Hiking

Desolation Wildnerness

I love nature for many reasons, but the first and foremost is that it never ceases to amaze me. Example A: Lake Tahoe. More specifically, desolation wilderness.

Located just before the actual lake, desolation wilderness is perfect for almost any activity. On this particular sunny day, we went on a day hike. Since desolation wildnerness is fairly small, we almost hiked to the center of it and it was only 8 miles round trip. But in those 8 miles, we saw picturesque mountains with full lakes and the greenest grass.

The actual hike wasn’t too hard. After a steady incline, and adjusting to a higher elevation, we made it to above the forest and saw a gorgeous view.

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Once we got through the initial forest (about 2 miles in), we hiked on these giant granite slabs to the lakes. I was in love with the  tree tops against the blue sky.

After seeing the forest, we continued our climb to twin lakes, our final destination. The whole hike was absolutely beautiful!

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Ta-da! The lake! You can see a bit of the reflection in the water, but these lakes were the blue-est I have ever seen. It was honestly worth dealing with the elevation change and the warm sun on our backs. I can see why some people just want to live in nature and nowhere near any cities. Desolation wilderness is so pretty, with a peaceful air, and full of nature!

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After crossing one lake, we went to the divide of twin lakes. They almost look like one, except for this small divide. We ended up having lunch on this rock and it felt like we were actually in the middle of the lake!

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I honestly never wanted to leave this rock. Desolation wilderness made me want to forget school, forget my responsibilities, and just live outside forever. It was absolutely breathtaking.

So if you’re in the mood for some nature, go!

Hiking, Life

Tips for Taking Your Dog to the Beach

Ah, the beach! There’s nothing more relaxing than taking a dip in the warm salt water, sun bathing, and just watching the world go by. Not a summer day goes by without me thinking about how wonderful the beach is compared to my stuffy apartment. And of course, the beach is too good not to share. So why not bring the puppy along?

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Always check the rules of the beach

While you would think that everyone loves to see the joy of dogs running across the beach, begging for another round of fetch or going 0 to 60 down the sand, most beaches actually don’t allow dogs or at least dogs off a leash. It’s important to check with either a ranger station, a website, or even the locals to see if you can take them. In my town, we actually have a beach dedicated to dogs. Here, dogs are free to run around on the beach and frolic to their heart’s content. And then there are some beaches where they are allowed, but only on a leash.

Come prepared

When we first took our dog, we made sure to have our leash, the choke collar (if he decided not to listen to us), doggie bags, and water. For some reason, our dog likes to go to the bathroom on the beach more than anything! Thankfully, most beaches that allow dogs have a dog bag station. Anyway, we wanted to make sure that Jackson would listen to us on the beach just as if we were hiking, playing frisbee, or taking a walk through the park. We took him to a quiet beach that allows dogs on a leash the first time we went. Honestly, just be prepared for any reaction out of your dog. At the end of the day, you know your pup the best, so you can make decisions for them perfectly!

If you want to take your dog to a dog beach, just remember that many of the other dogs will become an instant distraction. Your puppy will want to play and play and play and most likely not want to listen. But again, you know your limits of your dog. Just remember that a quiet place might be better when you’re first starting out.

It’s all about the time of day

Timing is important for many reasons. When you first take your dog, it might be better to go at a time of day where there aren’t too many people or other dogs. This will help your dog not get overwhelmed with all of the distractions. Remember, the beach should be a positive place, but too many activities all at once can be a negative thing. Bringing them to the beach in the early morning, or even during the late afternoon, could potentially help with lowering distractions. The first time we took Jax, we went during the early evening and made sure not to bring any toys. We wanted him to get familiar with the ocean, the waves, and the sand. Now, he loves nothing more than chasing the waves and becoming soaked by the water!

Another reason timing is important is because you don’t want it to be too hot for them. Obviously, they are at a beach, so it’s easy to dunk them in the water if they overheat, but what if they end up not liking the water? To be on the safe side, I usually go to the beach sometime other than the peak heat of the day.

Make this a family affair

If you know your dog is social, and is good with other dogs, take them to a community dog beach! If you’re not sure about how your dog will act with the plethora of puppies running and playing in the waves, I would strongly recommend taking them to a dog park or interacting with friends’ dogs before taking them to meet total strangers. Timing also is good in this case. Nonetheless, a community dog beach is so much fun, both for you and for your dog! You can meet tons of friendly dog owners while your dog occupies himself with fetch and chasing other dogs around in the water. The other dogs could also contribute to a more positive situation because your pup can see others having fun. Jax used to be afraid of the waves, but when other dogs started jumping around in the water, it was easy for him to see that the water was okay. (Dogs are pack animals, they like to see other dogs do something if they are too scared to do it!)

