Why I love being a guide


“Wearing sandals and shorts, we arrive at work in some of the most majestic places in the country.  We experience the thrill and beauty of the great outdoors by maneuvering through it’s current, crawling around on it’s rocks, and basking in the sun. With each new trip, we can provide this once-in-a-lifetime experience to a group of guests.  Anyone with us will be absolutely stoked by their experience, telling friends and family about it for years. Immortalized as an adventure expert…a guide not only gets to do this all the time, we get paid to do it.”

I’ve been a guide for quite a while now, and I’m still in love with the job just as much as I was the first day I found out that this was a “real” job.  Not only do I get to work with some of the most amazing and wide spread group of people, (customers and co-workers) I also get a chance to work outside….the best office anyone could ask for.  (I know some wild mustangs better than most of my neighbors)

Its not about getting rich or for the glamour.  I love being a guide because I want to see people happy (me included)  I love being a guide because…..well, because it’s one of the coolest jobs in the world.

Appreciate The Small Things


It is true about what they say about traveling…..a lot of people just wont understand what you’re doing. Even if your path is so clear to you, it may be next to impossible to convey that to someone else because not everyone has that “I need to go and see things” bug. But don’t let that slow you down! Because you will also find a lot of people ( at home and on the road ) that are on the same path. When you find people like this make sure that you pick their brain and find other fun adventures and jobs. One quote always comes to mind though, when people question why I do this…..

” If the day and night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal,-that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality…The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning and evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.”
Henry David Thoreau

Always enjoy every second that you have. Learn to appreciate all the small things and you will gain more out of seasonal work and life than you ever thought possible. I have worked all types of jobs, from housekeeping to kayak guide and let me tell you that there is something to be learned at every job that you WILL use again one day. A lot of people don’t travel because they believe it would be too hard. But honestly the hardest part is getting the courage to just do it. Just get out there! Seasonal work and traveling in general is a lot easier than it seems because you will almost always find someone that is more than willing to show you some original things and help you on your journey. If you have any questions and need to ask someone feel free to write me and I can help you out or send you in the right direction. Have fun and…..GET OUT THERE!

The Flatiron & Lost Dutchman State Park


Craig and I with the Flatiron looming behind us.

Craig and I with the Flatiron looming behind us.


A month ago my friend Craig stopped at my house in Phoenix on his road trip across the US.  His second day there he looked at me and said, “I want to go on a hike, and I don’t care how hard it is.”  Well I looked right at him and said “I’ve got just the hike for you.”  (with a devilish grin)  The next morning we headed out bright and early to the Lost Dutchman State Park to cook breakfast and prepare for our hike up to the Flatiron via the Siphon Draw trail.

The Flatiron is an iron like rock formation on the top of the Superstition Mountains located in The Lost Dutchman State Park.   You gain 2,780 ft in less than 2.7 miles!  (that’s steeper than most sections of the Grand Canyon.)  We hiked the trail in the middle of our blooming season, so the area was full of color with all the grass and flowers.  Be careful if you hike this trail in the hot months, because it is extremely hot out the with very little shade.


Hedgehoge Cactus blooming by the trail

Hedgehoge Cactus blooming by the trail


The top of this hike has amazing/terrifying views in all directions from the top and on the way up.  Watch yourself once you get to the top because there is some very big exposure up on top of the Flatiron.  Overall this hike is very difficult, but extremely rewarding.  We spent over 7 hours out exploring, but you can hike the full trail round trip in about 3.5 – 5 hours.  You can find more trail information by clicking here.

The Lost Dutchman State Park is scheduled to close  June 3rd, 2010 and ongoing discussions are being held to help find financial solutions to this park along with 4 other parks.  This is already after 5 parks have been closed and 10 other park’s operation hours have been cut.  For more information on the closings contact (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703) or visit AZStateParks.com.


enjoying the fruits of my labor

enjoying the fruits of my labor


Just A Little Note To The Tubers On The Salt River


Wild horses on the Salt River

Wild horses on the Salt River


I know it’s hot out and you need to cool down….I know school is tough and you need to unwind….I know you’re thirsty and all you brought is beer….I know your bored from floating at a pace of 1/10 mph and there is tons of soggy/bobbing marshmallows just begging to be thrown….I know you have tons of empty beer cans/garbage and they just float oh so well in the river….I know there is wild horses on the shore and they just look like they are begging to be yelled at….

