Tahoe Kids Tri | Tahoe Event Photography

“Mom, I want to beat all the boys,” allegedly declared one competitor.  This was no normal competitor, mind you.  She is a very ferocious child under the age of 10.

Fist pumping since he’s in the lead!

The 2nd of the the three event series that comprises the Tahoe Kids Triathlon Series occurred this past Sunday and this event was no different than the others but just as special: two year olds kickin’ butt and taking names on strider bikes, races for the finish, aggressive cornering, and yes, a few tears.  But mostly, it’s all laughter, smiles and high fives when they cross the finish line.

The youngest competitor, a 2 year old, starts to the bike leg on his strider.

If your kids participated in the event, a link to the gallery will remain under the EVENTS selection in the PORTFOLIO tab or you can also view the entire gallery via this link.

Coming to visit Tahoe?  The Tahoe Tri Club will be holding kids’ triathlons at the Parks and Recreation Department on Rufus Allen Blvd again on Sept 8.  The event starts at 1:30 PM and you need to show up early to register.  You can find more information at their website.  Each kid receives post event grub and a raffle ticket for awesome swag from local sponsors.

If you are looking for photos from previous Tahoe Tri Club Events, you can view them via these links:

2013 Tahoe Kids Tri #2: August 18, 2013

2013 Tahoe Kids Tri #1: July 21, 2013

2013 Tahoe Kids Tri Mini Event: June 30, 2013

2012 Tahoe Kids Tri #3: Sept 9, 2012

2012 Tahoe Kids Tri #2: Aug 12, 2012

2012 Tahoe Kids Tri #1: July 7, 2012

Personal Project: The Adventurers

The Adventurers

is a personal project consisting of portraits of people I meet in my own adventures who, in some way, inspire me, strike me, or surprise me.



Photographed at: my house, South Lake Tahoe, CA

Lives in: Cape Town, South Africa

Occupation: Adventurer

Job Responsibilities include: cycle touring, beer drinking.

“Do you have a beer, man… no, not water, I need a beer!”

Kayden came to stay with us though WarmShowers, a website for reciprocal hosting of touring cyclists.  Kayden is one of the founding members and trustees of Global Wheeling, a South African based charity that focuses on bicycle empowerment and community greening projects in disadvantaged communities.  Kayden’s journey is supported by corporate donors and 100% of all other donations go to the cause.

When Kayden rolled into Tahoe, he had just cycled over Tioga pass to visit Yosemite, Monitor and Luther, as well as spent an afternoon riding through Death Valley at 120 degrees.

Kayden spent three very special, very memorable days with us in total.  He is the Adventurer that trumps all other adventurers.  After years touring the globe on his bike, Kayden will deliver a journal from South Africa to the Burn and this leg of journey will be complete.  Somehow, I just know that Kayden’s journey will never be complete.  His life will be filled with the kinds of adventures that most people cannot even comprehend taking on.  He’s pretty fucking awesome.

Thanks for the stories, the South African Bread and the good times Kayden!  I’m certain our paths will cross again!

You can see more from Kayden’s quick portrait session here.

I encourage you to head to his website and follow his blog and if so inclined, donate to his worthy cause.

3rd Annual Angora Lakes Tri

Every year, my bff Meghan Kelly throws an awesome unofficial tri called the Angora Lakes Tri.

And by “throws” I mean she: tells people to show up, sorta of wrangles volunteers, and forces her husband Pat and usually Boyfriend to write down our finish times and suggests that people write things on their legs in permanent sharpie.

It’s the best day ever.

The starting line of the third annual unofficial Angora Lakes Tri (photo by Gretchen Eicher).

The tri is a bit unorthodox and once again the order of events suited me: we ride our bikes from Kiva Beach to the Angora Lakes parking lot, where a volunteer with a car has our running shoes and swim stuff.  Put your running shoes on and run power walk UP the steep hill to Angora, swim across the lake, get a 2 minute time bonus for jumping off the cliff, swim back, run back, ride back, celebrate, drink beer.


Here I am, swimming with style (photo by Court Brock).

I have a tendency to pass people on the swim and make up a lot of time and this year was no different.  That being said, I had zero chance of catching up to the overall and men’s winner Lee who had 10 minutes on me.

Competitors cliff jumping for the 2 minute time bonus (photo by Court Brock).

You can read Meghan’s write up and see the official results via this link.

Read about year 1 here.

