Julianna Hikes: Calico Basin Trail – July 2020

So I’ve been meaning to start hiking since I moved here over two years ago. I’ve gone on a few trails but never got in shape enough to actually HIKE. So since we’ve been working from home I’ve been working out from home. Started Jericho’s Morning Meltdown 100 and now am back in some sort of shape so I’ve started hiking again. I started with the path behind the ranch my horse lives at, small little horse path mainly but too hot for horses at the moment so I’ve taken to walking it for conditioning purposes.

The bridle path behind Calico Creek. I’ve spotted lizards and wild hares on this path and the occasional Joshua Tree.

BUT this post isn’t about me doing hill work to condition myself but is about the WONDERFUL trail that is Calico Basin Trail.

It was a mere 104 degrees Fahrenheit when I tackled this path. The sun in this shot is extra hot looking.
I followed that red line on my hike today.
No cell service here for Verizon at least so be sure to keep that in mind. My round trip hike was about 1.5 miles as I stopped and looked around some off the trail.

The hike is pretty “easy” some light rock scrambling is required but the first .25 or so miles are very easy and the first ascent is terraced “stairs”. I saw a few families with young children on this hike, would make sure to do it when it’s cooler for younger ones as there isn’t but a few shaded spots to rest.

I came equipped with a 32 oz bottle of water and a massive sun hat. I would suggest others do the same. I wore grippy tennis shoes for this hike, didn’t need real hiking boots.

How the trail begins, wide as well as well maintained. Plenty of room to pass by others and easy enough for us out of shape hikers.
The trail progresses to “rockier” terrain. No gaps or anything though this entire hike can be done without climbing or jumping.
After a rock outcrop and a short descent there is a field filled with desert flowers that may be in bloom depending on the season. The background is just beautiful.
The views are incredible from this hike.
A tiny little oasis
And the best tree ever with a big rock under it to sit and cool down. When you reach the end of the path there is a small path through the grass on the right hand side of the trail you can pass through to get to the shade.
Self timer mode in the baby field in the desert.

Overall, I enjoyed this hike. There is enough of a climb to make it a bit of a workout but not too hard you can’t do it in the heat of summer. If you go in the hot like I did, be sure you are prepared with plenty of water and a hat for shade. Stop to take in the views and find wildlife amongst the harsh rock climate. It’s downright amazing and otherworldly.

Other things to know, there is a decent size parking lot at the trail head, it fills up in the not 100 degree weather so keep that in mind. There are restrooms available and a picnic area.

I hope you enjoyed the first of many posts I hope to create sharing my south west hiking adventures. I would love to see everyone’s comments!

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Book of the Month Club


The best little blue box you’ll ever get…

In the world of auto-ship subscriptions, one never knows which ones are worth while. When a close friend of mine mentioned she was getting a new book in the mail every month I was interested and intrigued to see what a book subscription could be like.

As a recent law school grad I have had no time to read for fun since my workload consists of me reading 8-12 hours a day anyway. However, book of the month club makes it easy to go back to reading for fun.

As a kid I loved books and reading, as I went through my education I slowly fell away from the world of books and reading for fun. Now, as I enter my early adult years, this book subscription has been a way for me to enter into new worlds each month and explore new books that I would never have picked up off the shelf myself, AND the step of actually finding a bookstore is no longer necessary and I have no excuses but to read my ever growing pile of books.

Every title I’ve gotten from Book of the Month Club so far has been excellent, easy reading generally and fun light reads for any occasion.

Who is this for?

Everyone! If you like reading for fun and want new titles delivered to you monthly this subscription is perfect for you. This subscription is perfect for people who want to read more and find new titles that may not be released to the public yet!

Titles range from romance novels to historical fiction and everything in between. There is also the option to skip a month at any time if a title doesn’t grab your interest.

What does it entail?

For a set price, you get one book every month and can add two extras in your box monthly for an extra charge. Every monthly selection comes with a book mark and the cover art on each title thus far has been beautiful and I can’t wait to display my new titles.