In short I really do love all you guys and we can keep this river beautiful if we all just do our part.

Spendin A Season On The Wisconsin River

dallasholdingcanoeI spent the last 5 1/2 months in Sauk City, WI at a company called WI River Outings. I moved up there right before spring and I was on my way out as soon as the cold air came howling back.  It was great because I got to spend all of my time outside on the river and there was a few other perks too.  I received my WFR (Wilderness First Responder) medical certificate from NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), all of my customers were extremely happy and stoked to get on the water, plus I’ve only been 2 hours away from home, so I was able to see my family a lot more than I’m used to.

I spend most days moving boats around, driving buses and vans filled with happy, exhausted, sweaty, drunk people from all over the world.  Rounding up and giving safety talks to groups of sometimes over 80, excited, distracted people. And on top of all that I also did our multi-day guided trips on the Wisconsin River and the Mississippi River. All of my trips I had consisted of a big bunch of kids (8 – 15 years old) and one or two counselors.  Luckily the only injuries I saw with all those kids were a case of Lyme’s Disease (from an old tick bite before the trip) and one mild case of dehydration (which was actually one of the counselors…of course).  I was in charge of cooking all the meals, setting up camp, starting fires, telling stories, leading hikes, rescuing kids/boats, and educating everyone about the river and surrounding areas.

Since I moved to Wisconsin I’ve lived in my tent, an old bait shop, a suburban, my tent again, and finally a cabin on the river (which is where I spent the last of my Wisconsin days)….all in 5 1/2 months!  And of course now that I’ve served my term here, I realize how much fun I actually had spending a summer back in the mid west. The people have been extremely nice to me, the river and the hills have been soothing for my soul, and being closer to my family for a while was exactly what I needed. The weather was a little colder than I would have liked, but I’m sure I’ll miss it when I arrive to the hot weather of Phoenix.

I found the job when I was doing research on prices of canoes, and I stumbled upon the advertisement for WI River Outings selling over 100 old canoes from a business they just bought out.  I read that and I figured “well hell, maybe he needs some help since he just bought out another business.”  So I shot the owner an email, attached my resume, and told him about all my outdoor experience.  Next thing I know, I’m spending the next 5 1/2 months paddling, hiking, and biking back in the mid west.

Most paddling associated business revenue dropped dramatically this year in Wisconsin because of low water levels, cold weather, and a poor economy.  Our shop made a 27% increase in revenue from 2008, though.  A lot of it had to do with our great boats, amazing location, and awesome customer service.   So if you’re ever around Wisconsin….go paddle the Wisconsin River.

I was in the Wisconsin State Journal when I was working this job. Check it out here!

Coming Back Home





Beautiful emerald green waters, peaceful white sand beaches, dangerous mountains, and raging waterfalls….are all amazing scenery that you won’t get a glimpse of around my hometown in DeKalb, IL.  I have been traveling for four years now and this is my first time spending more than 3 days back at home!  I think mainly the reason for this is because I always thought of coming home as a kind of defeat.

A lot of travelers that I talk to have some of the same worries about coming home.  We feel like if we come home that we will be stuck there; in our old, boring lifestyles that we are all so desperately running from.  We don’t want to be forced to work mundane jobs in boring places, with people who have never left their hometown for even a day of their life.  We have seen a different way of life and now we have that taste in our mouth.  Which makes it hard to come home even for a short spell, because you want to live a different life.

I’m just want to remind you not to wait too long to come back home for a visit.  People take it personally, and it’s hard for them to understand why you can’t be back every free day of the year.  Now that I’m home I realize that I’m not actually stuck here.  My family supports my travels and there is always “next season”.  But one of the most difficult parts about coming back to Illinois was trying to live my active outdoors lifestyle,  in a not-so-active city environment.  It is hard to do, but not impossible.  I have been taking hikes through all of the city parks and taking every side path I see.   People will also take their bikes through the parks too.  Another fun thing to do is to take a canoe, kayak, or just an inflatable raft down any river or creek by your town.  Just remember that you take what you learn on the road everywhere you go.

