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Men’s Journal Names Reno among Top 25 Places to Live

Mens Journal.jpgIf you live in Reno or have been lucky enough to visit, you know it’s a no-brainer. It’s a great getaway, let alone a fantastic place to reside. There’s never a dull moment in the Biggest Little City, from year-round entertainment, recreational options galore and all at an affordable cost. Men’s Journal Magazine recognizes Reno’s AAA Aces ballpark, the Riverwalk District, Artown and the city’s proximity to abundant outdoor recreations as several reasons why Reno had to be among the top 25 cities for “Best Places to Live 2010”, according to the April issue of Men’s Journal magazine.

The top 25 cities were included in various categories and determined by three variables including median home price, cost of living compared to the rest of the United States and number of sunny days per year.  Reno is featured as tops for “Ski and Climb Without the Crowds” listing Reno’s median home price as $274,670, its cost of living as 13 percent higher than the rest of the nation, and boasting 252 sunny days per year.

“Having Reno named one of the best places to live is a huge honor for our city and residents,” said Reno Mayor Bob Cashell.  “We all know why we love this place, but the national recognition helps build credibility for our city as a top place to live, work and raise a family.  It also gets the word out about what makes our city so special including our downtown baseball park, Artown and burgeoning downtown.”

“Reno making a top places to live list helps increase awareness nationwide that Reno Tahoe is a happening place where locals and visitors alike can enjoy all this area offers, from downtown fun to high altitude adventure.” said Ellen Oppenheim, Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) President and CEO.  “The recent investment in area hotel-casino properties, spas and restaurants are additional outstanding amenities locals and visitors can take advantage of.”

The April issue of Men’s Journal featuring the “Best Places to Live 2010” is on newsstands now or visit

Men’s Journal has previously ranked Reno’s historic Old Southwest as one of ‘The Best Neighborhoods in America’ in their June 2009 issue.

We’ve been tooting our own horn for a while. It’s nice to get some validation, though, dontcha think?

Freezing our Feathers Off!

FREE Family Fun Snowshoe Hike

Birds of a feather flock together and fly south for the winter, right?
Well…almost right. Did you know that there are actually some birds that stick around and tough out the cold, sierra winters? Are they a bit cuckoo or do they actually like snowstorms and frigid temperatures? You will learn the answers to this question, and more when you convince your parents to join you on a FREE family snowshoe hike sponsored by the Tahoe Rim Trail Association! We will explore the amazing world of winter and try to determine how birds and other animals survive the winter months, all while practicing our snowshoe skills. And…after playing and having fun in the snow, there will be some hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and treats waiting for you at the end.

This hike will wind through the trees and flat meadow. This program will go from 10 am – noon. Families with children, ages six and up, are encouraged to sign up for this hike. Please leave your cute puppies at home! Because it can be so cold and windy in the meadows, it is a good idea to leave very small children and infants at home with a family member or caretaker. The hike will not be strenuous, and will be broken up with games, stories, and other hands-on activities. Please be prepared for the temperamental weather of the  Lake Tahoe Meadows. Please do not dress yourselves or your children in cotton, as it will leave all of you damp and cold. Gloves, beanies, mittens, long underwear, warm socks, waterproof boots and winter jackets are necessary. Each person in your group should have a couple water bottles, because walking and active games work up a good thirst! If you are bringing your own snowshoes or are renting snowshoes, please practice putting them on before the hike, so you know how the bindings work! Note that the high elevation level (8740 ft.) can be a challenge, especially for those of you who live at sea level.

