A New Year above the Rest

Happy New Year!

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A little delayed…but better late than never?!

The past few years my friends and I have chosen to get outside for New Years Eve. Instead of the usual midnight toast, we prefer to be dancing around a fire swigging champs.

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This MUG deserves its own post! Created by my truly talented bestie Ceramics Life For Me. We hiked Whitney this year and she gifted this mug to me at Christmas – can you believe it?!

In the past, we have gone to Joshua Tree.  It is freeeezing in the desert in Winter – who knew? If you go be prepared so you don’t freeze your bunz ( like I did). The following year we did an epic road trip to the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion.  It was epically amazing and a truly special way to start the New Year.  This year we stayed a little closer to home and went to Yosemite.  The first time I went to Yosemite was in 8th grade for Science camp and have been consistently going back since. Yosemite is beautiful in every season and has activities whenever you can go. Rafting in the summer, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter, hiking, and backpacking. No matter how many times you have been, each time is a new and fun experience.

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We had planned to cross country ski to the Glacier Point Hut, but since there was no snow our trip got canceled. I still REALLY want to do that at some time but lucky for us we ended up doing something equally beautiful and grueling, Clouds Rest.

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I have thought about doing Clouds Rest before but in the summer permits can be a challenge. A lot of people do it in a day, in fact most of the reviews you will read talk about doing it in a day but my friends and I decided to do an overnight backpack which turned out to be a great idea. Still challenging…have you hiked the mist trail… glad we took two days to cover the trail.

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Jessica the most amazing navigator… how many more miles??!! ARE WE THERE YET?

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Wait… I have to get up around this? HOW?

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View of Half Dome – such a beauty and terror all rolled into one!

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Sometimes going down is just as scary as going up… Where is the trail?

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This is me at the top – insane, scary tiring but all around awesome!

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Always enjoying a summit beer!

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Little Yosemite Valley backpackers camp was pretty desolate on Jan 1 and we had the campfire to ourselves where we sipped whiskey with sweet and spicy tea … don’t knock it till you’ve tried it and Chelsea built the most epic fire!

It is amazing to be able to share these experiences with some of the most important people in my life. Thanks to them for encouraging me and waiting for me to make sure I don’t lose the trail – I am so blessed! Happy New Year and Cheers to all that 2018 brings!

 

 

Fav Things in the Bay

This past weekend I had a couple friends visit, last minute, in the middle of the week… which can be the best kind of visits… the best places are way less crowded on a Thursday!

The weather had been rainy all week but we were lucky to have sunny skies over us on the day they were visiting.

First Stop… Beauty’s Bagels! Yes, it is a bit hipstery ( whatever that means…) but it isgenuinelyy delicious and one of my favorite places in Oakland for breakfreast.

I always take people here who are visiting and they always love it. I love the Veggie bagel but this particular day I tried the fried chicken and let me tell you… it was some of the best friend chicken I have ever had.IMG_4411

After fueling up, we headed to Tenessee Valley for a hike!  This is a leisure hike that you can make more challenging or longer as you see fit for you and your group.

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Next stop! One of my ALL TIME fav mexican restaurants I have ever been to, The Sausalito Taco Shop. The crema, the micheladas, the seafood… yes PLEASE!IMG_4445

After lunch, it was time for some beer! We headed back across the Richmond Bridge for one of my fav breweries ( are you sensing a theme? Of course I would take my friends to do my favorite things! ), Fieldwork in Berkeley.

I am NEVER disappointed here and I always take home a crowler, growler or apparel! … I just love it!IMG_4447IMG_4449

Next stop, Rare Barrel… If you LOVE Sours…where have you been??? Get to The Rare Barrel. The server asked if we were on Spring Break… We took it as a compliment… life should be one long spring break!IMG_4456IMG_4454IMG_4457

After heading home to clean up we hit my neighborhood brewery, Temescal.IMG_4488IMG_4494

Love the beer garden here… dreaming of Summer already!IMG_4502IMG_4495

SO glad that these two came and visited me! It allowed me to visit my favorite places with two of the funniest people I know!

