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Fern plants in Pinnacles National Park

Top Gems: Hiking Trails in California

Listen to a podcast of the travel article here: https://anchor.fm/theregoessararose/episodes/Ep–4-Top-Gems–Hiking-Trails-in-California-e156fl8

Although many of us have picked up new hobbies such as bread making or sewing while at home, it can be a good change of pace to get outdoors. If you’re looking for a safe way to get some sunshine, a hike through one of California’s many parks is a great option.

As lockdown restrictions begin to lift, prepare your hiking boots for some epic adventures. Central California offers an array of hiking spots, but most require a little planning before you hit the trails. 

If you’re stuck for places to try, here are just a few of my favorite California trails.

Carrizo Plain National Monument

This park is one of California’s hidden gems. Located near California Valley, just a few hours from Los Angeles, the plains offers a unique variety of nature. 

Centuries ago, the 204,000-acre park served as grassland where the deer and the antelope played — and some still live there today.  New animals such as kit foxes and antelope squirrel now call the plains home. Wildflowers cover the landscape and it is home to a diverse set of plant life, many of which are endangered.

Hikers can traverse valleys, ridges and ponds along the San Andreas Fault. Some of the park’s most popular spots include grass lands, distant mountain views and Painted Rock, a rock formation with pictograph art. Guided tours to Painted Rock are available at this time, but may be limited or canceled due to nesting birds. 

However, the most popular part of the park is Soda Lake, a normally dry lake bed that concentrates salt water as it evaporates, leaving a substance that looks like baking soda.

If you want to get a sneak peek at what calming views the park has to offer, check out my 360° video of the plains here!

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of California’s most well-known hiking spots, but there’s a reason for that. The park has been protected since 1964 and offers magnificent waterfalls, glaciers and breathtaking views of the High Sierras. Backpacking typical is a no-go until the snow completely melts, but trails open throughout the year as the season permits. You can check the Yosemite National Park website for up-to-date trail openings. 

If you’re looking for a beginner hike with little elevation, I recommend the Mirror Lake trail. The two-mile hike typically takes about one hour to complete. The first mile is paved and the traversed elevation only reaches about 100 feet, though the lake is more than 4,000 feet above sea level. The trail follows Tenaya Creek and crosses two bridges before offering views of Mirror Lake and Mount Watkins. The view (and the photos) are well-worth it. 

For more advanced hikers, I recommend the Half Dome Day Hike, which offers hikers views of Yosemite Valley from 5,000 feet up. To reach the summit, the hike does include a portion on metal cables, however, which also requires a permit. For a less daring hike, I recommend the Yosemite Falls Trail. A shorter two-mile, paved trail will take you to the base of the waterfall while a 7.2-mile trail takes you to the top of the falls.

Although it offers a variety of hiking trails, it is very popular in the summer. For that reason, reservations to enter the park are required starting May 21, so be sure to plan your journey accordingly. 

Before you go, check out my video from our day trip to Lower Yosemite Falls and see various views firsthand!

Some higher areas in the mountains may still be snowbound and Tioga Road is still closed. Mariposa Grove usually opens by mid-March. Glacier Point Road is also closed (and as a note, it will be closed for the entire of 2022 for rehabilitation). Generally, plan a route that won’t take you above 6,000 feet and check with the rangers to see what is or is not open.

The spring snowmelt makes the waterfalls particularly pretty, especially in the Valley. While it’s generally not clear enough for backpacking without snow camping, there are plenty of day hike options.

Trails near Oakhurst and Raymond, California

Although they don’t boast the same fame that Yosemite does, there are some incredible trails in Oakhurst and Raymond.

If you want to see waterfalls, I suggest Corlieu Falls or Angel Falls. Both trails are moderate with great views of waterfalls and places to relax and soak in the water. Both trail heads have limited parking, so it’s best to go early in the day to get a good spot.

If you’re looking to mix it up, check out Pincushion Mountain. The trail is about five miles, and it can be steep and rocky so good boots are recommended. Along the way, you’ll see mountains, a river valley, and a wide-open sky. Just remember to take it slow and take some breaks along the way.

So, if you’re looking to get off the couch, try out one of these awesome California hiking trails. Be sure to bring plenty of water and check weather conditions before you go. And next time you’re planning a trek, check out for ThereGoesSaraRose.com more travel advice.

How to Prep for a Day Hike in Yosemite in Spring of 2021

Are you longing to get out of the house? As COVID-19 restrictions start to wind down and more people get vaccinated, thoughts of travel are hitting all of our minds. At the same time, you’re probably looking for a safe option.

