Category Archives: Lake Tahoe

Go Explore Someone Else’s Backyard!

Now that summer is here and school is calm I have had a lot more time to explore. I’ve explored areas of Reno and Tahoe that I hadn’t been to, and I’ve explored activities that I hadn’t done yet (see blog on the RTO here). What I have enjoyed exploring the most though are areas that aren’t familiar to me, other people’s backyards.

Ok, so not other people’s backyards in a literal sense, but other places in this Reno/Tahoe area and country that I haven’t explored yet. I’ve gone down to Southern California in the last week exploring hot springs, beaches and other areas. First, we camped at a natural hot spring in Bishop, California.

The campground was exactly what we needed in order to car camp one night and get on the road down to Southern California the next day. We explored dirt roads and trails outside of the campground and found a little natural made hot spring pool. It was a neat and kind of gross experience. We were sitting in the hot spring enjoying a couple of beers when we noticed little red worms crawling all over us, so we were quick to finish our drinks and get out of there. However, I wouldn’t trade the experience exploring the area with my girlfriend, and we got to see the full moon rising over the red mountains in the area, it was pretty amazing.

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The camping trip was totally spur the moment, we had decided the night before to stop halfway through the drive and camp outside Bishop. This trip, that was whipped up in no time turned out to be quite the experience. It reminds me that it’s not always the destination that matters but the adventure along the way. Don’t get me wrong, the destination was absolutely perfect, we went to Huntington Beach and eventually Disneyland. The adventure to get there though was memorable as well.

Go explore a place you have yet to experience, come back here and tell me how it was!

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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 – Camping!

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Do you remember camping when you were younger? My family loved to camp when I was growing up. We would pack up everything: bikes, dogs, kayaks, canoes, sleeping bags, food, all the kids and pile in our van. I loved camping because we usually ate better meals camping than we would during the week at home.

Me, my brother and sister would hop on our bikes and race around the campground for hours until my parents would tell at us to come for dinner, then we’d do one more lap. Those were the good ol’ days. Looking back I didn’t appreciate camping as much as I should’ve. But something about getting older is you get to look back, reflect, and learn to appreciate the good moments as they come since life only gets more busy as we get older.

There are literally hundreds of options for camping in the Reno/Tahoe area. And that’s not even counting backpacking camping options.

If you don’t want to be in the middle of the tourism camping that takes place in Tahoe during the summer I would recommend Frenchman’s or Stampede reservoirs. They are on highway 80 west heading towards Truckee. Both are quieter campgrounds with all the activities you could ask for. You can hike, boat, swim, bike, wakeboard, bring dogs and even ATV’s.

If you want beautiful Tahoe closer to your campground I would recommend Fallen Leaf Lake in south shore. This location offers access to south Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Lake, Angora Lake, the hiking trail to Mt. Tallac and more!

To get more information on local campgrounds in the Reno/Tahoe area visit this link. To reserve a spot at one of these campgrounds click here!

So get out there, reserve a campground and make some memories. I promise you will not regret it. Since I have gotten older and go camping with my parents less I go with my friends. I’m not nearly as prepared each time, I’ll forget silverware or some item needed but we always have fun and make memories along the way! What are your favorite camping memories?

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Outdoor Activity #3 – Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is an activity that is perfect for the Reno/Tahoe area. It is an awesome way to get away from the city streets and explore the dirt trails that are everywhere in Northern Nevada.  There are great rides just north of Reno, south, and in between here and Tahoe.

I’m very thankful that growing up my dad always had a mountain bike for me. He taught my brother, my sister, and me how to ride and one of my favorite things to do today is to go on rides with him. Riding with a group of friends is tons of fun, and memories will for sure be made. It is also nice to go out on your own and either clear your mind or go as fast or slow as you want.

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Today I’m going to share with you some basics of mountain biking, some tips, and some great rides in the area.