Come back anytime!IMG_4510

We then headed to one of my fav Korean spots, Bowl’d BBQIMG_4512

After that, we hit one last brewery, Woods in Uptown Oakland. Love the fire pit vibes they set up!IMG_4513IMG_4514

Additionally, if you want to dance on a Thursday night, head to Era Art Bar… always a fun time!

And… there you have it! A few of my favorite things… in the BAY!

Potato Chip Rock Hike

I am in San Deigo for the Weekend, celebrating one of my besties birthdays and we wanted to make sure to get in a little physical activity before over indulging!

You will begin the hike at Lake Poway. During the week parking is free but on weekends expect to pay to park in the lot.

We started hiking around 11 and finished at 2:30. We probably hung out on the summit for 30 to 45 minutes.

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There are trail markers all along the hike, but the mileage can be odd, sometimes it will tell you how far you have come and other times it will tell you how much further you have to go.

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When we reached the summit we were pretty dang tired… the hike is about 90% uphill and in full sun. We were excited to chill at the top and enjoy our summit beer.

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Shoutout to Mother Earth and their Cali Creamin’PowayPotatoChipHikeIMG_5910PowayPotatoChipHikeIMG_4612PowayPotatoChipHikeIMG_6138PowayPotatoChipHikeIMG_5286PowayPotatoChipHikeIMG_5173PowayPotatoChipHikeIMG_6394

I brought 32 oz. of water and could have been happy with more! Keep in mind that it is all uphill to the chip rock and then completely downhill back to the Lake.

If you can get there early I would recommend an early start instead of hiking in direct sun!

Happy Hiking and enjoy the green!

Additionally Resources:

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/potato-chip-rock-via-mt-woodson-trail

https://www.yelp.com/biz/potato-chip-rock-poway

Vernal and Nevada Falls in Winter

For our second day in Yosemite we wanted to hike to a waterfall.  The big questions was Upper Yosemite Falls or Vernal/Nevada Falls. We chose the later and it was quite the gorgeous hike.YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3899

We started from the parking lot at 8:45 and got back to the car at 5:45 with an hour spent at the top.

The mist trail was closed for the trek up through Vernal so we took the John Muir Trail which is also icy/snowy so crampons are a great idea for traction purposes. YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3901YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3903YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3908YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3910YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3911YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3916YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3917YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3918YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3921YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3924YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3928YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3931YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3937YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3942YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3947YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3961YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3964YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3970YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3973YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3978YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3985YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3988YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4014YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4015YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4016YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4025YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4030YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4036YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4037

Upon reaching the top of Nevada Falls it was HOT and we were in need of a cold brew!YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4039YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4040YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4048YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4017YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4049

Even got a little snowshoeing in on top of Nevada Falls.YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3956

We estimated that with all the trail closures we hiked about 12.5 miles! Quite the bunz burn!YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3966

After our day of hiking we were famished SO we stopped in Mariposa at 1850 for a burger and beer!YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3935

Back to the Bay for the work week. Full of stoke!

Dewey Point Snowshoe – Yosemite

Get ready for a round of drool-worthy pics.

I love adventure and when my friend suggested a weekend trip to Yosemite I was all in.

It is rough.. the drive from Oakland to Yosemite Valley took a little less than 3.5 hours and that in itself is exhausting, but since all you have is Saturday and Sunday you are going to make the most of it and pack as much splendor in as you can during that time.

We had to take 140 since 120 and 41 were both closed. The National Park Service keeps an up to date record of road closures for your convenience. Make sure to check out this page before planning your trip as google maps will most likely not be updated.

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A short jaunt to check out Bridalveil Falls… gorge.YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3868

No trip to Yosemite is complete without a stop at Tunnel View… this view really will just stop you in your tracks … no selfie stick toting tourista can take away the magic, try as they might.YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3872YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3784

After our Tunnel View moment, we headed towards Badger Pass ( it has a new name now but I refuse to call it by that ).

