Sugar Bowl Wedding

Sugar Bowl Wedding | Truckee, CA | Kristin + Alan

Kristin and Alan both spend their summers working for a summer camp for kids and they warned me ahead of time that their camp friends get a little rowdy, like to dance party, and that rubber animal masks often make an appearance.  What they did not warn me about: that there would be a ninja turtle at the dance party.  Best reception surprise ever!

Their Sugar Bowl wedding featured the highs and lows that you would expect from any ski resort wedding – literally.  They were wed on the grass at the base of the resort, sent their friends and family up the lift for cocktail hour at the top of the mountain and then returned to the base for a beautiful dinner and reception on the deck of the lodge.

Because their summer camp roots are so important to them, the reception was camp themed and the centerpieces featured appropriate items like lanterns.  Take away gifts were custom ceramic mugs and table assignments were according to cabin names. It was a gorgeous day, an adorably themed DIY wedding and an incredible dance party.

Venue: Sugar Bowl Ski Resort | Officiant: Rev Channing Smith | Florist: Sugar Bowl Ski Resort | Bakery: Ikeda’s California Country Market | Musician: Megan Bigelow | DJ: Ashlee Sleek | Bride’s Attire: Trudy’s Bridal | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Dessy | Groom’s Attire: The Celtic Shoppe | Hair and Make-up: Daymaker Brides | Second Shooter: Annie Robillard

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Bizz Johnson Half Marathon

When my friend Bri separated her AC joint mountain biking this summer she decided to focus on the only sport she could do, which was running, and on a whim, registered for the Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon in Susanville, CA.

I have tons of customers who have run this event and while they have always lauded the course and the support, I have heard many a horror story about how it was snowing, or raining, or snowing and raining on race day and how miserable it can be. Honestly, most years that I’ve lived in Tahoe it has snowed every year on that weekend.

Because Bri and I had tickets to go see Florence and the Machine in the Bay Area with some friends of mine, I decided that I would register for the half and tag along so that we could drive straight from the Bay to Susanville for the event.

So, we drove all over Northern CA and ran marathons. No big deal.

We spent Friday night with my friends Chris and Erin, who danced to Florence with us, cooked us bacon and waffles the next morning, and showed off their gorgeous new daughter.

Mmmm waffles!

Look at those happy beautiful eyes!

On Saturday we drove up to Susanville and camped at the gorgeous and completely empty Eagle Lake Campground and Recreation Area. Literally empty. There were probably 60 campsites there and only three of them in use, including ours!

Things that you should do before running a marathon: 1) go to concerts, 2) drink wine, 3) drive 7 hours, 4) spend some of that time shopping at IKEA. We are so pro.

Eagle Lake Campground and Recreation Area

The Bizz Johnson Marathon and Half Marathon take place on Susanville’s Bizz Johnson Trail, a 25.4 mile Rails to Trails Project that follows the old Fernley and Lassen Branch Line of the Southern Pacific railroad. The trail starts at the old Susanville Rail Depot and follows the Susan River Canyon.

Booker explores the beginning of the Bizz Johnson Trail.

Briana was taken 26.2 miles away where she was hoping to get a BQ time on the mostly downhill course, but came in just slightly past her goal time. Regardless, it was her first marathon and she did awesome!!

Bri comes across the finish line looking strong!

The half marathon course was an out and back on the trail, which included one of my favorite race moments ever: running through a super dark, quiet and 800 foot long railroad tunnel! It was so cool!

Physically, I had a pretty terrible race, but while I didn’t feel super awesome, at least the scenery was gorgeous and the event was well run, which is more than I can say for the last horrible race I had, which took place in the god-awful town of Wichita Falls, TX. So far I am 0 for 2 on races this year!

Anyways, I had gone in to see my PT/Chiropractor with a slight injury the week before and he cleared me to run, thinking I had some minor soft tissue damage. This was apparently a bigger problem than we both thought because now I haven’t been able to run again since the half which leaves me feeling a bit anxious about the upcoming half and full marathons I’m registered for. I know I can always just go out slow and wing it, but I’d rather not come away from this year’s marathon with a stress fracture. I still have no idea what’s wrong with my leg, but in short, it feels like a lead rod is jamming up my tibia into my knee when I run.

