Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

Here a couple of shots from a snowshoeing jaunt I did today in the mountains above Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe.

 

Skiing in the Sierras

What a fantastic weekend of skiing in the Lake Tahoe region. In the past week we have received more than 50 inches of new snow with more on the way.

It all started Friday morning at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort. Check out a little video I made to give you a sense of the conditions.

Turn your speakers on.

I intermixed some photos I took at Alpine last year just to make the video a little more interesting.

As usual, I was shooting in really poor light conditions with my Canon A620. Still, for a compact little digital camera that also has video with audio capabilities, it is a nice little companion. It is already difficult enough to get my friends to hold still on a powder day. Carrying and protecting a large camera in cold, snowy, windy conditions would make it even harder.

I am waiting for a camcorder that is small and compact, offers excellent video quality, saves to a hard drive, and also allows you to take high resolution pictures. Come on Canon or Sony, you can do it!

On Saturday, I did some backcountry in a place I cannot reveal, and today I went over to my backyard resort, Mt Rose Ski Resort. It was quite windy and snowing heavily, but the powder was endless and I skied as long as my body would allow me.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend!

Cruising Around Costa Rica

One’s Personal Perspective

Costa Rica is an eco-tourist’s dream. An abundance of flora and fauna, beautiful beaches, and big mountains make this country equally appealing to both naturalists and recreationalists alike. You can surf, fish, hike, rappel waterfalls, fly through the treetops on zip lines, race horses on the beach, and witness more wildlife than you ever thought existed.

However, the one characteristic of Costa Rica that is lacking, especially to those familiar with such destinations as Mexico, Peru, the Caribbean, or the Mediterranean for that matter, is the unimpressive architecture and a seemingly undefined or preserved culture.

Yes, there are coffee, chocolate, and African palm plantations, a few scattered pre-Columbian sites, and some evidence of Spanish influence, but frankly it is not that interesting in comparison to other places in the world where humans have left their mark. Costa Rica is beautiful, and its people are noble and proud, but it is not a place one should necessarily visit if they quickly get bored of ocean and rain forest activities.

Fortunately for me, I love to surf, and I am somewhat of amateur ornithologist. I appreciated the countless incredible surf spots and Costa Rica’s efforts to preserve large tracts of land in the form of reserves and national parks.

Continue reading Cruising Around Costa Rica

It Finally Snowed in the Sierras

On Saturday it was cold, snowing, and the light was flat, but I still managed to begrudgingly pull my hands out of my gloves, and fire off some video of backcountry skiing in the Mt Rose Wilderness Area.

Despite the fact that it did not make for very good video conditions, I am absolutely overjoyed to see some snow finally descending in the Lake Tahoe region. I am praying for more!

I would also like to give a shout out to the Mt Rose Ski Resort patroller who broke his leg doing avalanche control in the Chutes on Monday. I appreciate the work that he was doing and recognize that there are inherent dangers in this type of work.

I absolutely love the Chutes and it is the primary reason why I have a pass at Mt Rose. The ski patrollers do a great job of managing a notorious area and getting it open for people to safely enjoy.

Hopefully the team was able to learn from the situation and apply that knowledge to avoid similar situations in the future. However, it could be that it was simply unavoidable.

Here’s to a quick recovery.

The Reno-Tahoe Young Professional Network (YPN) at 210 North

Serving as the vice president of marketing for the Reno-Tahoe Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA), working at Twelve Horses, and engaging in a pretty active social life, one would think that I would know most of the young working professionals in Reno.

But I don’t.

Tuesday night more than 100 of us  gathered at 210 North to kickoff the first meeting for the new Reno-Tahoe Young Professional Network. It was fun and I got to meet a lot of people that I had never met. 

I wrote about the purpose of the organization on the Twelve Horses Blog, but suffice to say there are some exciting plans and lots of positive energy.

I hope it goes far.

There is an upcoming kickoff party that will be held at 210 North on April 5th from 7-10:00pm. If you are a young professional and interested in getting involved with YPN then you should come.

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Directions 2007

This is a picture of me and Dan Oster, a fellow University of Nevada-Reno MBA graduate, at the Directions 2007 event. This is the post I wrote for Twelve Horses, my employer about Directions.

Continue reading Directions 2007

Andy Warhol at the Nevada Museum of Art

I am back from Costa Rica (post to come), and I can tell you that it was quite nice to return from a foreign country and soak up some American pop culture.

The First Thursday events at the Nevada Museum of Art are always good fun. Through the collaborative efforts of Dave Chapman from KTHX, various vendors such as Great Basin Brewery, and of course the Museum, the first Thursday of each month is a great excuse to get off of work and appreciate some art, have a few drinks, and visit with friends in a beautiful setting.