Home might be a lot different than the road, but you have to embrace that and remember “it’s a great place to visit!”

Living “InTents” at Ace Outdoor Adventure Center, WV


Living "Intents"

Living "Intents"


This Spring I packed everything that I thought I would need to camp for 8 months into and onto my backpack and once again, I knew I was headed in the right direction….away. ACE is an outdoor adventure center where there is over 1400 acres of property to explore, you can ride ATVs, horses, mountain bikes, zip lines, kayaks, rafts, duckies, go mountain climbing, take a swim at the lake, drink at the bar, meet tons of great people, and so much more! It is also where I am training to become a whitewater raft guide. I arrived at ACE and they were nice enough to let us use a bunkhouse for the first week because of the snow but we all felt a little too spoiled. After a week in our bunkhouses we all moved to the top of the mountain and set up our “tent metropolis”.

When you cross the top of the mountain and enter our parking lot, you will be amazed by the plethora of different colored tents that are tucked away in various places all over the ridge. Our training class has 40 people and there are also 170 other guides that are showing up every day and adding their tents to our color palate. ( On top of that there is another training group of 40 in May ) We are all having a lot of fun and we always have at least one community fire plus where we cook, talk, and sing around. ( I love how quickly a huge group of strangers can become like family so fast in the seasonal world )


Bouldering at Hawk's Nest

Bouldering at Hawk's Nest


Another great part is that with all these people, you have a great opportunity to pick up different, fun hobbies that you’ve never had the opportunity to do. Like last week I took over 9 people bouldering for the first time in their lives, and I’m pretty sure at least half of them will keep it up! Then the next day we decided to go and kayak the New River and go creek kayaking (which is all extremely new to me because I am used to sea kayaks and canoeing…but I absolutely loved it! )

I don’t have a car here either but everyone is great at taking groups in for supplies or just getting a lot of people together to go explore some of the local spots. Like the New River Gorge Bridge, any of the thousands of caves, creeks, rivers, cliffs, “The Mystery House”, ghost towns, railroads, or whichever floats your boat. So definitely check out ACE, and the New River area in West Virginia.

As an added bonus we’ve been getting great training from some of the best guides around. We also get a great opportunity to run the New River and Gauley River at HUGE spring levels! The level changes every time we go out, so it’s a great place to learn to read the water. The boats we use are self-bailing and ACE is one of the only companies still allowing guides to “surf” our boats. Plus we usually have a video boater come too and we get a chance to look back and really see where we need improvement.

Oh…..but beware!!! I realized the other night that it has been 50 years this year since the last sighting of “Mothman”…..so make sure to look up if your in WV!

ACE Adventure Resort

The Seasonal Job World



Thats my cabin on the lake in South Lake Tahoe, CA


I’m not sure exactly how many people really know about the seasonal job world, but I hope I can help open a few people’s eyes to a world I never knew about until 4 fours ago when I stumbled upon coolworks.com.  Seasonal jobs are temporary jobs that can be full time or part time.  They usually have a specific start and end date but there is usually an opportunity or two for year-around employment if you fall in love with a certain spot.  National Parks, State Parks, Resorts, Ranches, Kids Camps, and Ski Resorts usually all hire seasonal employees.  A lot of these jobs will supply on-site housing or they can help set you up with a place to rent.  There are even some jobs that will supply you with food while you are there.  On top of all that,  you get to work with a lot of really cool and interesting people from all over the world!

I have a few links for great places to find seasonal jobs on my website.  My three favorite seasonal job websites are Cool Works.com, Back Door Jobs.com, and Job Monkey.com.  Check them out frequently because they post new jobs everyday.