The Basics

The number one basic of mountain biking is safety.  Just because dirt is softer than pavement doesn’t mean you don’t need to be safe. I have experienced worse injuries mountain biking than I ever have road biking.  Your helmet is your best friend, and needs to fit right.  Some people don’t like them, but I would recommend gloves for anyone starting out. Your hands do get sore, and if you were to crash gloves provide key protection between you and little rocks that like to get lodged in hands.

Next, make sure that your bike fits you properly.  You want to be able to stand over the top tube and have both feet flat on the ground without the bar up in your business. If you were to have to jump off the bike or put your feet down immediately you want to make sure that you have enough clearance there.

Some Tips

It’s also important to have your seat at the correct height. You want to maximize your effort on the bike. If your seat is too high or too low while pedaling you won’t be getting the most out of your efforts. A good height is one where your legs are almost straight when making a full rotation while pedaling.

It’s a good idea to understand how the bike shifts before your first ride. I can tell you from experience when I first started riding that if you don’t understand how to shift properly you will wear yourself out fast. Check out this video on how to shift correctly.

Rides in Our Area

One great thing about Nevada being mostly desert is that there are so many trails everywhere to explore! There are also tons of rides up in Tahoe, especially around parts of the Tahoe Rim Trail. If you want to stay in Reno, Keystone Canyon and Galena are great places to ride. In Keystone Canyon, there are big loops to do, lots of different options, and a downhill course made by the UNR Cycling Club.  It offers easy to difficult terrain and is a great option if you work in Reno and wish to go out for a couple hours after work. Galena is in south Reno, scattered in the forest below Mt. Rose. There are lots of downhill trails and the area is less crowded than Keystone Canyon would be on a weekday.

Tahoe is my favorite place to mountain bike.  The Tahoe Rim Trail offers designated days for bikers to ride the trail and has the best views. There is also a ride called “The Bench” which starts at the top of Kingsbury in South Lake Tahoe and goes north towards Spooner Summit above Carson. This ride is difficult and I would recommend it for intermediate to advanced riding levels.

Check out Stephen’s blog about another great ride in the area, Corral Loop Trail.

Now that you’ve got the basics, some tips and some rides in your head, the weather is shaping up for mountain biking, get out there and go do it! If I missed one of your favorite rides, please share here!

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Have you ever not been able to do something you love? Was it because of an injury? You didn’t have enough time in the day? Or maybe someone convinced you to do something else? I’m sure we’ve all fallen under one of these categories.

The day before yesterday I had surgery because my left labrum was torn from dislocating my shoulder several times. My recovery time is 3-5 months, and in this time I won’t be able to do many of the outdoor activities that I love. I haven’t gone stir crazy yet but I’m not exactly the personality that is able to sit on the couch and hang out for long periods of time. I find a release, motivation and energy from the joy I get by running, biking, working out and other activities.

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Before I went in for surgery I went skiing and snowboarding three days in a row. It was perfect spring conditions. We went to Squaw Valley, Sugarbowl, and Mt. Rose. I got to ski with friends and family each day. I enjoyed doing something I love with awesome people, to me it can’t get much better than that.

Each day I stopped at the top of the mountain and took time to reflect. I thanked God for the beautiful creation before me. I was thankful for the time I was given to do the things I love. Also, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m thankful I had surgery and that it went well, even though I’ll be out for some time.

My girlfriend does a good job of reminding me to think about the long term. As hard as I want to go and do stuff now, if I don’t stop to take care of my body now then it won’t last long term.  I do want to ski until I’m 80, bike the rest of my life, and be able to rock climb again. In order to do those things I must take time to rest my body and take good care of it.

This is the same way I’ve learned to think about the environment I love. If we aren’t caring for it now how is it going to last long term? We need to take the time to make sure that our environment is healthy so that it stays beautiful in the long term.

This is why I asked if you are unable to do the things you love. Are you making excuses? I know when I truly am not grateful for my ability to do the things I love is usually when I don’t end up doing them. You have to be true to yourself and what you believe in. Don’t make excuses because there are those out there who physically can’t do the things they love who would love to be in your shoes.

What’s preventing you from doing the things you love?

Now get out there and do those things!