ExtraHyperActive: USA travel
Showing posts with label USA travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA travel. Show all posts

Ski AND Surf Lake Tahoe

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Surfing Lake Tahoe

Recently, I read it somewhere that Lake Tahoe had been ranked the No. 1 ski destination for the 2010-2011 season. I can't comment on that since I've never been to Lake Tahoe, but can say one thing: if I ever make it there it's not going to be ( just ) skiing...

Paddleboarding To The Bottom Of Snoqualmie Falls

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Looking for once-in-a-lifetime experiences and adventures while visiting Seattle ?

Seattle offers amazing outdoor opportunities for adventure seekers, and outdoor lovers year round ! But fall through spring, they're limited to mostly snow related activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

Yet, even most Seattleites don't know that there are outdoor activities, that are normally considered to be "summer watersports", could be done year round.

When it comes to watersports, one can enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding,  kiteboarding, surfing, scuba diving, and sailing 365 days a year.

Tips On Visiting Wild Waves Theme Park In Washington State

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Seattleites love to believe that "it rains less in Seattle than on the East Coast or some other places". But the truth is - it rains a lot in Seattle ! No surprise that "the official summer" in Seattle starts... around mid-July. But once it starts, Washington state is a great place for outdoor fun !

And there is no better place to have some amazing family time than in Washington’s only water and amusement park - Wild Waves & Enchanted Village !

Granted, comparing to some California's or Florida's theme parks, Wild Waves & Enchanted Village is not that grand. On the plus side, it's not as expensive.

Here is a short guide for out-of-state visitors and first timers to get some first hand info :

Tips On Visiting Crater Lake National Park In Winter

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I've been really looking forward to visiting Crater Lake National Park in Oregon for the past 5 years ! I wanted to see it both : covered under the blanket of snow, and on a nice sunny summer day.

Fatbiking Kendall Peak In Washington State

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Even though fatbiking is gaining popularity in such outdoorsy states as Alaska, Oregon, California, Colorado, Utah, in Washington state it's still relatively new and exotic. I can personally attest that these kooky-looking bikes attract a lot of eyeballs, and everybody wants to talk to you, and give it a try.

Over the past few years fatbike popularity has skyrocketed. More and more fatbikes and fatbike brands are springing up ranging from cheap Walmart brands to expensive adventure racing and hunting specific.

Many "hard core cyclists" see these bikes with the clown sized tires as silly and unnecessary. While most definitely fatbikes are not for everyone, they aren’t just a passing fad, and they're here to stay.

Personally for me, fatbikes are all about possibilities and fun ( but I've got to admit, it's kinda cool to get all that attention too :)) !

"The Hunt For Red October" And Other Fun Things To Do In Portland, OR

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It's no wonder that our neighbor  - Oregon- is one of the best states in the US for outdoor adventure. When it comes to outdoor activities and adventures, there is always something to do for everybody all year round. Surfing, kite-boarding, skiing/snowboarding, hiking, biking, rock climbing; you name it and you can find it somewhere in or close to Portland, Oregon.

Recently we went on a 5 day road trip around Central Oregon, and our first stop was in downtown Portland. 

Portland has earned the reputation of the most bike-friendly in the U.S., with more than 171 miles (275 kilometers) of bike lanes (and more soon on the way) and a 40-mile (64-kilometer) loop trail system (www.40mileloop.org). It's also home of the beautiful Forest Park, the biggest urban forested area in the country; the 5,100 wooded acres (2,064 wooded hectares) have more than 70 miles (113 kilometers) of hiking trails, including an epic 30-mile (48-kilometer) loop called the Wildwood Trail.

Unfortunately, we only had just a few hours in Portland, and before the trip, I had to find something fun, adventurous, and outdoorsy to do in downtown Portland for my 8 year old and I. 

Lucky for me, it wasn't hard !

Spooky abandoned places around US

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I don't believe in ghosts, spirits and the paranormal, but certain places don't have to be haunted to feel scary. What could be spookier than an abandoned house, mental hospital, creepy cemetery, prison, or even an amusement park ? Who knows what used to happen inside those rotting old places.

Rochester, New York: Built in the early 1800s, Mt. Hope Cemetery was the first munipical cemetery in the United States with graves older than the official graveyard itself.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Western Penitentiary is over a century old and was finally abandoned a few years back, only to be reopened a few months ago. The site was, in a way, one of the world’s most temporary abandonments, left in pristine condition during its period of disuse and lending itself to the surreal experience of a recently working prison for visitors. Originally used in the 1800s to house Confederate Army war prisoners, it is now used for medium to low security containment of inmates requiring drug and alcohol treatment.

Long Island, New York is home to one of many now-abandoned institutions for the mentally ill. The Kings Park Lunatic Asylum was established in 1885 and grew from a few wooden buildings into a vast complex of over 150 stone and brick structures housing over 9,000 patients.

Torresdale, Pennsylvania: Eden Hall was once a proud French Gothic Revival church developed in the mid-1800s as part of an early boarding school complex including classrooms, dormitories, a library and a gymnasium – most of which were destroyed in a fire in the late 1970s.

Augusta, Virginia: Founded at the end of the Confederacy in 1865, the Augusta Military Academy (originally the Augusta Male Academy) remained open for nearly one hundred years before closing its doors forever in 1954. The building remains relatively intact and was even used for an episode of Fear on MTV though the name of the school was changed to deter ghost hunters and urban explorers.