Date: Saturday, February 27th, 10am – noon
Meeting Place/Time: Tahoe Meadows non-motorized side, down by the tree-line, 9:45 am, meeting time
Distance: 3 miles, approximately
Level: Easy
Hours: approximately 2

More Information: 775-298-0012 or

Fit Family in Reno-Tahoe

Fit Family It’s so easy to be a fit family in Reno-Tahoe, America’s Adventure Place. The outdoor opportunities in this area are endless… and having kids does need to slow you down one bit! Our kids (2 years old and 6 months) love to get out and enjoy the beauty of this place.
Last year after posting about camping, hiking and skiing with kids Heidi Hill contacted me to see if she could ask me some questions about being an active family. She was writing a book about fit families and wanted to hear about my experience in this area. Well, her book is finally out and I got my copy a few days ago! There is a picture of me and my daughter hiking to Dry Pond. Heidi also included my suggestions in the hiking section. Very useful tips. And again, it’s so easy to be a fit family in a place that offers unlimited recreation opportunities!

Not too late to take your baby camping

Enjoying breakfast in our camping spotSome people say it’s the end of the summer but I don’t buy that. In Reno-Tahoe America’s Adventure Place summer is here until the end of September so we still have another month of summer activities!

We’ve really enjoyed this summer with 2 little ones (we have a 2 year old and a 5 month old baby) — lots of camping, hiking, beach volleyball, bike-riding… the kids love the outdoors, they play with each other and learn to enjoy nature from a young age. I couldn’t think of a better area to grow up in!

Riding bikes with little kids
Our favorite camping spot for families with young kids is Fallen Leaf Lake Campground. We took our German friends tent camping for the first time a couple of weeks ago and they absolutely loved it! The weather was perfect, we had a fire and roasted Marshmallows, checked out Fallen Leaf and took our kite to Baldwin beach.

Check out what the US Forest Services has to say:
Fallen Leaf Lake Campground is uniquely situated 1/4 mile away from Fallen Leaf Lake and offers easy hiking around the lake. The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is directly across Hwy 89 and has interpretive programs, guided walks on the Rainbow Trail and to the Stream Profile Chamber. The first weekend in October, the annual Kokanee Salmon Festival is held at the Visitor Center.
Camping with the family
Also near by are:

  • Pope and Baldwin Beaches for water recreation,
  • Tallac Historic Site has tours of its historic buildings and grounds,
  • Water Craft Rentals or Horseback Riding at Camp Richardson,
  • Family oriented, paved bike trail runs 3 miles along Hwy 89 and can be used to access all of the above,
  • Access to excellent hiking in Desolation Wilderness via the Glen Alpine or the Mt. Tallac trailheads.
  • Tele Girl

    Hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

    Backpack? Check. Water? Check. Map? Check. Camera? Check.

    I have everything I need to enjoy a nice afternoon hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountains just east of Reno. A short get-away to the trails offers great opportunities to get out of town and just relax. Heading out into nature is always my favorite way to get my mind off of life’s daily commotion, and is just plain fun!

    James Marshall

    Tahoe Rim Trail Adventures

    This weekend we went to a wedding in Tahoe, at a beautiful house in Cave Rock. We actually went to the beach at Zephyr Cove before the wedding and enjoyed the sunshine — and even got in the water,  which wasn’t too cold! Well, since I grew up in Argentina and I’m used to the cold water in the Patagonia lakes, I never find any water too cold!

    Unfortunately we forgot the camera, so I’m going to share my pictures from the weekend before last. My hubby hurt his ankle playing tennis so we took a couple of easy — but georgeous — hikes on the Tahoe Rim Trail!

    On Saturday we did the Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Trail and on Sunday we also started at the parking lot at the meadows but this time we followed the trail to Spooner Summit and enjoyed amazing views of Lake Tahoe. As we were sitting there, ready for some mate while we our baby was resting and playing with some rocks, I heard someone calling my name. My friend and co-worker Robert was there with his bike. How embarrasing, inteast of adrenaline I was just chilling by the trail!

    So here’s a picture that I found on Robert’s post "Riding the Rim Trail":

    And here’re the pictures of our hike:

    Drinking mate

    Enjoying the view

    Backpacking and camping with baby

    Wow, it’s already Friday and I’m finally writing about Memorial Day weekend! Well, better late than never… we had such a wonderful adventure that I need to tell everyone about it, especially young active parents with babies.

    We weren’t sure what we were going to do so we keep it pretty open. That’s important with when you have kids, flexibility is key.