Seasonal jobs usually hire with the seasons, and a lot of jobs will do their hiring for the whole year in spring.  All of the jobs are extremely easy to apply for because of online applications.  I have also found that if you look around on the internet, you can find all types of websites, reviews, pictures, and sometimes even movies about the company you are interested in.  Even with the economy being as bad as it is, there is still a plethora of jobs on Cool Works, Backdoor Jobs, and Job Monkey.  (Which are all great resources for finding seasonal jobs, or a career in a beautiful new place.)   Most of these seasonal jobs are only a few months long, so why not give it a shot?

Let me tell you about my move to Hawaii



The Big Island viewed from Kohala Mt.


So I’ve got a little tale to tell you and it starts in California…….I was working at Stanford Sierra Conference Center in South Lake Tahoe and the fall season was almost up.  I was dating someone at the time and we were discussing where to spend the winter.  She almost had me convinced to stay in Tahoe and spend the winter snowboarding until she made the mistake of uttering the word “Hawaii” in too close of range!  We talked long and hard about it for a week and finally decided to just buy the tickets.  No plans, no jobs, no clue, but we were stoked!

We worked our butts off and cut down to one backpack each (mine had my long board duct taped to the back.)  We had managed to save up what we thought had to be enough money (about $900) and got ready to leave.  Well my girlfriend lost her wallet the night before she left on the plane and it had $400 in it!  I wasn’t with her either because she was on an earlier plane than me and had to leave at 5.  Well right as I’m getting on the plane she calls me and tells me about the wallet situation and the fact that her aunt doesn’t have enough room to let us stay with her for more than a day! Well you can imagine my panic.

But she was already there and I had to “play” the tough boyfriend role so I told her “don’t worry I’ll figure it out.”  Even though I was freaking out and secretly wanting to run off the plane screaming!  Once I made it to Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, and our one day stay was up, we just rented a hotel room for a night and researched cars.  We could only find a few that were under $1000 and they were all on the other side of the island….of course.  So we packed our stuff, borrowed some money, and set out on the bus across the island.


Waipio Valley on the Big Island, Hawaii.

Waipio Valley on the Big Island, Hawaii.


That bus ride was one of the most beautiful rides I had ever taken.  We went  around the upper part of the island, by the Kohala Mountain, and Waipio Valley to Hilo.  The bus ride is free unless you have a huge backpack or something big to be stored and then it is $1.  The mass transit system is pretty good there unless you want to go to the south west tip of the island.

We found the car and it ran great.  It was what people there call an “island car” and that just means that the owner had to sell it cheap because they were moving off the island.  (Keep your eyes open for these because they are amazing deals.)  Luckily I managed to haggle her down from $1600 to $1000 because all we had with us was $1100!  We hopped in and drove almost the whole way back when all of a sudden the car started to lose all its power.  At this point I’m swearing up a storm mumbling something about Murphy’s Law!  We called AAA got a tow to the nearest village and I realized the next morning that the previous owner had just neglected to fill the fluids.  No problem.



View out the front window of the apt.


So we filled the fluids, hopped back in the car, drove it out of the parking lot where it had camped for the night, and

finished the drive back to the “sunny side”.  (One side of the island is always sunny and the other side always rains making it the “wet side”)  We had just spent all of our cash, plus some, on this car so we didn’t have enough money to rent a cardboard box!  That actually turned out to be a blessing because we decided to spend our first month living on the beaches of Hawaii.  There was a big group of locals that lived there and some of them showed us where the fruit trees were and when to pick them.  They also gave us tips on spear fishing and cheap campsites.  The best part about it was having a front row seat every day to the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.

After a few days of bummin around the beach we ambled on into town and we both got jobs our first day looking.  We saved our money and ended up moving into an apartment with a 180 degree view of the ocean so I didn’t mind leaving the beach that much.  (Plus it was nice to have a hot shower!)  We lived there for 6 months and really enjoyed the experience.  My journey may have started rough but I got the opportunity to see one of the most beautiful places in the world and we did it starting with $400 – $500, no job, and no placed lined up to go.  It would have been a lot easier if we were  prepared but we still did it and had a lot of fun.

