Archive for category West Coast USA Road Trip 2.0

Trip Report Part 2: Zion and Las Vegas

We drove to Zion National Park, which is located in south west Utah. Our original plan was to spend three nights in Zion and do two large hikes- Angels Landing and The Narrows. Both hikes were deemed ‘strenuous’ and anywhere from 6-10 miles round trip. The first night we stayed right outside of the park due to arriving there too late for a camp site. We did a short hike in the Emerald Pools. Some pictures here:

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The day after, we secured a camp site in the early morning and did Angels Landing first. Angels Landing is a big hike that is characterized by the last section- a big rock scramble in the middle of the Zion park valley. The first 2 miles are brutal and filled with very steep switchbacks. The later part is the rock scramble. The trail is marked by chains along the side of the mountain and you are literally 10 feet from the edge of the cliff at times. Those afraid of heights should not attempt going on Angels Landing. Here are some pictures:

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After finishing Angels Landing, we decided to do the Narrows as well. We ate lunch and then went back on the bus, hiking to The Narrows trailhead (essentially just the river). The Narrows hike is truly unique and one that I have not experienced outside of Zion. The entire hike is almost entirely in knee deep water. It’s almost like canyoneering to some degree (something that I would love to try one day).
The hike itself is gorgeous- seeing the vegetation inside of the deep canyon walls and valley is a fantastic sight.

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We did not finish the entire hike (roughly 9.5 miles round trip) and headed back early. We were super tired and slept easily.

Due to us not taking two nights for Zion (and doing it all in one stretch), we decided to head to Las Vegas, our final destination. Rock climbing in Red Rocks Canyon had a very high reputation for great climbing and I was excited to check it out.

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We climbed in a small area called ‘The Black Corridor’. It was a narrow canyon that had ample shade relative to the rest of the areas. It took us a while to find initially; and I wasted a ton of energy on the approach (it should have only taken about 10 minutes but instead took 40).

Unfortunately there aren’t any climbing photos simply because Amanda cannot belay me AND take photos.
That climbing was AWESOME. The rock was interesting; almost like hard sandstone. There were big huecos in the rock as well (giant holes) that allowed for some very interesting moves. My favorite climb of the trip came here and it was essentially gym climbing- big moves and decent holds.
We stayed on the strip for the next 3 nights due to our camping spot (Red Rocks Campground) being closed for the summer. I can only imagine it due to the heat.

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We climbed again the next day and continued in the Black Corridor. We made the mistake of starting too late in the day (10am) and it got very hot.

Overall, I loved Vegas climbing and I will return. I’d love to try some of the big trad multipitch once I learn one day. We had some fun on the strip and then drove home in a straight shot, which took about 24 hours (we stopped for a few hours at a rest stop to sleep).

I was happy with the way this trip went. Other than the car overheating and us having to spend a bit of extra money in some spots, it was excellent. The weather all around was good, the climbing was great, and the gear all held up.

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Vegas Road Trip 1- Colorado/Moab

Colorado

We left around 6 a.m. and decided to go to Poudre Canyon, Colorado. Poudre (pronounced ‘pooter’) is right outside of Fort Collins and a very pretty canyon. There are great hikes, climbs, white water rafting, and more.

It took us a little bit to find a camp site, but we eventually did. We climbed on day 1 at an area called ‘Crystal Wall’. We planned on doing primarily 1 pitch sport climbing on this trip since we did not have a trad rack nor the experience.

We originally planned on climbing at one spot called ‘The Palace’ but unfortunately the river was very high, which prevented us from crossing it.

I wish I had a few more pictures of Poudre, but here they are:

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No real photos climbing for the most part, simply because it was only us two. We did a few climbs in Poudre Canyon, both 5.9s. It was a tad cold there at night but I still slept fine. Due to the area being inaccessible, we decided to only go there for one night instead of two and decided to head towards Moab the next day. We planned on stopping in Golden, CO (right outside of Denver) for a short few hours to go climb.

Golden is alright. The rock is fairly polished and the climbing in the area we were at was so-so. There are areas outside of Golden that I’ve heard about that are solid, but I probably will not return to the North Table Mountains (area I was in).

Here are some photos of that area:

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We arrived in Moab late at night, around 6. Normally, it would be difficult to find a camp spot this late in the day, but we had another issue- our car was overheating. We drove a Honda CRV and it was my sister’s car. Unfortunately, she also had the same issue about 2 weeks earlier.

Unable to drive and look for camp spots, we had to bunk at a motel for the night in Moab. We bought some more antifreeze and continued to check it along the way.

Moab, Utah

Moab is an interesting area. The primary features are the massive arches. Here is a link on them.

