry music festival is the place to be. It is located in Yosemite national park, one of the most beautiful parks in the country. My girlfriend is a regular to the festival and says “it is a great time listening to original bluegrass music in the beautiful outdoors.” The festival runs through the weekend until Monday.

There are plenty of opportunities to camp and if you don’t have information check out my blog on campgrounds in the Reno Tahoe area. People love breaking out the tents, RV’s, and camp gear during this weekend. I usually always try to camp or take advantage of this beautiful time of season by being outside on Memorial Day weekend.

Another option is to hang in Reno and do local things. There is a Black Rock rendezvous happening throughout the weekend where people can get more information on the black rock desert, trails, conservation and other topics. It is free and families are welcome! The event starts Saturday at the main campground on the black rock playa.

John Ascuaga’s Nugget is hosting a country music festival with Dwight Yokam as the main attraction! Virginia City will be hosting its annual parade at noon on Saturday.

Wild Island water park will be open this Memorial Day weekend and there are home baseball games to go to for the Reno Aces.

There is plenty to do, and these are just a few ideas to get your weekend started out right. I hope that whatever you do it is fun, and you truly enjoy your time doing it. If you need some more ideas, the Reno Tahoe website has some activities. Come back here and share what you ended up doing! Also, don’t forget to thank our veterans and remember the loved ones who serve and have served our beautiful country.

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Outdoor Activity – Trail Running

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Have you ever headed out to a nearby trail and ran? If you haven’t, I’ll paint a picture of my experience trail running. I usually like to run on trails in the mountains. I’ll pick one and jump in my car and drive. Once I get there, I lace up my shoes and plug in my music.

I enjoy trails that zig and zag through tall pine trees. You run through them and feel the coolness in the air from the elevation and the shade of the trees. My ideal trail run goes up and down in elevation as it zips through the forest. Eventually, my favorite trails end at a beautiful destination, such as a mountain lake, stream, or overlook of a valley. That’s why I’m out there, to enjoy the beauty. That why I work so hard to get there, because it is worth it.

In the Reno/Tahoe area, my favorite places to run are along the Tahoe Rim Trail. This trail goes all the way around the lake, and offers some of the best views of not only Lake Tahoe, but the valleys and areas on the other side of the mountain range that it follows.

I prefer trail running to street running because trail running usually offers more difficult terrain. There are more obstacles you have to look out for, always keeping your mind focused. It is also enjoyable for me to get out and get away from the city or places where lots of people are. It’s a great way for me to get out by myself and really have some good thinking time.

If you don’t trail run, I highly suggest you try it out! You can start hiking if you are more comfortable with that, it is a great way to see beautiful areas as well! What is your favorite trail run and why do you like it?

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Keep Tahoe Blue! from invasive species.

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As the weather warms up people start thinking about hitting the water. As temperatures get into the 80’s and higher, it feels so good to take a refreshing dip in the river, lake, or other body of water that is near. People also begin to prep their watercraft for sailing, boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Science and technology are allowing us to understand the effect that invasive species are having on bodies of water that aren’t natural homes to them.

Local groups and organizations are doing everything they can to ensure the beauty of the bodies of water in our area. They want them to remain as close to their original state as possible. This is done by keeping invasive, or non-natural fish and plants out of lakes and streams.

This June, there will be a couple of Lake Tahoe agencies that are going to be kicking off a new volunteer effort called “Eyes on the Lake.” Water recreationists of all types and variety will be identifying and reporting on the locations of aquatic invasive plant species that threaten Lake Tahoe. There are tons of water masses in the Sierra Nevadas and The League to Save Lake Tahoe is working with this effort to invite the public to help locate infestations while at the lake for a day.

Keep Tahoe Blue will be leading this effort with help from the Tahoe Resource Conservation District and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, along with a few other organizations that comprise the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program.

The invasive species that will be targeted are Eurasian watermilfoil and curlyleaf pondweed. Click the links to see what each looks like. Small infestations of these plants are easier to control and removal is easy and inexpensive.

To learn more there will be formal instruction in the classroom and the field. The sessions are scheduled from mid to late June to educate recreationists how to identify these invasive plants. Finalized dates will be posted here.

Have you seen these plants around? Or do you think this is something you can get on board with? Post here!

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Take a Picture, It Will Last Longer!

How many of you have sat staring at a landscape, or sunset, or award show and said to yourself “I’m going to remember this forever!” Think back on that moment, were you able to remember every detail of that moment that made it so special in the first place?

I’ve been filming and compiling all the photos I have regarding my value. I can tell you that without these photos and videos I would not remember things like I had the first time I experienced them.

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At first I didn’t understand why so many people had go pros. It’s a tiny camera that you can use to film whatever you are doing. I thought that only cool, professional people were qualified to use them, people who were doing backflips and things of that nature. Who would want to watch themselves only go down a groomed ski run?

But then I tried it. I am by no means a professional but I realized after watching my shots that not only do I enjoy watching myself do things but I was completely reliving that joy and experience. I felt like I was doing the action all over again. I would recommend everyone try it if you have the opportunity.

I think it is important that everyone remember what they love. Our minds know what they love, but a lot of times they can’t paint the same picture the way we see it after the fact. I have relived so many memories from looking at the photos for this assignment. Take pictures and videos to remember these things years from now. That way, years from now when you can’t remember everything about that sunrise you watched with your girlfriend or boyfriend, a picture will remind you.

Outdoor Activity – Beach Day!

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Now that we are really getting into some heat in Reno and Tahoe there are not as many cool weather or winter activities. The ski season is just about over, as backcountry stashes are melting away, but there is so much to do in the summer that it isn’t bad news! The warm temperatures of course give us the opportunity to ride bikes, hike, run, and camp, but there is another activity that hot weather allows us to do.

Ever since we could drive my friends and I would do beach days as much as possible. We loved driving up on the weekends and laying out in the sun, playing volleyball, swimming, and just being around our friends outside. The beach is a perfect place to do all these things.

When it gets a little too hot for comfort you run down to the water, and dive in to the freezing lake. Then you jump up because the cold water has taken your breath away and run back to the shore, refreshed and feeling good. Our group of friends would stay up at Tahoe all day until it started getting dark. Then we’d come home, eat dinner, wake up and do it again the next day.

When we were seniors in high school we had “early outs” so we would drive up to Zephyr Cove Beach during the week since it was 25 minutes away and hang out for the afternoon. We’d play doubles volleyball until the sun set and then stop for food on the way home. These are some of my favorite memories with my friends and being outside.

I encourage you to find a local beach and make some memories. Or I challenge you to find a new spot you haven’t explored yet. Just last weekend I was able to go to a different, new beach in Tahoe with a group of friends. The weather was perfect, it was about 80 degrees and felt hot since it hasn’t been that warm yet this season. We played bocci ball, frisbee, hung out and just relaxed. Not to mention, we were up in Tahoe, in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Could we be luckier?

The water was freezing! There is still some snowmelt running into the lake so it was about 57 degrees. I don’t think I’ve felt the lake that cold in a LONG time. My girlfriend, Johanna wanted to jump off the dock so we went out there as a group. I jumped in, felt my breath leave me, and my muscles go numb as I paddled back toward the surface. I had just gotten out when she said “your shorts aren’t even wet!” and pushed me back in again. Double the freezing, but it was totally worth it because I have memories that will last forever and couldn’t imagine spending a day any other way.

Get out there and share your favorite spots to hit the beach in the Reno/Tahoe area!

Here’s a list of beaches to get you started. Here are some photos of beaches in Lake Tahoe if you need a little more motivation.

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