If you live near Yosemite or another mountainous region, now is the perfect time to take a day hike. You can get in some exercise, see some new stuff, and stay outside and away from others. Spring is a great time to explore the mountains before summer fire season.

Listen to a podcast of the travel article here: https://anchor.fm/theregoessararose/episodes/Ep-3-How-to-Prep-for-a-Day-Hike-in-Yosemite-in-Spring-of-2021-e155nve

What is Yosemite Like in April and May?

Weather in the late spring is usually pleasant, but not warm. Highs in the valley tend to be in the 60s and lows in the 30s. Rain and snow are still possible, and you should dress accordingly. Fire conditions are possible but less likely than later in the summer.

Some higher areas in the mountains may still be snowbound and Tioga Road is still closed. Mariposa Grove usually opens by mid-March. Glacier Point Road is also closed (and as a note, it will be closed for the entire of 2022 for rehabilitation). Generally, plan a route that won’t take you above 6,000 feet and check with the rangers to see what is or is not open.

The spring snow melt makes the waterfalls particularly pretty, especially in the Valley. While it’s generally not clear enough for backpacking without snow camping, there are plenty of day hike options.

Check out my video from our day trip to Lower Yosemite Falls!

What Should You Do To Prepare For Your Hike?

Preparing for a spring day hike requires some conditioning. You need to know your limits, especially if you’ve been exercising less and have put on any COVID 19-weight, as it were. Do some walks in your local area and increase the distance, and choose a route that you are comfortable with; don’t go from being sedentary to an 8 mile hike. As it’s still spring, you won’t be at altitude anyway, but you still need to be fit.

You will also need the right gear. Dress in layers; the wide temperature range in the spring may mean you will be taking stuff off, putting it on, taking it off again…so make sure you can do that comfortably. You will also need:

  1. The right footwear. This is the most important piece of gear for hiking. Given the risk of rain or snow in the spring, hiking boots are generally your best option. If you’re staying on easier trails, walking shoes or trail running shoes may work well. Think about what kind of ankle support you need.
  2. A fleece jacket or wool sweater makes a good middle layer for the temperature range you are dealing with.
  3. Rain gear including rain pants. You definitely need rain pants. Bear in mind that wet jeans are the worst thing to be stuck in.
  4. Proper socks, ideally ones designed for hiking.
  5. A backpack. If you plan on hiking all day, get a daypack. Otherwise, an ordinary backpack is fine, but do not carry it slung on one shoulder (you will walk one sided and put strain on yourself).
  6. Some kind of hat. If it’s colder, you will want a wool hat. If warmer, you might want something to keep the sun off.
  7. Insect repellent. Make sure that you have and use a DEET-based insect repellent that also repels ticks. Apply repellent to exposed skin, but also to the cuffs of your pants and your hat.
  8. Sunscreen. Even if it’s not that warm.
  9. A hikers’ first aid kit. For casual hikers, a pre-made kit is more than sufficient.
  10. Gloves. You may want them and if you don’t, they’re light.
  11. A camera & gear. Maybe you will find a good smartphone is enough, but a DSLR will still give you better pictures if you want to make the investment. I take a lot of photos on my hikes and encourage you to do the same.
  12. A flashlight, even if you plan on being back well before dark.
  13. Food and water. If you’re really high in the mountains you can get fresh water, but in the park you want to carry enough for your hike.

If you are older and/or the trail is steep, consider investing in trekking poles. Another thing to consider is downloading an app onto your phone that identifies plants, wildlife,  etc.

It’s time to get back out into the world, and a mountain day hike is a great way to do so without worrying about that pesky virus. Watch my video on how to pick hiking boots and please come back to ThereGoesSaraRose.com for more travel advice (and awesome pictures!)

A 4K Introduction to Watercolor | “Octopoda” by Sara Rose

Welcome to my FIRST watercolor tutorial, “Octopoda”, by Sara Rose, April 2021. Traveling as I can and watching nature documentaries in between, this little mollusk was inspired by my previous trips to the coastlines of California and oceanographer’s documentaries on the species. It made sense to paint a creature made up of so much water with watercolor and to also paint the entire piece of art in saltwater. Might as well make her feel at home!

Listen to a podcast of this article here: https://anchor.fm/theregoessararose/episodes/Ep–2-A-4K-Introduction-to-Watercolor–Octopoda-e155if7

LOVE “Octopoda” and want to purchase a print? Check out my store here!

Paint along with me in this time-lapsed, instructional video for beginners in my YouTube video below! If you need to grab similar supplies first, check the list below to see what I used for “Octopoda”!