To sign up, click this link! https://www.mybotm.com/w4e5vpz5k53r3sor 

If you enjoyed this blog, look for book reviews of “Other People’s Houses” and more coming in the next few days.

Book Review: The Postman Always Rings Twice


I loved how fast the novel read, it was easy to follow for the most part and was gripping in all the right ways. I liked how you as a reader wanted to root for Frank and Cora, even though they were kind of the actual worst. Nick never really did anything wrong, but you as a reader still want him to die so Frank and Cora can get together.


The whole part where Frank and Cora turn against each other while their fate is being decided after Nick dies in the planned murder/car accident situation confused me a bit as a reader. It added suspense to the story and a bit of a twist to the plot, but they come out relatively unscathed (and 10k richer). Then it comes back to bite them again it seems when Kennedy (I think was his name) comes back and threatens to clean them out in exchange for Cora’s confession. I was confused as to if Cora brought him back as a way to frame Frank or if it was just another part of the plot to draw the reader through the story.


I also thought the lady with the cats that Frank ran off with when Cora’s mother was sick could have been done better, she didn’t have a lot of character and Frank didn’t have a lot to say about her in his narrative, even though it ends up being a point of contention between him and Cora at a later stage in the story.


In the end, I saw it coming but still didn’t enjoy how it ended. But it seemed that based on the theme of the rest of the novel, Frank and Cora couldn’t live happily ever after, it just wasn’t the plan. The real kicker is the face that Frank isn’t sure if Cora thinks that he purposefully tried to kill her, even though he did indeed love her and was panicking to get her to the hospital to get the medical attention he thought she needed.


Overall, the plot – guy falls in love with wrong girl and ends up ending both of them because of that love, I thought was gripping. The story of the characters and their misfortunes was compelling and full of intimate details and description to bring the story to life. Although the characters didn’t have a lot of depth and development in my opinion, the story developed enough to keep a reader entranced for this short story.

China: Law School Adventures

The most interesting thing I’ve done with my life recently is venture to China with a few of my law school classmates for a two week study tour of Xi’an and Beijing.

Last summer I had the once in a life-time experience of studying law at Cambridge and I had gone back to a meeting to talk about my experiences to new students who were considering going to Cambridge this summer. I discussed my time with them but I also learned about this incredible opportunity to go to China and earn up to 3 credits of law school credit while doing so.

My first thoughts were “no way, I could never afford that…but wouldn’t that be the coolest experience, like ever?”. I still (of course) put my name on the information sheet anyway, but the more I learned about it the more I realized that I could totally make this work (all we paid for was airfare and credit hours to the university) so it really wasn’t that expensive, and plus I got 2 credit hours out of the way for the next year and memories to last a lifetime.


Here I am in front of the university in Xi’an, this was the law school building and where we had our lectures from Chinese law professors. We learned about Chinese Company Law, Chinese Civil Law, Chinese Constitutional and Administrative Law, Chinese Civil Procedure Law, and Chinese contemporary economy. We also had a session where former Chancellor and current law professor Harvey Pearlman had a comparative session on US and Chinese law. Overall, the classes were crazy interesting and really a great opportunity to learn about another country’s legal landscape.


The coolest part of this trip was the opportunity to see the Chinese court. We toured Xi’an Intermediate People’s Court and got the chance to converse with judges in the court (pictured here in the light blue shirts). This was by far a highlight of the trip and of my law school career. It was an amazing opportunity for cultural exchange and conversation, even though there was a language barrier the conversations we had are something I will remember forever.

One of the highlights of this trip was the food and the cultural experiences. My top favorites being the fish spa, the delicious yogurt from the street market, dumplings and the hot pot dinner we did.

There is always something fun about a challenge, we had a VERY short amount of time to climb to the top of the Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi’an, and we accepted the challenge and ran up to the top. Worth it.