Read about year 2 here.

The finish line (photo by Sheriff Underhill).

Of Bicycles and Summer | Road Cycling in Tahoe

Lookit what I found.

Acheson Art Wine Goblets.


I had to have them of course!

I found them at Velo Vino in Napa, but you can apparently buy them online AND get pilsner glasses with bicycles on them also.  The glasses are hand blown, thin and large enough to make me feel “fancy” while I’m drinking my wine at night at home.  Yes.  That’s right: I like to drink wine out of giant goblets so that I feel fancy every night.

Terry takes a break on the bridge overlooking the West Fork of the Carson River in Hope Valley, CA

In other bicycling related stories, I managed to get out on a bike ride that lasted longer than 45 minutes with my friend Terry this week.  We went up and over Luther Pass to Hope Valley and then cruised back up the Old Luther Hwy to the top.  It’s such a gorgeous ride and I was super stoked to have some company.  Pardon the iphone photos.  Needless to say, I don’t carry my fancy camera with me everywhere.

Cruising up Old Luther Hwy in Hope Valley, CA.

If you’ve never road biked over Luther Pass, make sure you do it via the local’s route:  climb up South Upper Truckee Rd through the campground to the top of Luther, descent hwy 89 down into Hope Valley, head west at Pickett’s Junction and then turn into the USFS parking lot for the fishing platforms.  Ride the path for the fishing platforms across the bridge and it will turn into the Old Luther Hwy, which you can climb (but not descend) back up to the top of the pass.  Drop down Hwy 89 back into Meyers for a really fast descent with wide open corners and smooth pavement.

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Tahoe Kids Tri | Tahoe Event Photography

Sponsoring our local Tahoe Kids Tri Series as a photographer is a no brainer for me and not just because I get to listen to parents yell at their kids to go faster or hurry up or take their helmet off (serious competitors, those parents) or because sometimes the kids break down in tears when they don’t get 1st place (happens) but mostly because I love swimming, running and cycling myself.

Montage-3The 2nd event of the summer was held this past Sunday at the South Lake Tahoe Parks and Recreation Department on Rufus Allen Blvd, which is where all of the events will be held from now on.  The new venue makes it much easier for me to grab action shots of the race itself and all the finish line shots, which is awesome.

Overall, it was an absolute delight to attend, as always, and a great way to volunteer my time.  If you have a kid and they haven’t yet participated in this awesome home grown local event, get them out there at the next one!  The kids LOVE it and they are all smiling ear to ear after they finish, regardless of any tears spilled mid-race.  These events are nothing short of fantastic and there are age group awards for every single age increment, which means more kids get the feeling of accomplishment from standing on the podium.  A 2 year old competed for the second time this summer – if he can do it, any kid can do it!


 If your kids participated in the event, a link to the gallery will remain under the EVENTS selection in the PORTFOLIO tab or you can also view the entire gallery via this link.

Coming to visit Tahoe?  The Tahoe Tri Club will be holding kids’ triathlons at the Parks and Recreation Department on Rufus Allen Blvd again on Aug 18 and Sept 8.  The events start at 1:30 PM and you need to show up early to register.  You can find more information at their website.  Each kid receives post event grub and a raffle ticket for awesome swag from local sponsors.


If you are looking for photos from previous Tahoe Tri Club Events, you can view them via these links:

2013 Tahoe Kids Tri #1: July 21, 2013

2013 Tahoe Kids Tri Mini Event: June 30, 2013

2012 Tahoe Kids Tri #3: Sept 9, 2012

2012 Tahoe Kids Tri #2: Aug 12, 2012

2012 Tahoe Kids Tri #1: July 7, 2012

Tahoe Kids Tri #3

The last of the series of Tahoe Kids Triathlons was held on September 9th, which happened to be the same day as the annual Tour de Tahoe. I usually ride Tour de Tahoe every year since my store sponsors the event, but had promised to volunteer at the kids tri as the finish line photographer again. I was pretty happy to sleep in until 9 that morning!

Once again, the event was a joy to watch and assist with. There were kids from all over and more than one close race to the finish line.

Here are some of my favorites from the day, but you can see the rest of them via the link below.

This girl was so adorable in every photo I took of her.

Child determination.

Look. At. Her. Helmet. How can that not make you laugh?

These kids competed in each of the three events this summer. Awesome!

If you are a parent and I photographed your child being awesome, you can find the photos available to download here.