But most of all, have a blast!

The beach should be just as much fun for them as it is for you. Bring toys, bring treats, bring other dogs, bring whatever you want to make this a great time for you and for you puppy! Now that we have been a few times, Jackson starts whining when we take the exit for the beach. He absolutely loves it, and loves fetching tennis balls in the ocean! Maybe your dog won’t dig it, so maybe the beach isn’t the best place for them to hang out. Maybe your dog will love it so much he wants to be the next dog surfer. Who knows? At the end of the day, just trust yourself with your dog, and have fun!

Hiking

The Outbound

This app has changed my life. Why? Because hikes I didn’t even know about have become available to me at the tip of my fingers.

 

For anyone that loves the outdoors (hiking, camping, cycling, etc.), this is the app for you. You can download it free on the app store and gain so much information on almost anything nature related. There is also the ability to create adventures and save hikes that you want to do.

 

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Not only that, but there is a community on this application who review hikes and give you information on what to bring. It’s like having your own nature guide without having to pay for one!

The app first introduces the ‘featured collections,’ which has hikes and cool places to go. I love that you can search for new adventures, or you can search by the activity you are interested in. You can also let the app use your location to help you find cool things around you. This feature is extremely helpful when you are vacationing or visiting somewhere new.

You can also develop a profile that keeps track of your hikes and adventures. I love being able to see what I have completed so far! And of course, you are also able to write reviews of places and create adventures of your own. This app also connects to their website, theoutbound.com. On the website, they have also created a job search. Here, fellow adventurists can post jobs they know for other job seekers. The website also has a blog where you can read about fascinating places people have gone.

I hope to use this app a lot to document my travels and find cool places to go. My goal is to complete as many hikes and adventures as possible, especially using this app!

Hiking, Horses

Product Review: Ariat Terrain Endurance Boots

***I do not receive any compensation for these posts; I just buy almost everything from Riding Warehouse because their headquarters are 5 mins away from where I live.

Guys….we need to talk about my new obsession. These boots are literally my life. Not only are they comfortable, they are unbelievably cute and super versatile.

I bought these boots because I hate how clunky and loud my other western boots are and I needed some boots for a hiking trip to Joshua Tree. That’s where I had the bright idea to buy boots that endurance riders wear. I mean, if they can do Tevis in these bad boys, I’m pretty sure these will work for me.

And I was right. They exceeded my expectations! The durable tread made climbing rocks, wrangling foals, and running around at the barn a complete breeze. Usually when I hike, I often find myself slipping one or two times. Not with these! I had sturdy traction in even the most rocky trails at Joshua Tree.

The sole was also amazing. I have completed around 20 hikes in these since I purchased them in March and my feet never feel tired or sore. In my old boots, I always haPictured the problem of sore feet after only 4 hours of chores at the barn. I can go from dawn until dusk in these and my feet never feel tired. They also have a heel, which makes them perfect for riding! They even have spur rests!!

These boots also withstand endless amount of dirt, dust, water, and other yucky stuff with ease. They’re so easy to clean, too! Even when they look disgusting, they are still super cute with the pink inside and camo on the ankle. Ariat definitely did a good job with making a masculine shoe as feminine as it can be.

So, these boots are very comfortable, very durable, functional, versatile…pretty much everything you want in a shoe. I will never stop wearing the Terrains. They replaced my other work boots and I will never go back. Their comfort is unbeatable. They are also made of leather so they still protect our feet when a rambunctious horse steps on them.

The only problems I have found in them are very small. With every hiking boot, they are rather bulky, so it makes it impossible to pack them while traveling. These boots also go up to your ankle, so if you don’t wear the proper socks, you will get rubs on your heel (trust me, I know from experience). Also, if you are going to use these boots for long-distance riding or hiking, I would highly recommend a cushioned sock that is made for hiking. Although these boots are very comfortable, they cannot protect against excessive fatigue.

All in all, I love these boots. If I could give everyone a pair, I would. They are amazing! If you are in the market for a pair of hiking boots, or want to have a pair of shoes that you can easily ride in and do barn chores, these are it!