Seeing the terra cotta warriors was also a highlight of the trip. For sure a must see if you get to Xi’an, downright amazing are the only words to describe this. Something you’ve gotta see for yourself to completely understand how amazing it is. Definitely a must see world heritage site.

Horse Ownership, the struggle is real.

horses are a way of life.

Ever since I was young I’ve loved horses and dreamed of owning a horse of my own. When I finally got a horse of my own I was thrilled! I was able to show him and ride him whenever I wanted (or could get a ride to the barn). I took him to shows, was responsible for his care for the most part and I enjoyed the joys of horse ownership for quite some time. Then one day I discovered that my horse was lame. The beginning of learning how the world of horse ownership works. Although my pony eventually got better he was never back to normal but still was able to have a useable life and even have a job.


My first horse, Eddy.

The worst part of horse ownership is figuring out what to do when your horse is no longer able to do what you want to do. The question is whether or not you should retire with your horse, or if you get a new one. I decided to let my very special pony move on without me and teach other little ones the joys of horses, but I will never forget him or not wish for a moment that I could have kept him forever.


My horse Callie and I at our last horse show.

Fast forward about 7 years. I’ve had a horse in between but my current horse I bought as a show horse and she’s ended up being much more than that. Not only did I regain my confidence on her but she became my second once in a life time horse. She is my very best friend but she is also without a doubt probably not going to show again (there’s a slight chance, but it’s really slight).


Nothing can take away our cuddles.

She’s finally back to regular turnout and I can ride her minimally, but she’s not jumping anymore or going to shows. I went through phases where I was mad that she was no longer the show horse I bought to move up to the bigger adult hunter classes on but now just a really fancy trail buddy. It sucks, but for a variety of reasons, it also doesn’t.

I started law school this fall and knew I wouldn’t be showing any time in the near future, so actually if she was going to become a pretty little ornament this was the best time for her to decide to do it. With a busy schedule the time I had to come out and ride all I wanted or needed to do was what she was capable of doing. We went on trail rides with barn buddies and hacked out in the front fields alone and she was good as gold. A perfect little stress reliever.


Callie and I this fall, coming back from a peaceful solo trail ride.

In the age of the internet where I can see all of my friends and people I don’t know who I follow on the internet successfully showing and doing things with their horses that I can’t, it can seem like you are pressured to keep going, buy your next show horse and put the one you have out to pasture and forget about them. For a while I wished I could do that, but I know better. This is best, this is what was meant to be. I’ll keep my best friend as long as I can and we will do what makes us happy and what we are capable of doing. I can’t pay board on two horses, and I don’t need to. My precious moo cow as I call her is all I need. Hopefully one day I’ll show again, but until then I’m happy bopping around on my favorite big ‘ol gimpy pony.

1L of a Christmas Break


Hello fellow 1Ls. Looking for a way to minimize communication about those awesome finals we just took- share this article with friends and family that will answer hopefully all of their questions they have about our latest academic endeavors so you don’t have to endlessly relive the finals experience.


how is law school going?

Well, I just finished taking a week and 1/2 of tests of which I won’t know the results of for almost a month and are worth most if not all of my grade, but other than that, fine.

how are your grades?

Excellent question, wish I knew- I’ll let you know right before the next semester starts. Also- once I know please don’t pester me about them, if they aren’t any good, I probably won’t want to talk about them. Like ever.

do you like it?

Well, yeah. I just invested a whole half a year to learning about future estates, intentional torts, homicide, statute of frauds, and other super exciting things. Of course I like it hence the want to continue with law school. Also I signed up for it so, yup, it’s pretty great. (I’m actually not being sarcastic, I really am interested in this stuff- weird, right?)

have you been to court yet?


can you help me with some legal advice?


(I semi-understand (maybe) the most basic legal foundations, you don’t want my help with anything right now…)

when do you graduate?