Oh yea, and a month and a half before we left the island we decided to sell the car to get some extra money .  I put it up for 2500 on craigslist and had it sold for the full price with in 20 minutes.  ($1500 profit!) We quit our jobs two weeks later and spent the last month cruisin the beaches, hiking tons of trails, and seein the lava flow.

How I got started in the seasonal world….


Smokey Mountains, TN

Smokey Mountains, TN


I’ve been traveling for almost four years now and it seems that on every journey I take,  I meet someone that’s brand new to this type of life.  I usually try to give that person as many tips as possible and try to make their first time an experience they won’t forget.  And every time I meet someone like this I think about my first time leaving home and why I really got into doing this.

As I’ve said before my family owned a campground when I was growing up so I was lucky enough to have a childhood that anyone would covet.  We had a lake, river, forest, dogs, cats, goats (yes I said goats) and the best part of all was…..I never had to wear shoes!  On top of that my family would also go hiking, and take “country cruises” to other cool places in the area.  So you can most likely say that I got my love for the outdoors at an early age.

But then my Mom and Dad got separated and we sold the campground when I was 13.  We moved into a tiny one-story house in a small town called Waterman, IL.  I don’t know if it was just being young or if I was just having trouble with living in town and having everything be so different with my life, but I turned into a jack-ass.  I was just so bored that I was doing things that were totally unlike me.  So needless to say, just a year and a half later we were on the move again.

This time we moved to a bigger town called DeKalb, IL.  I spent another year or so going down the wrong road when one day I realized how stupid I was being.  I changed everything.  I changed friends, I moved out on my own, and started to work very hard.  It was during this time (about 6 years ago) that I found Cool Works.com.  I applied at every job I found on there but I didn’t know anything about the seasonal world and it was off season.  (Plus like everyone else, I had other things going and I didn’t think I would actually do something like that.)



Me with a few of the kids


During my big change I was working as Head Maintenance Man at a big apartment complex.  I wanted to start “my new life” helping others so I bought 25 bikes from the bike auction that me and my mom were volunteering at, and I fixed them up.  Then I let every kid who didn’t own a bike at the complex come and pick out their bike of choice.  That day I got to see 3 kids ride a bike for their first time.  After I saw the looks on those kid’s (and mother’s) faces I realized that I love to help.

Then the day came around when I lost my Head Maintenance position.  I was devastated!  That night, I was looking for other jobs online when I happened to look at Cool Works again.  I wasn’t getting any replies back from anyone, but I had the “travel bug” and there was no getting away from it.  I took a long look at the USA map and I remembered that we had a family friend in Tennessee.  That night I packed everything I thought I would need and shoved it into the cab of my 1982 GMC S-15.  I had made up my mind.

The next morning my family was extremely shocked when I called them, and they did not like my idea.  But they also knew that if I say I want to do something, the chances are that I’m gonna do it.  So we made a compromise.  Instead of leaving the next day I would wait a week, and me, my Dad, and my sister would all go to the Roger Water’s concert.  The days coming up to that concert I was so freaked out because I was starting to have doubts and I really wanted one of my friends to come with me.  The only problem was that none of them wanted to leave!


Rainbow Falls in Gatlinburg, TN

Rainbow Falls in Gatlinburg, TN


That night at the concert I was blown away.  Not only by how good the music sounded but because one line really hit me…..”kicking around on a piece of ground, in your hometown, waiting for someone or something to show you the way”    (Pink Floyd, “Time”)  I heard that and decided instantly “that’s not me, I’m not waiting for anything!” I was really gonna do this!  The next morning my family had a nice breakfast and we all had a sentimental send off.

Leaving that house was one of the hardest parts of all my travels.  But as soon as I set out on that 11 hour road trip, I started to have the best time of my life….. I was doing it!  I was getting the chance to see places I had only seen in a book or on TV!  Not only that but I was going to be living in The Smokey Mountains!  I was so stoked!

I had someone down there that helped me along the way and I had tons of fun.  I also got a calls back from tons of jobs once the season started back up too.  I had almost forgot I put in all those applications at Cool Works!  I ended up moving to California, learning about the seasonal world from other seasoned workers, and never looked back.