2nd Annual Angora Lakes Tri

Participants in the 2nd Annual Angora Lakes Tri

Last weekend was the 2nd Annual Angora Lakes Tri. The first one was held on the same weekend last year and we all had so much fun we couldn’t stop talking about it. It’s an unsanctioned, unofficial race with no fees, no bells and whistles, run on one or more volunteers with a bit of an unorthodox course: you ride your bike from the beach to Angora Lake, run from the parking lot of the lake to the lake, swim across the lake, jump off the 20 food cliff and then head back to the start line in reverse.

Angora Lakes Tri Course Map

Last year, I was the first one up the hill climb on the bike and sort of assumed that whoever led the race at this point would always win. We had more contestants this year (11 instead of 4!) and I had a formidable opponent. Adrienne is a killer bike rider and she was probably about 5-6 minutes ahead of me on the bike leg and already in the lake swimming by the time I arrived.

I was sure Adrienne had this race in the bag! I was SO wrong. In a normal triathlon, where the swimming comes first, cycling second and running last, a fast swim leg hardly ever wins the race. In our unorthodox race, my swimming abilities really gave me the advantage. I was across the lake and back before Adrienne even reached the cliff. I then sprinted back down to the last transition area to hop on my bike. I knew that if I could get enough distance on the downhill on the bike, that MAYBE she would get stuck behind a car and I would win the race.

Coming into the last transition area. Thanks Will for being our awesome volunteer and a photographer!

I ended up winning for the 2nd year in a row at a time of 1:15.45, only two minutes faster than last year! It might have actually been considerably faster I had I not crashed on my first bike leg. That’s right – our unsanctioned race is so extreme that I crashed and continued to race.

You can read Meghan’s account of the day over at her blog. Thanks so much to all our amazing volunteers: PK, Boyfriend, Gretchen and Will! Also, big thanks to the Angora Lakes employee who somehow knew what we were doing and was high-fiving and cheering us on!

Tahoe Kids Tri #2

August 12th was the second in a series of three kids’ triathlons being held here in South Shore. My camera and I went out to cheer on the kids and my future customers in the first one and I had such a blast supporting the event that I went out again. I got a bit of a late start that morning and missed the Five and Under start and the group talk, which yielded some fantastic shots the last time. I did get quite a few I’m happy with and was the official finish line photographer. Congrats to all the kids who competed! They had almost 1/3rd of the competitors attend from outside the Tahoe community! Awesome!

This post features just a few of my favorite photos from the morning. You can find the rest here. If you are a parent and I photographed your child being awesome, you will find them available to download through the link.

Little tykes cheer on their older sisters.

There was an accidental and hilarious mass start of both older groups of kids.

Girls duke it out on bikes!

Getting ready to head out on the run.

This kid is pumped!!

Huge race to the finish line!

Post Race Paddleboarding.

The youngest age group winner! I think he is three!

The Brewery Road Home

The next morning, R wanted to go explore the beach some more so I decided to hit Hwy 1 on my road bike. I rode south for about 35 minutes before turning back north to return to the campsite. What little bit I did ride was absolutely phenomenal and after taking this trip, I would very much so like to return to both areas for some more riding. In particular, I’m adding to my list the Tour of the Unknown Coast, which winds it’s way through Ferndale and the Avenue of the Giants. On the way back I cruised through the main street of Mendocino, which was picturesquely adorable. So cute that it makes you want to quit your job, buy a pastel colored beach house and open a bed and breakfast.

On our drive home we took the road through Boonville, which is a small town in Anderson Valley, home of many vineyards and the Anderson Valley Brewing Company, maker of some of my favorite beers including the Boont Amber Ale. We took a brewery tour, in addition to getting the chance to sample a number of their craft beers that I’d never seen before. I was a particularly big fan of the Brother David’s Double and their Bourbon Stout, which they don’t bottle.

Anderson Valley Brewing Co

After returning from the brewery tour, there were three new boys seated at the end of the bar. R starts hounding me to talk to her about one of them, but I’m somewhat blindsided by the incredible hotness of the one on the end. He was VERY tall and manly with gorgeous long curly black hair. I briefly thought to myself, “I think that is the hottest man I’ve ever seen.” R is nudging me going, “I think that blond guy is the guy from that show with the cute girl, Rachel Bilson?” I have no idea what she’s talking about so I pull up IMDB on my phone, google Rachel Bilson, figure out she’s talking about the OC and hold up a photo of Ben McKenzie in front of her. We determine that his nose does look eerily similar. By this time, the hot boy and guys are starting to leave so I send R over to ask, because everyone loves R.