It’s a three year program. I just finished my first semester, so 2 1/2 years left! We are hopefully 1/6th of a lawyer!

that’s a wrap.

Hope this answers everyone’s questions. Law school is grand, it is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done and I can honestly say I love it.

Now I should probably finish studying for that Property final tomorrow…one left. So close.


Study Abroad: London Packing List

the run down.

Here’s the down and dirty what you gotta have to start off your time in the world’s most fantastic city, London. Almost everything is easy to purchase, but its nice to have at least the essentials when you first get there while you get used to everything.

the essentials.

  1. laptop
  2. cell phone (either get a pay as you go plan or turn off data and only use for emergency calls)
  3. power converter
  4. British Pounds (if you plan on changing dollars to pounds make sure you bring NEW bills that aren’t old otherwise they aren’t happy to change them)
  5. credit cards with chip (an preferably no foreign transaction fees)
  6. any important medications and toiletries
  7. any favorite american food that you CAN’T live without (totally personal preference, I only brought some initial snacks so I wouldn’t starve if I couldn’t find a Tesco)
  8. Passport and any documents you might need (don’t forget your ID/Drivers License!)
  9. rain boots
  10. A good coat

things you’ll need.

  1. an oyster card (the tube is necessary my friends)
  2. good walking shoes
  3. I promise you you’ll need rain boots (wellie warmers are also nice to have on those cold english days)
  4. layers of outerwear, make sure you have at least one waterproof outer layer.
  5. The rest is pretty much up to you! Study abroad is what you make it 🙂

random tips.

Go exploring immediately, unpack the essentials and go out and be a tourist for a few hours. Figure out where the closest tube station is or bus stop. Find a Sainsbury’s or Tesco or what not (a food source). Explore the neighborhood you’ll be in all semester, check out the local pubs and restaurants.

Go see the big sites, bring out that camera and go take a ride on the London Eye, see Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Covent Garden, Leister Square, Piccadilly Circus, the Globe Theater ect. Some other fun touristy things to do are:

  • London Walks (I recommend the Jack the Ripper and the Harry Potter walks!)
  • The London Dungeon
  •  Horseback Ride through Hyde Park (Ross Nye Stables is fantastic and located adjacent to Hyde Park and usually takes walk-ups and is a once in a life time experience that cannot be beat!)
  • Hop-on-Hop off Bus (only do this if you don’t want to pay to use the tube for a day and want to be identified as a tourist)
  • Boat ride on the Thames (some have packages with the Eye and other attractions).

If you plan on visiting any of the palaces (Kensington, Tower of London, Hampton Court or Kew) buy the palace pass- find a friend and buy the “couple/family” pass and it will be even cheaper and you can go again and again in case you go on a day with a few too many tourists. Also, whenever people come to visit you they can get in on the pass as well since it is a “family” pass.

Here’s a link for more information on the pass.

I hope you enjoy your time in London as much as I did and have fun exploring!



The Final Countdown


It is nearly that time of year …

Christmas music is playing, snow has already appeared on the ground, the temperatures are falling, the leaves have all fallen off the trees, you are stressing about what presents you’ll have to be buying for friends and family, and if you are lucky enough to be attending law school- panic is in the air.

For myself as a 1L, I’m only panicking about half of the time, the other part I’m trying to tell everyone that, yes of course everything will be fine. But will it be? Perhaps, perhaps not. This isn’t youth soccer, not everyone gets a trophy for participating. But luckily, I think most everyone IS panicking.


The library has turned into a sort of panic zone, study groups comparing notes and trying to work through practice exams. The realization after you’ve completed a practice exam that you still have so much to do, and then the sheer panic that follows. It’s crazy to think that we’ve already gone through the whole fall semester. Even crazier to think that on Monday at 1pm we will be sitting down to our contracts final. Stressful yes, but we’ve been working all semester to get to this point. At times during preparation I find myself having fun figuring out a crazy hypothetical problem. I think that has to be the key to surviving these next few weeks of almost pure torture- remember why you came in the first place and keep finding interesting things that keep you interested in the material.


