Archive for October, 2009

Home prices in major cities continue to climb

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

FILES-US-ECONOMY-PROPERTYStandard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index rises 1% in August from July in its third consecutive monthly gain.  Click photo to read the entire October 28, 2009 Los Angeles Times article.

Fed Survey finds ‘Modest improvements’ in Economy

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

SOLDThe latest Beige Book report from the Federal Reserve shows ‘modest improvements’ in the economy.

Accounts from across the Federal Reserve system “indicate either stabilization or modest improvements in many sectors since the last report” the beige book said, “albeit from depressed levels.”

Click the photo to the left to view the entire article from the October 22nd, 2009 Los Angeles Times.

Lake Tahoe Flume Trail

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Lake Tahoe from the Flume TrailLake Tahoe has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth and I appreciate each time I have the opportunity to visit.  This week I was fortunate enough to spend three days mountain biking some of Tahoe’s best mountain bike trails with my good friends Tim, Kevin and Grant.  The first two days were warm up days–day one 3 1/2 hours, day two 4 1/2 hours.  By day three we were acclimated to the higher elevations and ready to tackle one of Tahoe’s most famous trails, rated one of the nations top ten bike trails, The Flume Trail. 

The Flume Trail sits on the side of a granite face and has some of the most spectacular views of Lake Tahoe.  Originally built for a flume that would carry logs from the higher elevations down the mountain to the lower elevations, today it serves much the same purpose except instead of carrying logs downhill it now carries hikers and bikers. 

Shown below are some of the shots from our 5 1/2 hour ride on the Flume Trail.

Group Shot

We would begin our ride with Ten Riders.  Four would fall.  One would not finish as a result of his fall (Note: Never try to slow your fall by landing on your head).

 

 

 

 

Jeremy on Stairs

One of  my new riding buddies Jeremy showed us how to ride down the Stairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Technical

My friend and Neighbor Kevin showed us how to ride up the another set of Stairs.  I can tell you it is a lot harder than it looks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jumping John

We ran into this rider on the trail and dubbed him Jumping John.  By the time this shot was taken John had hopped his bike like a pogo stick from one rock to another hitting almost every rock you see in this photo.  It was really something to see.

 

 

 

 

Joe and Mark

Joe (on the left) was our trail guide for all three days of riding.  Not only is he a great guy but he’s also a very strong rider, usually leading the pack up and down the trail. 

We ran into his buddy Mark (on the Right) halfway through our ride.  In Marks spare time he patrols the local bike trails, much like I do on the ski slopes, and helps injured riders. 

 

 

 

 

 

Tim on LookoutHere is a shot of my good friend and neighbor Tim.  Tim was the trip’s organizer and usually set the course for the day.  After the second day of riding we learned to double all of Tim’s estimated riding times.  Two hour rides became four hour rides, three hour rides became six hour rides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marlette Lake 2

About two thirds of the way into our ride, we entered into a beautiful Aspen forest that surrounded Marlette Lake–a clear pristine lake just east of Lake Tahoe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flume Trail 1

Some of the first views we had of The Flume Trail were absolutely spectacular.  The only drawback was that you did not dare look at the view for too long.  As the photo shows, riding off trail can be very hazardous to your health.

 

 

 

 

Flume Trail Grant

Here’s a great shot of one of my OC buddies Grant riding the Flume trail.  The opening between the rocks is just wide enough for your handlebars to pass through.

 

 

 

 

 

Group Shot End of RideAfter three days of hard riding there is nothing better than sharing a cold beer with your buds.  Here is the group of four that took the journey from the OC to Tahoe, Kevin, Marshall, Tim and Grant.  Thanks to everyone we rode with that made this a fun and memorable trip.  Special thanks to Joe for acting as tour guide extrordinaire and for remembering to bring the beers you see in this photo.

The National Parks: America’s Best Idea

Monday, October 5th, 2009

The National ParksAs a child I spent a lot of time with my family enjoying camping and day trips to the White Mountains and Sedona areas of Northern Arizona.  When I moved to California, I sought out something similar and was told to visit Yosemite.  I will never forget the first time I came through the tunnel and saw the Yosemite valley for the first time.  It was truly magical and something I will never forget.  I have since visited the park many times and in all seasons of the year.  My wife and I also selected the location for our wedding.  Held in December, on what turned out to be the first winter snow, it was pure Yosemite–magical.

Given my love for Yosemite and all the other National Parks, it is probably no surprise that I found the new Ken Burns documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, very enjoyable.  If you have not yet seen it, I encourage you to catch it on your local PBS channel.

Our National Park system is truly one of our nation’s great assets and one we must all take care to preserve.

If you have an interest in learning more or in purchasing the DVD set, you can click the picture to the left for a link to the PBS website.