I’m still chasing my dream and I hope to still be doing this for years to come.  If you ever thought about doing this then try!  Most seasonal jobs only last a few months so even if it’s not for your thing, you still get the chance to spend some time living somewhere that most people only dream about.

Thoughts on old cars and road trips


My Ford Probe I drove 17,000 miles around the USA

My Ford Probe I drove 17,000 miles around the USA


I bet a lot of you really want to go somewhere but you think because you have an old car it wont make it out of town.  Well in some cases you may be right, but usually your old car can take you a lot farther than you think.  I had a 1989 Ford Probe that I bought for $800 in Carson City, NV.  I had it for 3 months when I decided I wanted to take a road trip all the way around the USA.  I really wanted to go but I didn’t want to take my old car and get stuck somewhere on the road.  The only problem was that I would never be able to afford a new car….So I decided to find out a little more about cars.

Autozone has a feature on their website where you can plug in the year/ make/ model of your car and then you will get a complete repair manual for your car.  It will tell you everything from how to take out your engine to changing your fuses.  First I always suggest that you change your spark plugs and wires ( which is very easy and inexpensive. )  This will make your car run smoother and get better gas mileage.   Another thing to remember is to ALWAYS check your oil and other fluids before you leave on an extended drive.  It is very easy and only takes a second.  Something as small as checking your fluids can add YEARS on your old car.  Just don’t think because you added 3 quarts last week that it wont need another 3 this week.  Some older cars can burn through oil at an alarming rate!  At that point I usually suggest selling it (maybe on craigslist?) and getting a new one.  When I went on my road trip I would drive for 3 hours and then let my car cool down and check all my fluids.  This is a good thing to do for any car when your driving a long distance.

You can also invest in AAA or some other type of roadside assistance.  You can find this through many different places like insurance companies, and even some phone companies.  This will help in case you need a tow, change a flat, run out of gas, lock your keys in your car, ect…..I upgraded my policy through Gieco and got roadside assistance and full coverage for $60/ month (prices vary by age, driving record, ect….)  I never had to use it and I downgraded when the trip was done but I had it if I needed it.

The last bit of advice is to make sure somebody knows where you’re at and what you’re driving.  This is a very small detail but its nice to know that if something happens to you that someone knows at least where you were headed.  It may sound bleak but its a great precaution to take.

Other than those few tips  I just want to say….”don’t let anything hold you back from what you really want to do”.  Where there’s a will there’s a way right?  Get out there and see more than your hometown.  Even if that just means going on a “country cruise” a few towns over.  Just remember to check your fluids!

Make your reservations early!

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made time after time while I’m traveling is waiting way to long to make reservations.  This applies to airplane tickets, bus tickets, train tickets, car rentals, hotels, ect…..All of these places offer ways to make reservations early online or at their office.  You will almost always have to use a credit or debit card of some type because most companies require deposits.

If you make your reservations early you can save some major money!  Example…..When my mom came to visit me in California I kept saying that we should reserve our rental car early to hold the rate of $15/ day.  But we forgot to reserve it with all of the problems of organizing everything else.  Big Mistake.  We ended up renting a car from the front desk with no reservation and we had to pay $60/ day for a beat up economy car!  Now this wouldn’t have been so bad, but we rented the car for 5 days!  So we ended up paying $225 more than we had to!  Learn from other peoples mistakes lol.

There are quite a few websites out there that you can use to reserve your car, hotels, air fare, and other things as early as possible.  The website I use the most is cheaptickets.com, but there is also a few other sites out there like orbitz.com, and kayak.com and you can use these to compare and find the cheapest rate.  I also have these and other helpful links on the sidebar.  Use them and don’t wait till the last minute!

South Lake Tahoe, California – Outdoor Adventure All Year


Me looking at Lily Lake in Desolation Wilderness

Me looking at Lily Lake in Desolation Wilderness


South Lake Tahoe (SLT) is a little town right on the border of California and Nevada.  It sits on the south shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe ( the second deepest lake in the USA ).  Lake Tahoe is known for its clarity of water and the panoramic view of the mountain ranges that circle this amazing lake.  The 1960 Winter Olympics were held on the northern part of the lake at Squaw Valley ski resort.  This brought in a lot of new development and made this area what it is today.