What I have seen as not being useful is just freaking out in general. It’s a waste of energy and distracts from studying. For example, I’m writing this blog instead of sitting on the couch watching tv as my study break, I do have the TV on but I’m trying to occupy myself in such a way so I don’t worry too much about the now very uncomfortably near future.

It’s one of those cases where you think finals are never going to get here, and then one day you wake up and finals are knocking on your door. Now there is no way I’m going to reinvent the wheel and figure out all of what has happened during the entire semester of any given class, all I can do is solidify what I know and try to clear up anything that I completely don’t understand. Although I’m by no means an expert on these type of things yet, in true blogging style I’ve come up with a list on how to survive finals. Or at least how to make it through finals, I’ll let you know if I actually survived at the beginning of next year.


My finals survival list:

  1. Don’t forget to be a human being.
  2. All the coffee.
  3. Exercise is key.
  4. Don’t forget to eat.
  5. Go to bed and wake up at a set time, don’t sacrifice your sleep- it won’t help you to take your finals with not enough sleep under your belt.
  6. Talk to people who aren’t in law school. There is a life outside those four walls full of knowledge.
  7. More coffee.
  8. Don’t waste time, but take time out for yourself.
  9. Don’t give up.
  10. Ask questions for clarification.
  11. Take practice exams.
  12. It’s okay to freak out a little bit.

0f92f2df94fc0a299e6ca02b0001669fThat’s all folks. I’ve sufficiently recharged so I can now finish figuring out some future interest problems. Over and out, and may the curve be ever in your favor.


Fitness Class Frenzy


fitness class frenzy

Upon beginning Law School I knew I would need something extra to keep me working out regularly. So when I found that UNL offered a group fitness class pass I immediately snatched it up and made the class schedule part of my every-day routine. I go to four classes a week in the evening as part of my exercise regiment. Occasionally I will go to a morning class or a class on Friday as well for an additional workout.

I love having a set schedule and having paid for the fitness pass and having a workout buddy who expects me to show up every evening really helps me meet my goals and get up and moving.


Cardio dance

My Monday evening class is Cardio Dance. It is fast becoming one of my favorite workouts as you essentially have a dance party every Monday evening. Once you figure out the moves and get into the swing of it you really have a great time for an hour just dancing to some popular songs and really working up a sweat. This is a medium impact class, but you can tailor it to be easier or harder depending on your fitness level or goals. Some Mondays I come out of class dripping and others I’m just a little red in the face, depending on how I feel and how hard I work.

The benefits of this class are numerous. My balance has improved (slowly, but I’m sure I’ll get the hopping on one leg thing down better eventually), I’ve noticed my legs have become stronger and leaner, and my endurance is slowly building up.

Even if you can’t dance, and dancing really is not a strong suit of mine, anyone can do this class. When I first started doing the class someone mentioned that if you don’t know what the move is, just jog or bounce in place, and that really works. Even if you don’t know exactly what to do you still get your legs moving and your heart rate up. Eventually the moves will come to you and now I can’t hear a song on the radio that we do in class without mentally thinking of the dance that goes along with it.

I would highly recommend anyone trying out a cardio dance class, I think it is a great stepping stone to Zumba as well as a great way to increase your fitness level in a fun and causal environment.



Part of every exercise regiment should include yoga I believe. Especially in a world where you constantly sit and hunch over, yoga really helps relieve stress and stretch out everything that needs to be stretched. As well as increasing balance, I’ve noticed my strength has improved. I can now downward dog way better than on my first attempt at the beginning of the year.

Yoga can also be tailored to everyone’s skill set, it doesn’t have to be impossible, just do what you feel comfortable with. But remembering that you must keep pushing yourself to continue to improve.