“Hi, I’m R,” she says to him, all chipper and cute like she is, “are you the guy from the OC?” He says he is and shakes her hand and introduces himself. “What are you guys doing?” she asks. He tells her they are going swimming. “That sounds like fun!” she exclaims. “Have a good time! Thanks!” It was all very R.

Turns out, that hot guy was SO hot I didn’t even realize it was Adrien Grenier.

They are in Boonville filming a movie. Anne has been there working and she’s spotted him also, totally not realizing at first either who she was looking at. Hysterical!

We left Anderson and headed straight for Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma, CA. Now this is one brewery tour that I highly recommend: it’s a very unique tour chock full of hilarious and memorable stories, and, not to mention, free samples! It’s right up there with my other most favorite brewery tour ever: The Fat Tire tour.

Hanging in the 420 bar at Lagunitas Brewery.

Haven’t had any of Lagunitas’ Brew? If you’re a fan of bold beer, I recommend A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale and Kronik: the Censored Rich Copper Ale.

We woefully wished we could stay and drink beer all day in Lagunitas’ amazing outdoor patio and beer garden, but sadly, we had a four hour drive home. It was the end of our mini summer vacation. We had some killer days exploring the Northern CA coast! You can see all of the photos from the entire trip here.

If you want to repeat any of our trip, here are my recommendations:

Jedediah Smith State Park: Jedediah Smith Campground, reserve early!
Humboldt Redwoods State Park: Albee Creek Campground, reserve early!
Mendocino Area: Russian Gulch State Park and Campground

38 Great Camp Recipes, via Sunset Magazine
Samoa Cookhouse
North Coast Brewery

North Coast Brewery
Anderson Valley Brewing Co
Lagunitas Brewing Co

Banana Slug in the Kitchen

Driving the Northern CA Coast

The Humboldt Redwoods State Park isn’t nearly as remote as Jedediah Smith. It’s easily accessed by Hwy 101, which runs smack down the middle of it and hundreds of cars a day take the scenic drive down the “Avenue of the Giants.”

I had forgotten to take melatonin that night and slept horribly. Regardless, I roused myself out of my bad mood and out of my sleepless bed at 6 am to ride my road bike and hunt for good picture opportunities in the quiet dawn. I didn’t end up with any stellar photos, but the hour long ride did manage to squelch my grumpiness.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

To tell you the truth, we were all a little sick of big trees. We were ready to move on. Not wanting to pass up the opportunity of being there, we made quick laps through the Rockefellor Loop Trail and the Founder’s Grove, which were both flat, short and scenic laps of less than a mile with some really big gorgeous old growth trees. Some of the standouts of this forest, in particular, were the massive downed trees that have been sliced open so that you can walk through the cross sections.

R, exploring Founder’s Grove, Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

Some of the living trees here, because of the foot traffic, have walkways built around them, which I found an interesting solution to the issue of human interest.

Super creative name you guys! The “Giant Tree,” Humboldt Redwoods State Park

After our rapid hikes through the trees, we were anxious to head south to the coast. We had a mission for our afternoon and next day and it included: Mendocino coast, Boonville and lots of breweries!

We stopped briefly outside of Mendocino to wine taste at Pacific Star Winery. Pros about Pacific Star: gorgeous views and a lovely picnic area. Cons about Pacific Star: terrible wine, $5 tasting fee that isn’t waved with the purchase of a bottle. I highly recommend that you go picnic on Pacific Star Winery’s lawn with wine from a different vineyard.

Taking in the view at Pacific Star Winery.

After quickly setting up camp at the gorgeous and highly recommended Russian Gulch Campground (another one of the list of best campgrounds in CA), we headed back north into Fort Bragg for some early dinner and beer tasting at North Coast Brewing Co. Their food was some of the best I’ve had in a brewery. Garlic waffle fries? Yes, please.

Beer Sampler at North Coast Brewery

That night we played on the beach in Russian Gulch, drank wine, had an extremely long game of corn hole, and all ate far too many s’mores. It was our last night before we returned home and we wanted to savoir the outdoors (not that we didn’t have an amazing day planned already for the route home).

Russian Gulch State Park