Showing posts from June, 2013

Summer Reading

It's officially summer!  That means barbeques, afternoons at the pool, watermelon, sundresses, fruity cocktails, flip flops, and of course... beach books!  In the summer I crave a certain type of book -- a story that will take me on a vacation.  I like to read about summer friendships or family drama, or a character's coming of age during an exciting era, or an intimate memoir.  I have very fond memories of some of the summer books I've read over the years and where I was at the time (such as laying in the sand at Virginia Beach, sitting out on the deck at my parents' house, or lounging on a beach chair in northern Minnesota).  Here are a few of my favorites...
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (Rebecca Wells)
The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein)
Dewey (Vicki Myron)
One Thousand White Women (Jim Fergus)
My Sister's Keeper (Jodi Picoult)
Tara Road (Maeve Binchy)
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons (Lorna Landvik)
Water for Elep…

Wheeler Peak

Wheeler Peak, the highest mountain in New Mexico, has been on my hiking bucket list since moving here.I finally had the opportunity to experience this rewarding and beautiful hike with Jaycob and our good friend, Marek.
To allow ample time for driving and hiking, and to avoid afternoon thunderstorms common in the summer, one must get an early start.We left Santa Fe at 6 a.m. yesterday and arrived at the Taos Ski Area shortly after 8:00.The trail begins here at the Taos ski valley, at about 9,430 ft elevation.

The first part of the hike is a long gradual uphill with a few stream crossings.After exiting the woods, there are beautiful views of mountain ranges to the east and Colorado peaks to the north.The trail turns southward, through a snowy, forested area, and leads to La Cal Basin at 11,800 feet.

The final part of the climb is the most challenging, comprising swithback after switchback above the treeline up toward the peak.Thankfully this section is not steep (in fact we were impressed…

Triple Peaks (again)

One year ago this month my good friend, Becky, introduced me to a hike that would become one of my favorite trails in the Santa Fe area – the Three Peaks hike, which Jaycob and I hiked a couple weeks ago (me for the second time, Jaycob for the first time).
From the trail head at the Santa Fe ski basin, the trail begins with uphill switchbacks followed by a steady ascent (steep at times) to Raven’s Ridge, leading to the first peak – Deception Peak (12,320 ft).The most challenging part of the hike is the first two hours, with a 2,200 ft elevation gain.There are breathtaking views along the route to the first peak.We were surprised to see how deep the snow was considering how summery the weather has been in town, but we were able to keep track of the path most of the time during this beginning section.

After reaching Deception Peak, we scrambled along some rough and rocky terrain to reach the highest point of the hike: Lake Peak (12,409 ft).From here the views are spectacular in every dire…