Badger Pass has a dope snowshoe/ cross country ski trail. You can take this trail to Dewey Point which on a Saturday was so un-crowded it seemed like we were the only people out and about.

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We left Badger Pass area at noon and got back around 5 pm. We did take ample time, about an hour, at the vista for a summit beer and to enjoy the view.YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3885YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3795YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3878YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3887YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3854YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3861

Brought some Fieldwork cans for enjoying at the top.

This ceramic mug is an AMAZING creation of my friend, Ceramics Life For Me.

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Loved snowshoeing! This was my second time snowshoeing but this was my longest trip at 8 miles and the most in elevation gain, around 2000 feet. Challenging – but so worth it.YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3875YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3853YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3824YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3883YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3826YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3858YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3829YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3830

Don’t forget your gaiters! They will keep your legs nice and dry.YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3849

Went to the Bar at the Majestic Yosemite Lodge ( LOL ) for dinner. We just really needed a hot meal… we were sustaining off protein bars and homemade energy balls.YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3836

Had a Sierra Nevada Beer Camp and bowls of chili. Hit the spot.YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3837

Then on to Curry Village to enjoy one last beer for the night before turning in!YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3896

Other resources for snowshoeing Dewey Point:

http://californiathroughmylens.com/snowshoeing-dewey-point

https://socalhiker.net/snowshoeing-to-dewey-point-in-yosemite/

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/dewey-point-trail

http://lastingadventures.com/yosemite-day-hikes/snowshoe-badger-pass-dewey-point/

 

Valencia Peak – Montana de Oro

For one last bit of steeze we hiked up to Valencia Peak Saturday morning. Epic views and a bit of elevation gain led to an amazing hike. valenciapeaktrailvpmorrorockfromvpvalenciapeak

Met a really cool couple on the trail ( who took this pic of us at the top) They were in their 60s and training to hike into the Grand Canyon with their grand Daughter. The husband hikes every Saturday morning before sunrise, lets talk about goals!besties-onvalenciapeak

After our hike, we went in to Morro Bay for coffee and an Acai bowl!acaibowl

What an amazing few days on the Central Coast… filled with hikes and brews I really couldn’t ask for anything more!

Hike, Blade and Beach

Our next morning started out at a newer SLO fav, Scout Coffee. They now have two locations in San Luis and we went to the shop on  Foothill Foothill. The decor is on point and their homemade almond milk will make you sing.

I tried the scone with scallions and goat cheese which was delicious. The vibe was LOUD… I don’t know how someone could study there but maybe on a weekday it would be less rambunctious. scoutcoffeeimg_3454scoutcoffeeimg_3456

After our coffee and pastries, we headed to Avila to hike the Ridge Trail. This time we parked closer to Pirates Cove… off Cave Landing.

We started at the hill of doom, much better going up than down.hillofdeathavilaridgetrail

Once we caught our breaths… well once I caught my breath we selfied 🙂bestiesavilaridgetrail

SO amazingly beautiful and vast. Once we were leaving we noticed that it had gotten a lot more crowded. We were lucky that we had so much alone trail time.avilaridgetrailwildflowersofavilaridgetrailavilaridgetrailpeace

After our hike, we put on our blades and rolled down the Bob Jones Trailbobjonesbladeseash

Once in Avila, we stopped for lunch and brews and then headed back on the trail to finish our 5 mile round trip blade sesh.midbladelunchatcustomhouseavila

Saturday Night, we had plans to camp at Montana de Oro State Park.   This is probably one of the most beautiful places you will ever go in your life. mdomdosunsetmdoimg_9237montanamdoimg_3499sunsetbestiesmdosunsetatmdoyummysunsetatmdo

Is this real life??? Views and Brews?!! On this somewhat stormy Saturday Night Libertine Pub in Morro Bay was pretty empty but a live band came on at eight that brought in more of a crowd. We enjoyed dinner and a few brewskies. libertinepub

What a fulfilling day!