I recently took a hiking/camping trip to Big Bend, TX. Upon my return, I had many clients ask me about my trip, so I figured it was blog worthy. If you have never been to Big Bend, it's definitely worth checking out. It's a long drive, but once you're out there, you will experience nature at it's finest. Because Wifi and cell coverage is spotty, you are forced to enjoy the views and solitude. Some background information about Big Bend:
Our first hike was Rancherias Loop. We started on the east trail and worked our way west through the mountains. Rancherias Loop has a couple different springs to get water. We each packed about a gallon and a half of water, so we didn't need to pull from either. Had it been any warmer, we probably would have needed more. They recommend 1.5 gallons of water per day, which sounds about right, especially during warmer seasons. They also recommend doing this hike in 3 days. We did it in 2 days and if I were to do it again, I would do it in the recommended 3 days. It is very strenuous and there is so much to take in, as far views go. Other than the views all we saw were some birds, jack rabbits and a couple javelina (didn't even see any fellow hikers).
Cattail Falls was our next hike and it was an easy out and back hike. Not much to say about this hike except when you get to the falls, you forget you are in the desert. The water was flowing and there were trees, yes trees, in the desert. Its a shame you can't camp there, because it would be a great place to hammock camp.
Below are pictures of each hike. Rancherias photos were taken with a GoPro 3 and Cattail pics were taken with my Canon 60D and Tammy lens.
Renting Out Your Home for SXSW
Austin, TX- It's almost that time of year. Everyone is getting excited to get their wristbands, see some bands, and enjoy Austin. Some locals and some from out of town. Believe it or not, some locals are getting out of town. For them this is an opportunity to avoid the crowds, traffic, and make some extra loot by renting out their home or apartment (or even a room).
Some insurance companies may allow policyholders to use their property as a rental for a one-time, special occasion like SXSW or ACL, as long as the insurance company is informed about it and knows all the details. Other insurance companies (probably most) will not allow it. Most insurers consider any rental of your home to be a business venture, requiring the purchase of a business policy, because a standard homeowners insurance policy excludes losses arising from the operation of a business. Also consider the fact that your homeowners insurance company is calculating the risk based on you living (occupying) the dwelling not a tenant.
If your agent or insurance company says you are covered, I highly recommend getting something from them in writing. Also understand that at the end of the day, the insurance adjuster is the person that will write the check and determine whether or not there is coverage, not your agent.
Bottom line, there are exclusions in every homeowners insurance policy, so before giving the keys to one your largest assets to a total stranger for a few bucks, make sure you understand your policy. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Enjoy the bands and enjoy Austin :-)