Tag Archives: las vegas hiking

In Search of: A Full Life (and Self-Portrait Series No. 6)

Yesterday, I was talking with a friend.  He’s several years older than me and is considering an early retirement (because who wouldn’t want that?!?).  That conversation was a happy one.  And then he told me about a personal situation that might force him to retire early, regardless of his plans.  That part of the conversation, well, not so happy.  He said, “I hope it doesn’t come to that.  I don’t want to be forced to retire and not be able to enjoy my retirement.”

Then he said to me, “You just keep doing what you’re doing.”

Me: “Huh?”

Him: “I mean, all the stuff you do, all the traveling and hiking and stuff that makes you happy.  Keep doing that.  Because you’ve got it right.  You never know what’s going to happen when it comes time to retire.  People shouldn’t save all the fun stuff for later.  I admire you.  You’re bold and independent, and you go out and see the world and you do your own thing and don’t worry about what people think of it.  Keep doing that.”

That part of the conversation made me smile.  Because, honestly, I sometimes second-guess myself.  I mean, yes, I put money into my retirement account.  In addition to planning my travels and the next fun adventure, I do think about the distant future.  But I get the impression from a lot of people they think spending money on travel the way that I do is somewhat frivolous.  And I worry that no matter how much of my income I send to the 401K, it’s not going to be enough.  And what then?

But then I have to ask myself.  If that does happen, if my numbers don’t come out perfect when the good old age of 65 arrives, will I regret all that I’ve done?  Will I wish I had stayed home more and saved that expendable income of mine?  Truthfully?  Probably not.  Up to this point, I would say absolutely not.  There isn’t one adventure I would take back, not one experience I would return.

I love my life.  I love the fact that I have a separate savings account labeled, “Travel Fund.”  And I LOVE that I use it just for that.

In the spirit of adventure, here’s one more self-portrait from a hike I did last weekend near Lake Mead.  The hike is to Anniversary Narrows, a beautiful slot canyon in the midst of the desert.  It’s unexpected and really quite wonderful to see.  It also makes for beautiful backdrops when acting silly and modeling for the camera!

Self-Portrait No. 6

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In Search of: Hiking and Singing and Dancing, Oh My!

Great news!  School’s — out — for — summer!!  Yes, I’m totally singing that 80’s hit in my head right now.  No, you may not laugh at me.  Because you know you’re singing it in your head now too.  Oh how I deeply love summer vacation.  Life is good, my friends.

One might imagine my first act of summer vacay would be to sit around and get my relax on.  But not this girl.  Instead, I hiked to the highest peak in Southern Nevada!  On Sunday, I checked Charleston Peak off my hiking wish list.  I’m pretty proud.  The route we followed was just shy of 18 miles, with an elevation gain of over 4,000 feet.  The first 4 miles were the worst, with the majority of the elevation gain being in the wicked switchbacks at the start.  But after that it was smooth sailing (okay, not quite smooth — but in hindsight, I can make that claim).

If you’re interested in mild torture to achieve your life’s goal of seeing the best view of Pahrump there possibly is, this is the hike for you.  (If you’re not from the area, I assure you, that statement is pretty damn funny.)  If you like a good challenge and peak bagging is your thing, this is also the hike for you.  And if you’re not interested in any of that, I still highly recommend you follow the route just past the halfway point.  There are some lovely mountain meadows that were calling out for the recreation of a certain Twilight scene and a damn good picnic.  Had I the time, I would have been happy lazing amongst those wildflowers for a few hours.  Of course, I was a man on a mission (or woman, as it would be), thus there was no time for dilly-dallying.

I reached the peak in time for lunch in the bunker (there’s a small bunker dug out at the peak, surrounded by rock walls, that protects you from the wind).  The bunker was my life saver.  It was pretty damn windy up there, and the wind made me cold.  But in the bunker — it was all sunshine and lollipops.

Want to take a peak at the hike (and some obviously professional singing and dancing)?  Take a look at my Charleston Peak video:

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In Search of: Hiking White Rock Loop, Red Rock Canyon

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I discovered a new favorite trail at Red Rock Canyon.  It’s called White Rock Loop.  I went on a whim because the weather was bad, and I wasn’t sure my first-choice trail would be safe in the wind and rain.  Turned out there was no wind or rain (at least not while we were out), but I’m not disappointed my plans changed.  White Rock Loop boasts beautiful scenery and the perfect spot for lunch (I’m a fan of lunch with a view).  It’s also an awesome fitness hike – a great incline to get your heart rate up and thighs burning without being overly intense.  The perfect day hike.  Check out specific directions for the trail here.  Happy hiking!

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In Search of: Bowl of Fire, Lake Mead

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You know what gets me seriously excited?  Great hiking weather!  Let’s hope I don’t jinx it, but I daresay, the spring hiking season is finally here.  Woohoo!

This weekend, I hiked near Lake Mead at a place called Bowl of Fire.  The views were stunning.  We hiked amongst the red rocks and found the perfect spot to cop a squat for lunch.  We lounged for over an hour, taking in the views and watching birds fly overhead.  I played liked a lizard and laid back on a rock, soaking in the sun rays.  Good times, I tell you.  Good times.

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