Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hiking Tahoe :: Horsetail Falls

Nick Right before we were about to enter desolation wilderness.

Just one of the small falls off of Horsetail. 
It's right pass the trailhead

Horsetail Falls - This is what you would see from Hwy 50.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hiking Tahoe :: It's all about the Waterfalls

The last few days have been beautiful in South Lake. Since the snow pack has been melting Nick and I knew it was the perfect time for a few waterfall hikes. The list included - - Cascade Falls, Eagle Falls, and Fallen Leaf Lake. All super easy and fast. We managed to see three falls in about 3 hours. 

Cascade Falls took a while to hike back to as it's roughly 1.5 miles to the falls from the trailhead. We forgot that it was Saturday and were reminded of this as the trail started to become crowded as we hiked out. If you must hike on Saturday the best time is in the morning, as it's not typically crowded on the trails.

At the trailhead ready to go.

From the top of Cascade Falls: Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe

Both  Eagle Falls and the waterfalls at Fallen Leaf Lake are a quick 5-10 minute walk. What's nice about Eagle Falls is that if you want to keep hiking you can go all the way back to Eagle Lake. 

Eagle Lake is a relatively easy/moderate hike I tend to do at least once a year. However, today we just went out to the waterfall and back.

Eagle Falls

The Waterfall at Fallen Leaf Lake

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Arizona Day 4: The last leg

It was a long day, but we finally made it back to Tahoe...8 hours later. We took hwy 95 as long as we could. 
Things I noticed along the way: 

Ghost Towns: 5
Hours before any radio stations came in: 7
Starbucks: 0
McDonald's: 10
Hotels: 3
Lakes: 2
Cows: 20
Cop running down the Highway: 1
Tire blowout: 1
Hours Nick drove: 8
Hours I drove: 0

Stay tune for adventures from Central America.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Arizona Day 3: Grand Canyon & Hoover Dam

The morning after the wedding we decided it was time to start making our way back to Tahoe. The plan was to drive as far Northwest as we could before there wasn't any hotel options left. We made it to the La Quinta Inn in North Vegas.

Before heading out of town we met up with Kevin and Angela, Nick’s friends from San Diego,  for breakfast at the Red Rock Cafe'. Again, I ordered the omelet and finished the entire thing. We scored that morning as the mimosas were only $.99! After our goodbye's it was time to hit the open stop the Grand Canyon.

As a native Californian I had never been to the Grand Canyon however it has been on the list for sometime now. Again it is something that you have to see to believe. We walked along the rim, took a few pictures, geeked out at the visitor’s center and hit the road. I would have loved to  hike the Grand Canyon, but that will have to be another trip.

It might seem as though we were on the road a lot, well that’s because we were.  After the Grand Canyon we drove for miles that seemed to go no where fast. There really wasn’t anything out there but a few ghost towns and sage brush. Hours later we finally made it to the Hoover Dam. It's hard to believe in the 1930's it only took them 4 years to complete the dam. Amazing! We were even able to witness the construction of the new bridge. The bridge will be an alternate route to driving over the Hoover Dam. I made Nick stop for a photo op since again I had never seen the Hoover Dam.


This marks the years it took to build the Dam.


Me in front of the dam.


The new bridge..almost there!

Once again we were on the road! Next stop a hotel....

RedRock Cafe
100 Verde Valley School Rd
Ste. 107
Sedona, AZ 86351

Arizona Day 2: Sedona

Since the wedding was at the Sedona Golf Course we decided to spend the day hiking in Sedona. Sedona is located in Arizona's high desert under the towering southwestern rim of the vast Colorado Plateau. The town is as beautiful as the massive red rocks surrounding it.

Red rock county in front of "Courthouse Butte"

Nick looking at the Map the day before
 figuring out what hike to take me on.

With the wedding not until 5pm Nick and I were able to go on a short hike during the day. Nick went to NAU making him very familiar with the area.  First stop for the day was Cafe' Jose for a hearty breakfast. Some how I managed to finish my entire omelet, which was a first for me. After breakfast we made our way out to Cathedral Rock only to find out they were paving the road out to the trailhead. After debating where to go we both agreed on Devil’s BridgeDevils Bridge is a natural arch made out of sandstone. For more hikes in Sedona click here.

Me at the trial head.

The hike was pretty easy about 4 miles round trip. It was exactly what we were looking for.  The views were absolutely amazing and the pictures do not service justice. We hiked on Friday making for a not so busy trail and with it being slightly overcast we couldn't have asked for a better day.

Me sitting on top on the arch.

Nick below Devil's Bridge.

Just a cool looking tree on the way to the trailhead.

After hiking and soaking in the breath taking views Nick and I decided to hit up  the local brewery, Oak Creek Brewery, for some ice cold beers. Of course I went for the Hefweizen and Nick had the Amber. After a few beers it was time to make our way back to the hotel and get ready for the wedding.

Adam and Shasta picked a beautiful location for their wedding, The Sedona Golf Course. You can see the Red Rocks for miles. I'm sure their photographer was able to capture the atmosphere much better than Nick and I.

The beautiful bride and groom. 

Nick and I at dinner

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Arizona Day 1: Montezuma's Castle

A few months ago Nick received a wedding invitation from an old college friend. When he asked me if I wanted to go I jumped at the chance. Who doesn't like weddings plus it gave me an excuse to spend some time exploring the great state of Arizona

Since Nick has so many friends still living in Arizona he headed down a week early, leaving me to fly into Phoenix. I flew in the day before the wedding giving us enough time to drive from Phoenix to Sedona, sightseeing along the way. The bachelor party was the night before which meant Nick was dragging a bit.  As we made our way up to Sedona Nick made sure to point out various plants and share his knowledge. Before I knew it we were pulling off to see Montezuma's Castle.

Montezuma's Castle

Montezuma's Castle is a National Monument, located outside of Camp Verde, AZ.  It isn’t really a castle, but houses built into the side of a cliff. Apparently they were built around 1400 A.D. and were occupied for nearly 300 years by the Hopi clan. As history has it no one knows where they went or why they left.

Montezuma's Castle (close up)

After we were done walking around the site we were back on the road. About another hour or so we were in Sedona. We checked into our hotel, walked around the shops, and had dinner at the Javelina Cantina before calling it a night. 

First pictures taken driving into Sedone, AZ.