North Brother Island, New York: This abandoned 20-acre island sits amazingly close to the bustling center of New York City yet is completely unused. It was home to a hospital in the 19th Century, then housed veterans after World War II before becoming one of the first drug treatment centers for teens in the 1950s. Corruption and failure caused the facility to close and the island has since been off limits to the public, though some urban explorers have made their way onto it anyway. The island was also the site of an infamous shipwreck in 1904 in which over 1,000 people drowned or burned to death.

Baltimore, Maryland has a number of interesting abandonments, but none so sizable and prominent as Fort Carroll. Over a century old, this for was constructed in the middle of the 19th century though it never saw war. In WWII it was briefly used as a firing range for the Army and a checkpoint for ships, but has been abandoned ever since. Developers have failed to find uses for it and it has since become a habitat for numerous animals and the site of occasional urban explorations.

Houston, Texas was one of numerous locations where the Malibu Grand Prix entertainment company set up a theme park a few decades ago. The complex included mini-golf, boat and go-kart racing as well as video games and other entertainment. Two Grand Prix locations in close proximity were abandoned quite recently in part due to a scandal which erupted when three employees of were accused of murder (two of whom received the death penalty) and these photos do not do the locations justice.

Autumn In Leavenworth, Wa

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The City of Leavenworth is one of the greatest tourist destinations in our state. The "Bavarian Village" is perhaps best known for its incredible year-round schedule of outdoor activities and events. No wonder that this town has been chosen by National Geographic as being one of the "50 Next Best Places" to live & play.

Seattle Is My Home ! 13 Amazing Pictures Of Seattle

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Since I came to the United States in 1999, I've lived and traveled a lot around our beautiful country. But I haven't seen as much beauty, scenery, contrast, diversity as in Washington state, and in my opinion, Seattle is ( OK, one of ) the most beautiful cities in US !

Here are 13 amazing pictures that represent the spirit and beauty of our beloved city ! Also, check out the video at the bottom why so many people call Seattle their home...
















Kerry Park - The Best Place To Take The Most Amazing Picture of Seattle

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Beautiful view of Seattle with Mt. Rainier in dawn light from photographer Gary Hamburgh in Kerry Park


There are many great spots to take beautiful pictures of Seattle : Seattle Space Needle, Columbia Tower, from the deck of a Bainbridge ferry, while parasailing on Puget Sound, but Kerry Park is not only a great place, but it's also FREE !

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Hurricane Sandy: One Man's Misery Is Another Man's Opportunity

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Don't get me wrong, what's going on on the East Coast, and especially in New York right now, is horrible...

But when Mother Nature sends her wrath our way, we're at her mercy, and so all we can do is stay prayerful and do the best that we can to stay safe.

But while for most people Hurricane Sandy has become an emergency situation, for others it presented a different opportunity...


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How To Tanker Surf

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The post is dedicated to my friend, fellow surfer, and Rilion Gracie team member Rafael F. Coelho


I first learned about tanker surfing from a Columbia commercial a few years ago:

"Texas isn't surf country, but it doesn't stop them from fulfilling their passion..."





I figured it was just a commercial, until I learned more about Tankersurfcharters.com

Though, unlike "regular surfing", tanker surfing requires a boat and local knowledge of spots and tanker schedules, the basics are the same:





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Gone Skiing: Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort

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I'm not a frequent visitor to Las Vegas ( any more ), and just like for most people, for me, Las Vegas has always associated with booze and gambling. But it doesn't have to be that way any more...

For those willing to venture about 45 minutes away from the Strip, will enjoy 30 acres of skiing/snowboarding terrain and beautiful scenery close to the glamorous city.



The Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort is located in the Lee Canyon area of Mount Charleston and has the distinction of being the only ski resort in southern Nevada.

I personally found out about this resort from the news recently.

The Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort the first ski area in the United States to open its lift served terrain for the 2011/12 season on Saturday, Oct. 8th.

There are only 140 inches of average annual snowfall, but the resort's snow-making capabilities keep the terrain 75 percent covered.

Before the opening, 9 inches of snow was a result of recent storms and the additional 4 inches was from LVSSR’s snowmaking effort. The snowmaking effort for the weekend used about 400,000 gallons of water from the area’s snowmaking pond, which holds 7.5 million gallons of water. This summer, LVSSR initiated a $35 million master development plan that will expand the number of trails to 50 and lifts to 10 once completed over the next 10 to 12 years.

Though, from what I read, the resort is considerably smaller than most popular ski destinations, this July, a plan was approved for a major expansion.

So, whether you're planning a mancation or fun with the family, bring your skiing/snowboarding gear with you.

Maryhill Festival of Speed 2011

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One of the most insane downhill longboarding races you'll ever see ! In its brief five-year history, Maryhill has become one of the premiere downhill longboarding and street luge events in the world.

Over 200 of the top international gravity sports athletes from around the globe are expected to be taking part on the historic Maryhill Loops Road in Goldendale, WA. The Maryhill Loops Road is known as one of the premier venues for gravity racing in the world because of its challenging hairpin corners, high speeds and flawless surface.


The historic Maryhill Loops Road is the first asphalt-paved road in the Pacific Northwest. The road itself ascends 850 feet in a series of curves with a gradient of ascent at 5%. The road is closed to public motor vehicle traffic but is open to pedestrians,bicycles, and now longboarders and street lugers:



If you are in the area, visit Maryhill Stonehenge just a few miles away.