Relaxation and breathing is also a key part of yoga. It gives you a chance to step away from your day and just breathe and recharge. This class helps me go back to my studies recharged and ready to learn again and is beginning to be one of my favorites that I look forward to every week.

Here’s an article that mentions some of the awesome benefits of yoga.



Cycling class is also one that I look forward to every week, every week is a new opportunity to see how far I can push myself. Cycling has always been something that I’ve been tentative about pushing myself further in because I have knee problems, but once I was shown how to adjust the seat and handles correctly it no longer hurts my knees at all!

It is easy to set personal goals and push yourself in these classes, but it is also easy to just spin along and not push yourself. So the key in these classes are to keep on top of everything and push yourself as hard as you can.

Make sure your resistance is high enough and that it never is too easy, the feeling of coming out of a class utterly exhausted is excellent and this is my favorite class to release all that inner stress.

This is a beat based workout, and I’ve found that spinning along to the beat makes the hour class go much faster.

I like to keep track of my miles in each class and it is fun to see how much progress I am making and to see how much harder I have to push myself so I can begin to see results.


HIIT Strength

Usually my final class of the week, HIIT (high intensity interval training) Strength brings together all the workouts and culminates the week with a high intensity full body workout.

This class combines cardio and strength and targets every part of the body and leaves you exhausted and stronger. I think out of all the classes this one is the most beneficial and enables you to make more progress in the other classes.

Although this isn’t my favorite class content wise, the workouts we do in this class are always interesting and challenging. It is also harder to skimp in this class and not work as hard since everyone is doing the same thing. There are modifications, but I try not to use them unless I’m absolutely exhausted.

Final thoughts

Overall, all the fitness classes I’ve tried thus far have helped me keep on top of my fitness even though I rarely have time set aside to go for a jog anymore, I still am in decent shape since I have my fitness classes scheduled into my everyday life.

Some tips:

  1. Stick with it- pick classes you want to go to every week and make yourself go EVERY SINGLE WEEK unless you have a necessary commitment.
  2. Give it your all- if you aren’t focused and trying your hardest, you are wasting your time. You took time out of your day, make it worth while.
  3. Hydrate and eat well- don’t let your hard work go to waste!

My schedule: Monday- 5:30 cardio dance, Tuesday- 5:30 yoga, Wednesday- 6:30 spinning, Thursday- 6:30 HIIT Strength.

5 Things you Must Do in the Highlands of Scotland

One of my top favorite places to go in the world has to be Scotland, more specifically the highlands. I’ve compiled a list of my top favorite things to do, but there is so much more. These are just some of the interesting things I did when I visited.


  1. Hairy Coos

When visiting the highlands you must find these beauties. Our bus tour got so pumped every time we saw one. At one point our driver graciously stopped for a photo op. I love these fuzzy cows! You must find one and take a picture of or with one- which if you drive around the highlands you are hopefully bound to see some!


2. IrnBru

This crazy looking beverage is a must try in Scotland and although crazy sweet, it is strangely addicting and I often find myself wishing we had it in the US.


3. Castles

See all the castles. They are awesome and never get old. Our tour guide called our tour the ABC tour, or another bloody castle tour. Which was true, but it didn’t make it any less interesting. I would do our exact same tour again anytime but would love to see more castles that I haven’t gotten to explore yet.


4. Play with weapons

Do something crazy, like pose for a photo with an ancient sword outside an awesome old castle in the middle of nowhere in the highlands. These kind of awesome crazy things happen, and it is fantastic.


5. Climb a big hill

Go hiking, see the beautiful views, break in those wellies. Every blister is worth the amazing view from the top. We accomplished mountain goat status by hiking up some awesome hills and seeing some ancient homes with fabulous views. Don’t forget to venture through some streams and take some pictures. Also, try to spread your arms in victory better than I did, I suck at it.

Other things I enjoyed.

  • Lochs
  • Haggis
  • Rain
  • Loch Ness
  • Edinburgh
  • Everything

Here’s a link to the tour company we used through school!