    We had reservations for Friday night at Sugar Pine Point State Park so we camped there the first night — to test the weather and see how Cielo liked it. We got there around 5pm and went for a nice hike. After dinner we went to bed (early) so we’d be ready for the next day. We got up early and enjoyed a great camp fire while eating breakfast. Since Cielo slept great and we didn’t get cold at all during the night, we decided we would go backpacking for one night.

    We got our permits for Desolation Wilderness and we started at the Bayview Trailhead (Emerald Bay area). Joe carried Cielo and the tent and I carried the rest! The pack was heavy (40+ pounds) — I’ve never carried that much stuff, but I had both of our sleeping bags, food and clothes for the 3 of us, diapers, stove, etc. etc. It was a great workout!

    We hiked for 3-4 hours, took a little break by a waterfall/creek and hiked some more. Cielo loved it! She even took a nap while in the backpack.

    We endep up near Lower Velma area, since Lake Azure was really hard to get to.  Some areas were covered with snow and others with water, so finding a spot to camp was challenging. But we found a great spot!

    On Sunday we decided to stay at Bayview Campground since there was a site open. We put Cielo down for a nap at 5:30pm and she didn’t wake up until the next morning! She was exhausted from her first backpacking experience!

    Monday morning we went for a hike with some friends to Cascade Falls and then we took a hike to Eagle Falls and explored Emerald Bay.

    What a wonderful weekend! We highly recommend both campgrounds and of course, Desolation Wilderness is like heaven for backpackers who love solitude and breath-taking beauty. It’s a place to enjoy God’s creation to the full!



    Jones Creek-Whites Creek Hike

    When you check out - this is the description you get of the Jones Creek-Whites Creek Loop Trail:

    On this trip, a 10-mile journey leads from low elevation forest up to high, open terrain with grand views of the east flank of the Carson Range, particularly Mt. Rose and Slide Mountain. At various spots along the way, the trail offers good views to the east of Washoe Valley, the Virginia Range, and the south part of the Truckee Meadows as well. The loop visits two tumbling creeks, Jones and Whites, where prolific aspen groves douse the canyons with silvery green in summer and brilliant gold in autumn. A half-mile lateral leads to Church’s Pond, a diminutive pool near the high point of the trip with a grand view of the volcanic gray slopes of Mt. Rose. Despite the proximity to Reno and a beginning in a popular county park, the Jones–Whites Loop is not as heavily used as you might expect.

    Although we didn’t make the 10 miles, we enjoyed a few hours on this awesome trail as a family. Our daughter loves to hike — well, she is only 9 months old so she doesn’t really "hike" but she loves to hang out on the backpack!

    Taking a break

    Enjoying the creek

    I hope these pictures are better than a long description. I wish I had the words to describe my adventures like you find on Rich Moreno’s posts. Check out his post Glen Alpine Springs Hike is Worth the Effort. Reno-Tahoe is amazing, there are so many places to explore!

    Have a great week!

    Tele girl

    Hiking Hunter Creek trail

    As others were enjoying the First Annual Park Crew and Microbrews event in Truckee this Saturday we decided to enjoy the beautiful weather and go for a family hike. So we invited our friends to join us and headed to the Hunter Creek trail around noon (which is way early for us!). Thanks to Friends of Nevada Wilderness the trail looks good even after the winter. If you need directions, check out the Reno-Tahoe website.

    Here’re some pictures of our hike:

    Our friends posing for the camera

    Taking a break by the creek

    Dry Pond Hike

    Tele girl has become hiking girl lately… Saturday was a beautiful day, so when my friend came back from UNR we decided to go for a hike while my hubby was working on taxes. We drove to Galena State Park and picked the Dry Pond trail. We saw tons of bikers on the way up –they were enjoying the downhill as fast as they could! If you like mountain biking, be sure to check the Galena area out – because this single track is worth trying it!

    Here’re some pictures of our hike:

    Cute face — where is mommy taking you?

    A view of Dry Pond, not so dry this time of the year!