Last night’s event was packed. Even though that might be perceived as a negative to some, I am glad to see additional revenue flowing into the Museum’s coffers.

The featured exhibit right now is Andy Warhol. While I am not  supposed to, I managed to dodge the guards and grab a few pics with my Cingular 3125 Smart Phone.

As well-known as Warhol is, it  is still nice to see his work in person and appreciate the use of color and texture in his various pieces and collections. Something as simple as a the image of a soup can or a recognizable figure has the power to invoke a myriad of emotions and associations.

I can recall one obnoxious young man, who was observing the Campbell Soup cans, sarcastically stating to his friends in a loud voice, “Hey guys, this is what I am going to do. I’m going to frame a bunch of soup cans and call it art.” He obviously didn’t get it. This particular work of Warhol’s represents the mass appeal of certain products, and how the use of color and illustration not only further create this appeal, but could very well be the driving force.

The Nevada Museum of Art is a great asset to the Reno community, and I encourage all of you to support it to the best of your abilities.

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Keystone Canyon

Because the ski season for Lake Tahoe is off to a very slow start, I am still mountain biking pretty regularly. Keystone Canyon offers a number of different trails to ride upon, one of which being Evans Trail.

Simply ride up from the trailhead off of McCarran Blvd and veer right when the trail crests at the looming mechanical towers. 

All along the trail one is afforded nice views of Reno, and there is actually some decent technical riding to be found.

You descend down into a slot canyon, head left at the bottom, and eventually you switchback your way back to the top. From there you blast your way back down Keystone Canyon to the car.

Not a bad little ride considering its close proximity to the city.

210 North: Reno, Nevada

Finally got down to 210 North in downtown Reno to check out the new digs and see whether or not it is worth a damn. I was pleasantly surprised.

If you don’t want to wait in line, arrive around 10:30pm or so. I waltzed right in at that time, but observed over the course of several hours that the line got progressively longer and longer.

When you enter you are immediately asked to pay an entrance fee. On a standard evening, for men it is $15 for locals and $20 for out-of-state; for women it is $5 for locals and $10 for non. After paying, you  ride up to the 2nd floor on an escalator dressed with hanging metal chains. Sort of sets the mood.

At the top of the escalator you are greeted with an airy space surrounded by segmented but connected rooms representing separate bar areas and VIP rooms. The largest room contains a sizeable dance floor equipped with DJs.

The interior design of each room is distinct and thoughtful. They are outfitted with unique furnishings such as stylish furniture and cool lighting.

The other attribute of note is the general feel of the place. It is not pretentious. Hats are not allowed, but you don’t feel like you have to wear your best duds every time you go there. There were many different types of people and dress, and fortunately there were no real sketchy characters. The large bouncers probably help. 

All in all I think 210 North is a good addition to Reno, and I hope it survives. I hate going to clubs where it is so crowded and packed that you can’t get a drink, nor can you move around and hear what your friends are saying. You have the option of the dance floor where you can rock out, or you have the choice to retire to a quieter place to socialize and drink. Nice dichotomy.

Charleston, South Carolina

I love where I am from. Charleston, South Carolina is a place by the sea where environment, culture and history have come together to create a very special place filled with a distinct charm all its own.

There have been many events and individuals that have shaped the character of Charleston. For instance, Charleston was once held hostage by the infamous pirate, Blackbeard. Almost one-hundred years later, the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter, a structure that still stands sentinel in the mouth of the harbor. It is said that General Sherman spared Charleston from the match on his way to burn Atlanta because of his love for it.

My appreciation for Charleston, SC is only intensified by the fact that I live almost 3,000 miles away from it and for almost 10 years. Why do I not live there you may ask? Well, because Charleston lacks only one thing – mountains.

Still, I love to visit, and I just happened to find myself there this past week. I was able to get out in the boat to fish with my father, shoot clays in the country with my mother, and take in the city with long walks and runs down the slate-covered sidewalks.

For those that live far away from their place of birth, I suspect they  experience the same feelings that I do when they return. You cannot help but unearth memories containing emotions, experiences, and individuals that have played an integral role in who you are today.

On my last day in Charleston, my feet lead me to the very street and house that  I grew up in. Sounds cliche, but it was actually quite circumstantial considering the busy schedule I maintain when visiting. I have an extensive family and divorced  parents who live in different houses, so I generally do not have much time for these types of tangents.

Nevertheless, there I was looking over the wall, thinking it rather small in comparison to when I was a child. So much happened there, and yet it is all gone except for my memories and of those that shared them with me. How quickly your mortality can come rushing in like an uninvited guest. 

On a lighter note, I love the juxtaposition of these two pictures. My stepfather on the left in his skeet shooting attire, and my father out on his boat. Both pictures were taken within two days of each other.

Robert Payne

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