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July 28, 2016

Lake Tahoe, Hidden Beach


While out in California on a business trip, I made the most of my one free day by skydiving, then making my way to Lake Tahoe to explore a beach. I asked my Uber driver for advice on his favorite beaches and activities to do around town and he recommended I stop at Hidden Beach. So, I made that my destination and was dropped off at the Scenic Overlook (right off Highway 28) in Incline Village to begin my hike to Hidden Beach. It was a mile hike along the coast of Lake Tahoe filled with the most beautiful views and heights to overlook the blues and greens of the crystal clear lake water.

Once I made my way to the beach I kicked my shoes off to walk in the sand and dip my toes in the water. Being one of the only people on the beach, I chose to remove my shorts and tank, strip down to my skivvies and took a dip in a little pool surrounded by tons of rocks. Swimming through the crystal clear waters with mountains all around me was the most beautiful and peaceful thing I had done.

What a day! It feels so good to feel alive!

Lake Tahoe is unbelievable, I will find a way to visit again, soon!

Check out the images from my hike and my views at Hidden Beach!
Music by: Dustin Lee

July 27, 2016

Free Falling






Photo from Skydive TruckeeTahoe

With my feet dangling out of the plane, I hear Ellis yell, “Here we go!” He throws his body out of the plane with me attached; I grab on to my harness as tight as possible, arch my back, lift my chin and squeezed my knees and ankles together – I'm free falling at 10,000 feet.

I expected my stomach to rise to my throat – G-Force – the way it does on a roller coaster, but not one side effect kicked in.  Somehow I remained completely calm and was able to take it all in. Overlooking Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe and the Sierra’s around me, I enjoyed the landscape and beauty from a whole new perspective.

Ellis tapped my shoulders twice, which was my cue to open my arm and fly. With our arms out as wide as possible, “woos” echoing from each other and smiles across our faces, I was skydiving over one of the most beautiful places in the US.

When the parachute was pulled, everything turned silent. It was silence the way I had never experienced before and something unexpected. The fall felt like 15 minutes, from the calmness and observation I had been experiencing, hard to believe it was only about 90 seconds. As we got closer to the ground, Ellis let me take hold of the parachute and steer us down a bit. Ellis' feet touched first as we made a running landing. It was perfect, the whole experience was perfect. 

I can officially cross skydiving off my bucket list. Thank you Ellis and Skydive Truckee Tahoe for making my first Skydive experience amazing. One jump in and I am addicted. Planning my next skydiving trip with Ken and my brother - Skydive Utah, here we come! :)

July 24, 2016

Bikepacking 101


Bikepacking can be very intimidating. When you start looking at packing, planning, gear, weight, weather, etc. all these factors can make bikepacking feel like a daunting endeavor and can steer many away. I want to change this for you get you excited for your first or next bikepacking adventure.

It is true that the gear you pack and how you pack your bags will create the whole experience. With help from many experienced bikepackers and remembering my failures from my first bikepacking trip, I feel like I nailed this down and would love to share with you my setup. Let's dive in!

Bag Basics:
Refer to intro photo, from left to right:
Seatpost Bag: Revelate Designs, Viscacha, 6-14 L volume
Top Tube Bag: Jandd, Frame Bag, 188 cu in
Handle Bar Bag: Revelate Designs, Sweetroll, 800 cu in


Sleeping Basics:

From left to right:
Sleeping Bag: Big Agnes Pitchpine UL 45, with bag 1 lb. 4 oz.
Tent: NEMO Gogo LE, 2 lbs. 9 oz - Best tent! No poles, no shenanigans
Sleeping Pad: Them-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker, 1 lb. 15 oz. 

Packing Basics:

What to pack and where:
Found this cheater guide on Instagram and I stick to it throughly. If there was a formula for Bikepackng, this would be it. 

I chose not to use panniers because I hate feeling all the weight in the back of my bike. Personally, panniers feel like they pull me down. This is a personal opinion only, so please take it with a grain of salt.

To review gear, opinions, adventures and all the techie things that come with bikepacking, please reference my bikepacking coach / friend, David Markman's blog, www.bikepackingdave.wordpress.com

July 17, 2016

Franconia Sculpture Park

Welcome to Sensory Overload 

Colors, textures, chaos! This is Franconia Sculpture Park - a 43 acre, outdoor sculpture garden in the St. Croix River Valley, filled with the most unique and visually intriguing art. Unlike most stuffy sculpture gardens that force you walk through an organized path, admiring the art around you; Franconia was an open and interactive park for you to explore, climb, play and explore your senses. With rotating sculptures and artists, the park stays fresh, new and interesting. I look forward to visiting the park again soon to explore and see what's new.









July 16, 2016

Cascade Falls, Wisconsin

Since this is my first summer in Minnesota, I am doing my best to get out and explore my new state. When I left the house this morning, it was my plan to drive out of the city and to Taylors Falls for an afternoon of hiking and photographing waterfalls. Perhaps, I should have done more research because when I arrived to Taylors Falls and asked around, I learned the falls were over the St. Croix river and in Osceola, WI. So, I walked around the town, grabbed a bite to eat and jumped back in the car to make my way to Osceola.

When I entered downtown Osceola, I quickly found the stairway that leads you to the falls and made my way down. The waterfall was simple but beautiful. I tried to hike to the St. Croix river for further exploration but with the heavy amounts of rain over the past week, the river had flooded bring my hike to a halt. My time here was short and sweet but I am happy to have made my way into Wisconsin to see the Cascade Falls.