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Summer Love

10 Aug

When I first made the decision to attend school at UNR it was solely because of the amount of snowboarding I could do.  Growing up, snowboarding has been a huge passion of mine, but living in the bay area an having weekends always busy with sports limited my number of days on the mountain.  I felt lucky to get a couple weekend trips up to the mountains, but always wanted more.  My first couple years following high-school were spent at a few different colleges trying to find the “right fit” and once it became clear to me that snowboarding’s my real passion, I figured I needed to live in a place where I could fulfill that.  I have had the pleasure of living in Reno for almost two years I’ve been able to spend the past two winters up here and have taken full advantage of  the amount of snowboarding offered.  Aside from the loving ever minute of the winter, I have recently found a new love in Tahoe during the summer months.

I’ve always enjoyed Tahoe during the summer months, but have never spent more than a few days up here on weekend getaways.  I spent last summer down in the bay area working, so I was unable to gain the real Reno/Tahoe summer experience.  However, this summer I’ve been fortunate enough to spend my entire summer in Reno/Tahoe and I’ve enjoyed every second of it.  I always hear people  saying they moved to tahoe for the winters and ended up falling in love with summers, and I can say I fully understand where they’re coming from.  Dont get me  wrong, snowboarding is still my true love, but I’ve recently learned how great summers are up here.  With everything from floating the Truckee to flying down single tracks on my mountain bike, I must admit this has been one awesome summer.  One great I believe there is so much offered in this amazing area and it seems like every time I embark on a new adventure it opens me up to a whole new world of new places and things to discover.

Biking the Emigrant trail

9 Aug

The Emigrant trail is a great intermediate ride off of highway 89 in Truckee that takes you out to Stampede Reservoir.  Its a 20 mile out and back trail that offers a wide range of terrain.  I just rode this trail for the first time and was extremely pleased with it.  I was warned this trail gets crowded on the weekends and after riding it, I think crowded is an understatement. Its clear this is one of the areas most popular rides.  The ride took around three hours in total and that’s with plenty of water breaks.

The trail itself is a fairly mellow single track and would be enjoyed by anyone from novice to well experienced riders.  The trail start off running right next to Prosser Creek and from there turns up and crosses a dirt road.  From there its pretty simple, just follow the single-track all the way to Stampede Reservoir. Throughout these 9 miles you will cross a number of dirt roads, but the main crossings are marked and the way across the minor ones are pretty obvious. The whole trail is a single track that’s constantly changing.  It feels as if your peddling the whole ride and and rarely feels like there’s a section where you get to ease off.  The trail begins at 5700 ft and climbs to Stampede Reservoir at 6100 ft.  The setting is high desert/mountain forest where the vegetation ranges from sagebrush to Jeffery pines to White Fir.

My recommendation for any one doing the trail is to bring LOTS of water and a few snacks if you can back them.  Also, if you think you will want to swim once you get to the reservoir, pack a swimsuit.  This was something I did not do, but regretted as soon as I saw the shimmering blue water.  Another great perk about this trail is it is one of the first trails to shed the winter snow, so it also makes a good early season warm-up.   This trail is great for anyone looking for a long enjoyable ride with a great break at Stampede Reservoir.

Directions: As you drive to the trailhead on CA-89, you will pass the Donner Encampment historical site. You can ride from the historical site parking area, but the most popular trailhead is just past the Prosser Creek bridge on CA-89, north of Truckee. If you reach Hobart Mills Road, you’ve gone too far.

Best Towns to Live In

7 Aug

In the most recent issue of Outside Magazine, they posted an article on the 25 best towns to live in if your an outdoor enthusiast.  The reviews were based on the community, access to the outdoors, affordable homes, and solid jobs while providing the best cycling, paddling, running, surfing, skiing etc.   I thought this was a interesting article and found some of the towns they picked to be a bit of a shock.  The place that stood out to me the most and me realize how lucky I am, was Reno, NV.  Being a resident of this great town for nearly 2 years it has become apparent to me I’ve got it pretty good.  The category Reno made it for was the part that came as a bit of a shock to me, but needless to say it still made the list. Reno won the category “Best for Whitewater”.

The article describes how Reno still conjures images of cowboys/gambling and indeed you can find that, but there is also so much more.   In the past 20 years, investors have sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into the downtown with the building of the new ballpark as well as revamping the neglected Truckee river with parks and performing art centers.  Another great reason for living here is that firms ranging from techy (Microsoft and AT&T) to outdoorsy (Patagonia and Sportif) all have offices here.  This gives the young and educated populace even more reason to stay and with the housing market down a whopping 52 perent since 2006, how could you say no.

As far as the paddling, reno offers 11 pool drops with year-round flow, and is in a prime location right in the heart of downtown. Reno also offers one of the countries best whitewater parks as well as some of the sweetest western white-water from class V on the south Silver Creek to fun floats on the Truckee.

Aside from the rafting, Reno offers so many fun things right in its own backyard.  There’s not many places where you can ski and mountain bike in the same day and the great thing is, people are taking advantage of it all over.  Overall the poeople in Reno are extremely active and take full advantage of the great surroundings.  It makes it easy to get out and SWEAT ONECE A DAY.

Photo courtesy of: http://activerain.com/blogsview/1714586/a-free-place-to-keep-cool-this-summer-in-reno-nevada-rollin-on-the-river

The Perfect Breakfast

6 Aug

By now, everyone should know that the key to maximizing all-day energy and alertness starts when you get up. “Eating breakfast is very important for the brain and the body first thing in the morning”, said registered dietitian Gail Frank, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “Breakfast skippers often feel tired, restless or irritable in the morning.”  Breakfast is the first chance the body has to recharge its gluclose levels, after eight to 12 hours, which can help prevent your hunger and prevent binge easting later in the day. Breakfast is also very important for weight loss and weight management because you ‘break the fast’ of not eating for the past eight to 12 hours.