So, I ran a half marathon. Oh, I got third in my age group. Bri ran a marathon, she got 2nd in her age group. We saw Florence and the Machine. We shopped at Ikea. We picked up my new table from West Elm. We had fun. Overall, a successful, but busy and driving filled time.


Last weekend, on the spur of the moment, I decided to take my Labor Day holiday and Buddy and I went to Downieville for my second time this season and his first time EVER with a big group of friends. We camped, rode, laughed and drank for three days and it was absolute heaven. We rode a new trail there: the Mills Peak Trail. It is hands down my new favorite Downieville Trail! 9 miles of ripping awesome pumpy flowy downhill singletrack – what’s not to love? You can see all the photos from the weekend here, but these are a few of my faves.

Adventure to the Redwoods!

I’ve had the CA coastal redwoods on my list of must-visits for quite some time. I was determined to make it there this summer and thankfully, two good friends of mine had a similar idea and a similar schedule so off to Northern CA we headed.

It always amazes me how much crap is required for camping. You’d think you’d be taking less stuff. Not so. Between all the necessary items, which included one camp grill, one camp stove, one corn hole set, six bottles of wine and two cases of beer, four real pillows from our home beds, two tents, and my ridiculously excessive yet exceedingly comfortable Thermarest Dreamtime (worth every penny), all for three people and four nights, our car was stuffed to the gills.

It was ALL necessary.

It’s an outrageously long drive from Tahoe to our destination: Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. As a bonus though, we got to drive through Whiskeytown. I had previously believed that Whiskeytown was an awesome figment of musical song lyric imagination (much like Margaritaville). I would like my town to be renamed Whiskeytown because it would be so much cooler to live in a town named Whiskeytown. Everyone would want to go to Whiskeytown. Anyways, I digress.

In addition to driving through Whiskeytown, we also drove through The Trees of Mystery which is a standard All-American Roadside Attraction featuring ridiculously tall statues that people driving by can take pictures with. What did we do? We took some sweet photos with giant statues and it was great fun.

Paul Bunyon and Babe at the Trees of Mystery.

I chose the park for a number of reasons, but primarily because the reviews I read online touted how amazing it’s remoteness and camp settings were. I should have realized based on the lack of availability how special of a place we were going: we managed to reserve the last campsite there and there were only two nights available. Oddly enough, after I made the reservation, I discovered the Jedediah Smith Campground referenced on multiple “Best Of Camping” Lists, including this one from Sunset Magazine. I can attest to Sunset Magazine’s list because Jedediah Smith Campsite was the best campsite I’ve ever been to. Our site was shrouded in so much brush, trees and overgrown ferns that despite our proximity to our neighbors, it was as if we were in the woods completely alone. The showers were brand new and warm, no matter what time of day. There were huge bear boxes in the site and it’s proximity to the state park was ideal. Overall, we were totally and completely wowed.

Jedediah Smith Campground, site 101, Jedediah Smith State Park

Let me tell you a secret: I hate camping. Now that I live IN the mountains, I wholeheartedly would prefer to go into the wilderness and return home to the comfort of my extraordinarily large and remarkably comfortable Western King bed with the Temperpedic knock-off mattress and down comforter. That being said, if I do camp, one must camp in style which include the previously discussed and completely excessive Dreamtime, a full four inches of Thermarest self inflating mattress and Isotonic® Memory Foam topper.

Also necessary: fabulous food. For our inaugural evening, camp chef Lauren had a nice antipasto plate of homemade rye bread, assorted cheeses, salami, olives and marinated artichokes. I knew we would show up to camp starving, need to set everything up and prep before we could even start dinner. Rule of camping: appetizers are ALWAYS necessary when you arrive at camp.

Camp Antipasto Plate: camp with good grub.

We set up camp, had an delicious dinner of fish tacos, the required s’mores ’round the campfire and generally spent the evening in complete awe of our surroundings. Even after a nine hour drive, we could tell that the location and park we had chosen to explore the redwoods in was a good choice the best decision EVER.

Relaxing: Camp Style

Coming up: we search for the Grove of the Titans.