I had an absolutely amazing World Series this year. Even though the poker was rubbish, it was the best summer I can remember, full of adventures and lots of parties. I got into really good shape doing lots of yoga and going rock climbing in Red Rock Canyon. After the Main Event, I took a road trip through the Sierra Nevada mountains. A whole group of us were meant to be going, but some people flaked out at the last minute, so it ended up being just my friend and me.
We bought sleeping bags and a couple of roll mats, not even bothering with a tent. Our journey started on my birthday and we drove through Death Valley, stopping to take a hike. It was 120 degrees minimum out there and we took a dirt trail that winds up and up and up into the mountains. We thought it was pretty narrow to walk, but when we got near the top, we came upon a van. It was a group of older people, there must have been eight of them, and somehow they got all the way up there in a van!
"Do you know where there's a gas station?" one of them drawled.
Um, maybe forty miles away? And certainly not at the end of this windy little road that goes up and up and up!
"Oh, we thought we could get over the mountain this way!"
They didn't have a map and of course there wasn't any cell phone reception, so we gave them some of our water before hiking back down to our car to call for a ranger. We drove back down into the valley and finally found a pay phone, but we couldn't get a hold of any rangers. There was only one other option, so we called 911 and gave them their location. It seemed a little weird to do it, but they could have been in real danger stuck up there in such harsh conditions.
The next day we continued on and arrived the base of a huge mountain. We drove as high up as we possibly could, stopping for the night on a little patch of land at about 9,000 feet. We didn't even find a proper campsite or anything, just pulled out our mats and slept out under an incredible star-streaked sky. The next morning we woke up super-early and hiked the rest of the way up the mountain, which went up to 11,000 feet. I wound up getting unbelievably sunburned in the most random patches like the backs of my knees and the back of my right ankle. When we were way up the top, the only other human out there was an older man out hiking by himself. We told him we were headed to Yosemite and asked what sort of hikes he could recommend. He told us to stop along the way at a place called Devil's Postpile and take the hike to Rainbow Falls. We followed his advice and it turned out to be an amazing tip. Rainbow Falls is an absolutely enormous waterfall and we basically jumped right in. It was the most intense experience ever, the power of this water falling from a hundred feet. You couldn't even get too close to it. And the humidity in the air made it feel like I was trying to breathe underwater. It was just incredible.
That night, we slept under the stars again, out in the wild, before heading up to Yosemite.
Going to the mountains to explore is my favorite thing in the world to do now. I love hiking, climbing, and being surrounded by nature whenever I can. But all great trips must come to an end and now I'm back at home in London, chilling out and working on my apartment for a bit before I'm back out on the road for the EPT.
My good friend Chris Moorman and his girlfriend Katie have been staying with me. I decided to have a small party and Moorman was a huge help when it came to assembling my rooftop furniture. Well, not so much help as he did it all.
Oh, this sofa! It had so many pieces and took forever to put together but somehow he did it. Katie was wonderful as well. She's an incredible cook, which is great because I don't know how to do anything like that! That's what you're in for when you're a guest in my flat--I'll put you to work!
Liv Boeree is a member of Team PokerStars Pro