Diet research tells us that breakfast should still be a full quarter of your daily caloric intake (approximately 625 calories for most men) and full of slow-digesting carbs such as oats, which provide sustained energy until lunchtime, as well as proteins from foods like yogurt and  nuts and fiber from fruits and vegetables, both of which help your stomach feel full and provide the added nutrients your body needs.  Dont worry, breakfast doesn’t need to be boring or become a chore.  There are still plenty of sweets to eat, some fast foods are even acceptable, and yes, eggs remain on the menu.

Below im going to show the recipe on how to build a better breakfast and this should be your go-to almost everyday.

Cook Oatmeal by combinging 1 cup of oats with 1-3/4 cups of water or milk and microwaving until thickened for two and a half to three munites.

Add Fruit for fiber, vitamin C, and cancer-fighting antioxidants.  Studies have been linked that bioactive compounds found in blueberries can help improve memory function.

Get Your Protein– This is crucial for feeling full until lunch.Top your oatmeal with low-fat yogurt or dried milk.

For Flavor and an Energy Boost add as dash of cinnamon, which is linked to efficient transport of glucose into muscle cells

A handful of Walnuts or a spoonful of flax-seeds provide healthy omeaga-3s

Hiking the Lower Lola Montez Lake Trail

6 Aug

A couple weekends ago I had the pleasure of embarking on a last minute hike.  I’ve always enjoyed hiking in Tahoe and sadly this was only my third for the summer. My roommates mom was in Tahoe for the weekend and we had met up with her to float the Truckee.  The weather wasn’t the best for floating so we pondered other fun outdoorsy things we coule do.  Chris, (my roommate) mentioned he had hiked a really fun trail just up the road from where she was staying.  We all agreed that this sounded like a fun hike and considering we’re all outdoor enthusiast, we wer all in.  We piled in her car and headed a few miles up highway 80 to the soda springs exit.  Chris was the only one knew what we were in for, so his mom and I were pretty anxious.

The trail starts with a pretty mellow descend down a fire road.  This goes on for about a mile and from there, its pretty much all up hill.  The next two miles are on a fairly narrow path that is filled with mountain bikers flying down, so keep your eye open. The trail is pretty easy to follow due to signs at every point that could be confusing.  Keep hiking and once you reach a geogous open meadow, take a deep breath knowing your close and enjoy your beautful surroundings.  Keep hiking for another five minutes and before you know you will be standing infront of the gergous Lower Lola Montez Lake.  There are a few different spots around the lake where you can sit, enjoy the views, and if you were smart enough to pack food, you can enjoy that to.  We didn’t go swimming, but there were people in the water making it look extremely appealing.  After about a half hour spent at the lake we decided to trek it back.  The hike down is pretty easy and again, the signs lead you in right directions.  My advice to anyone interested in the trail is to pack lots of water, bring food, and watch out for bikers.  Get outside and enjoy our wonderful surroundings.

Access: Take the Soda Springs exit off Interstate 80. On the north side of the freeway follow the paved road east past the fire station for three tenths mile to the parking area

Photo courtesy of: http://www.davessierrafishing.com/destinations/lolamontez.html

Keystone Canyon Trail

4 Aug

Looking for a fun trail right in Reno’s back yard?  Check out the Keystone Canyon Trail located on McCarren Ave.  This is a great trail that I started riding in the begininning of summer and have riden over a dozen times.  I start from my house, which is located right near UNR and ride and ride down to keystone Ave.  From there, its a straight shop up keystone to where the intrance to the trail is.  There’s a parking lot at the beginning of trail, where a bathroom is located. The trail begins with a pretty mellow first couple of minutes and then it’s all up hill from there.  Its about a twenty minute climb to the top of the trail with pretty rugged terrain all the way up.  Once you get to the top, it opens up and there a bunch of other trails you can connect to.  If you decide to head down from their, drop your seat and hold on.  Its a pretty fun downhill with some good bump sections.  The total time to complete the trail should take around thirty minutes.  Hikers are often on the trail too, so  if you decide to hike, just make sure to keep your eyes open for out of control bikers flying down.  Overall this trail is mainly uphill without too many steep climbs and nothing on the trail is to serious.  Its great for beginners and intermediates and will help you become a stronger rider no matter what your abilities are.  Get out, sweat, and have fun!

Directions to trail:   Buisness 395 north to McCarren. West on McCarren untill Keystone Ave, parking on north side on road.

SWEAT ONCE A DAY

30 Jul

Sweat Once  A Day is a manifesto quote that I first heard while in the athletic store, LuLuLemon and is something that I try and practice daily.  This was a challenge they were putting on for the month and one I decided to to take on for a lifestyle.  What it means is exactly what you think.  Get moving, get your hear rate up, and SWEAT at least once a day!  By aiming to do this daily, it not only keeps you healthy, but allows you to find new interesting ways to get out, stay active and SWEAT!

Sweating is a good thing for the body and has many important benefits. Sweating is a natural mechanism the body uses to cleanse and  remove harmful toxins and parasites that build up in your body by secreting them through your pores.  Now im not saying that everyone needs to be traithalates(if you are, more power to you), but I am saying that by doing some sort of physical activity daily, is extremely good for your overall health.  Weather your getting outside for a bike ride, going for a swim in the lake, or simply taking the dog for a run, its extremely important to get moving and do something that makes you SWEAT ONCE A DAY.