We only did Canyonlands one day and Arches the next. We did a VERY quick tour of both and didn’t really spend a whole lot of time there. Amanda didn’t enjoy Moab much and we were going to go on our way quickly to Zion.

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And that pretty much concludes Moab. We drove another 5 hours or so to Zion National Park, which is in southern Utah.

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Home

I’m home from my trip now and will be writing up some TRs shortly. It was a great time and I did some awesome climbs/hikes.

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Some Updates

Hey guys, sorry for not updating this more.

Upcoming Road Trip– I have changed the dates around a lot for my road trip but I think I finally have it- I am leaving on May 27th and will be traveling for two weeks. Unfortunately we are not going to be able to go to California this trip due to a lack of time, but we will be going as far south as Las Vegas.

I have nearly all of my equipment in (for the most part) and need to test some of it out. Most notable is the Jet Boil.

The idea is that you just have freeze dried food pouches and pour hot water in it. In two minutes, the food is done and everything is ready to eat.

I’m quite excited and this should be really fun.

Bachelor Party and Other Trips– A week after I get back home from my road trip, I’ll be heading BACK to Las Vegas for a weekend bachelor party. I think this probably makes it about the past 6 or so years that I have been to Vegas in a row. I don’t really enjoy the city that much but I suppose it’s more about the friends/experiences.

A week after the bachelor party, I’ll be going to Colorado (Fort Collins) to go to one of my best friend’s wedding. After the wedding, I am planning on going backpacking somewhere close. I’m excited to do a short backpacking trip and don’t have a ton of experience doing so.

That’s pretty much it as far as trips go. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make my Cousin’s wedding in San Francisco in late August. We’ll see.

Poker– Staking/backing is still going very strongly for me. I’m happy with where I’m at and I have a terrific group of guys who are all working on getting better.

I think that I will continue to concentrate on staking. I would still definitely like to get more into affiliate work as well.

I really just need to sack up and commit to one of my sites and pull the trigger. I already paid money for new servers, so I really should just pay someone for my site design.

I’m thinking that once I get back from my trip and everything else I will do this and really commit. I may offer some free rolls as well to force myself to do this.

Anyways, this is all for now. I’m sure I will blog about this trip a ton. Be sure to look back here in a few weeks and I’m sure you’ll see a good amount of write ups!

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WSOP Circuit + Road Trip!

Some updates here:

Poker-
The time is finally here! I’ll be playing in the WSOP circuit coming into Council Bluffs, Iowa. I’m happy that my package sold and it will be fun to play some poker again. I’m excited and anxious to start playing.

I’ll definitely update this blog more with a TR for each tournament I play in. Hopefully I can be successful and win some money for both myself and my backers.

Other than tourney stuff, staking has been going fairly well. It’s a constant process of getting new stakees, setting them up, etc. I really enjoy it and I’m glad to still be a part of the poker industry, even if I don’t exclusively play all that much anymore.

I’m still interested in getting into affiliate work. I know that I’ve said this a lot, but my site is very close to being completed. I need to finish the last few touches on it (front page) and then we are going to launch. I’m also slowly developing some content for my other site right now and am probably going to pay a developer to help me with it.

Life and Poker

I have decided that I am going to go on another West coast road trip in about a month. I’m planning on leaving around May 12th (or a few days later). My path will be pretty much the same as the one I took in 2011- Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California. I plan on making it much shorter this time though (only going for 2 or 2.5 weeks max).

I’ve been buying more and more gear lately for this trip. One thing I didn’t do as much last time was backpacking. I plan on doing more of that this trip as I’ll have a partner to rely on. We’re probably going to backpack in Kings Canyon or Yosemite (both in California). My plan is to start off fairly easy (10 miles round trip or less on a 2 day/1 night hike) and then build from there.

Some of the gear I bought:

http://www.rei.com/product/851835/asolo-astro-2-tent-2012-overstock

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Bought some climbing gear as well that I won’t take any pictures of.

Some gear I still need to buy:

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Jetboil Sumo. I was deciding between this or the MSR-Reactor (a similar stove product). I think that I’ll probably go with the Jetboil Sumo due to it being slightly cheaper. Both systems look fairly similar though in terms of set up and size of the stove.

I’m going to get this stove system to heat hot water fairly quickly. There are many dried food packs that I’ve heard taste pretty good, so we’ll see how that goes.

Water filter pump- I still need to get one of these. I’m looking at something similar to this:

http://www.rei.com/product/695265/msr-miniworks-ex-water-filter

I’m also looking to buy a new rope. On past climbing trips, I always just used my friends’ ropes to climb on. But now that I’ll be going on my own, I’ll need to get my own rope.

All in all, I’m very excited for this trip. It should be a lot of fun and I will be sure to update this blog a ton in the next two months or so (with the poker + road trip).

Updates to come soon!

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