This is my first watercolor of this size and my aim is to improve with each painting. Constructive tips and tricks are most helpful for each artist and part of why we share our work. Please be respectful in the art community, everyone starts somewhere! What would you like to know I might not have covered in the video? What art medium are you currently using or projects you are working on? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and let’s get started!

Watch the 4K Watercolor Intro Tutorial here: https://youtu.be/mkDSuwOHpvk

Paint & Tools Used:

  • QoR Watercolor, Made by Golden Artist, Introductory Set of 12 Colors
  • Royal & Langnickel Jumbo 50 Watercolor Paintbrush
  • One (1) small and old watercolor paintbrushes (misshapen is great!), inexpensive
  • One (1) line “thin” watercolor paintbrush, inexpensive
  • A Corelle plate
  • Three (3) large cups of water- 2 salted, one unsalted (for cleaning)
  • 15″x23″ Fabriano Artistico cold pressed extra white 300 g/m2 watercolor paper
  • 2″ Masking Tape
  • Kosher Salt
  • Table Salt
  • Lint Free Towel

I highly recommend setting aside a space for painting, a drop cloth is an inexpensive purchase compared to attempting to clean or replacing flooring. Let us know how your painting goes!

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Big Sur, CA

Dear Adventurers (Part 2)

Hello to the amazing reader who is here for adventure, art, and learning! Introduce yourself in the comment section below and where you are in the world! Setting out on a new path in life can feel very difficult, especially in the early stages. However, the excitement of discovery MUST outweigh the apprehension; we must break out of our shells to metamorphosis into what we can become! At current, I’ve only been on the West coast of North America, there is quite a bit that is going to shock me in my travels. In addition, I cannot stop painting if I tried, it will always be a part of how I tell my story. So here I am, sharing the travels and art created, inspired by what I research, learn and see. We each have a different outlet that needs to breathe when a fire is lit within us. I urged you to REACH for your fire and stir it with every bit of energy and passion you can muster. There is a drive within each of us that, when shared with others, seems to inspire them to make a positive change in their own lives. Share your story as well! The path I described as new, difficult, a change, and scary? This is my path. We must see the world as it is, how it was, and return good back into it. Are you ready? Let us escape, learn and create!

Listen to a podcast of this travel article here: https://anchor.fm/theregoessararose/episodes/Ep-1-Dear-Adventurers-e15247m

“This is a story of learning to navigate the rising tides of life, which cannot be done from the shore; We must become the captain of our own seas.”

-Sara Rose

One thing I must share, do not mistake me for a tumbleweed, blowing in the wind without direction. This is a story of learning to navigate the rising tides of life, which cannot be done from the shore; We must become the captain of our own seas. I quit my job in August 2019 to focus on switching careers after working 10-years in what felt to be a dead-end government job, I just walked out. I petitioned to take extra classes at school and graduated Manga Cum Laude, a baccalaureate in Multimedia Development and Design in April 2020. What is a degree in multimedia you ask? A program that teaches you just enough in the field of game, VR & web design & development, photography, and videography to make you understand how little you know about content creation. I began my Master’s Degree in May 2020 and started creating online content. I did not expect how much it would change me and the school-project-turned-business becomes my focus most of 2020 to early 2021, to the point that I forgot to have fun with my passions. I was just making the best of the situation, not the best for me. Life-altering events made me realize how short life can really be. The world is not going to find me, I must go see the world; I must make this happen for myself, now!

Why are YOU here?

Share your thoughts as we search for COLORFOODNATUREHISTORYARCHITECTURENEW TECHNOLOGY, and FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION! Let us shock our senses, bask in the beauty of an early sunrise, breathe in mountain-top air after miles of hiking and then create what our heart and mind have gleaned from the experience. Please feel free to share your adventures and creations as this site and community grows! On this exploration, we will meet friends, old and new. We will learn things that will forever change how we think and speak. We will laugh at my mistakes (I am a HOT MESS!) and learn to laugh at ourselves, all while traveling and painting. I am a helper, but I need to help myself first…truly learn before I can really help others. If you are ready for this, become a part of the journey by participating in any of my media outlets to get the most of each expedition, whether about travel, art, or the tools we are using to bring you the content!

Artists may express through their creation, however, YOU get to be a part of the very moments of idea-inception to finished product, from wonder to enlightenment! Get ready to join the voyage to expand our brains here at, There Goes Sara Rose

P.S. I connected with readers before ThereGoesSaraRose.com went live, here: “Dear Adventurers”, (Part 1).

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Join here for more!

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.