Zach, Me, Chris, and Pete on top of Mt. Tallac.  Lake Tahoe is the lake on the left and Fallen Leaf Lake on the right.

Zach, Me, Chris, and Pete on top of Mt. Tallac. Lake Tahoe is the lake on the left and Fallen Leaf Lake on the right.


Most people just associate SLT with the winter though.  It is true that SLT does have some of the best slopes to ride in all the country but there is also an abundance of things to keep you active in the summer season here.  A lot of people will spend the day at one of the lake’s many beaches like Kiva, Pope, or Zephyer Cove.  You can rent a kayak, boat,  jet ski, or go parasailing and spend some time on the water.  Or you can rent a bicycle at one of the many rental shops and travel the bike path that takes you from the casinos in Nevada all the way to Emerald Bay on the other side of Lake Tahoe.  The bike path takes you through some amazing scenery, is kept in great shape, and can take you anywhere.  There is also a lot of mountain trails in Tahoe if you want to get off the beaten path.  Most hiking trails allow bikes but you should always check first.


My campsite at Round Lake outside of Meyers, CA. (5 minutes from Tahoe)

My campsite at Round Lake outside of Meyers, CA. (5 minutes from Tahoe)


Tahoe is the home of 2 very famous hiking trails too.  The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT ) and the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT).  The PCT can be found west of Lake Tahoe running from north to south and the TRT circles around Lake Tahoe.  There is also a ton of smaller trails all over Tahoe and especially in Desolation Wilderness.  One of my favorite hikes is up to the peak of Mt. Tallac and is located right at the door step of Desolation Wilderness.  (Let me warn you now that you need a permit to go hiking in Desolation and NO FIRES.)

South Lake Tahoe is just a small part of beautiful Northern California and there is also plenty of cool places to see within a few hours drive.  You can go to Carson City, NV in 45 minutes, Reno, NV in 1 hour, Sacramento, CA in 1 hour, Yosemite in 1 hour, San Francisco in 3 hours, Big Sur in 4 hours, and the drive to any of these places can be an amazing experience too.

This is just a small list of things to do in this wonderful area and if you ever get bored of the outdoors you can always try you’re luck at one of the 4 casinos on the Nevada side.  If you know of any cool things to see or do around this area feel free to post them in the comments.  I will keep adding cool spots and if you have any suggestions feel free to email them to me .    dallassmith85 AT yahoo DOT com



Have you ever been staring out your window and wondered “could I be doing something cooler right now?”  Well the answer is probably yes and coolworks is here to help.  Coolworks.com is a website that has been helping regular people like you and me find not-so-regular jobs for years.  There are employers from some of the most beautiful places in America posting new jobs on their site every day.  They don’t just limit job searching to the USA though.  You can find work at many different places around the world too.

You have a lot of options when you start your search for your new adventure with coolworks.  There are four main options to look under when your hunting… Whats New, Help Wanted Now, Seasonal Pros, and Careers.  Don’t think that these are your only choices though because there are plenty of different jobs that will be posted under Jobs On The Water, Resort Jobs, Guide Jobs, etc…. and those links will be at the top of the page.  There is even an option to choose by state if you already know where you want to go.  You can become a  Continue reading

It looks like you found me, so pull up a chair, and stay a while!


I’ve been traveling since 2005 and I’m on the constant journey to extend my adventures.  I started this website so I can write articles about what I experience and learn on the road or where ever I’m calling home. 

You can also use this site to contact me for guided hikes, rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, or backpacking trips.

I’m a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR) through the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), and a certified Kayak Touring Instructor through the American Canoeing Association (ACA).  I have also been an outdoor guide since 2006 and I’ve led guided kayaking, rafting, canoeing, biking, hiking,  and backpacking trips.

I have included few helpful links for jobs and other helpful traveling tools on this site too, so bookmark my site, leave some comments, check  back often, and Get Out There!

Tip: Click the icon on the lower right corner of the video for full-screen mode and a great view!