2014: Real Adventure. Real Life.

Seems it’s that time again… to review one year before beginning another. With the 2015 calendar staring at us and inspiring introspection, I marvel at what 2014 held for me as well as my boys.

2014 Recap…

Overall, 2014 was a year that began in lots of excitement but ended on a mellow note. The bulk of our adventures were crammed into the first six months of the year. My now-very-tiresome hand injury put a lot of adventures on the back-burner in the latter half of the year. In spite of that we still managed to pack in a tremendous amount of adventures both big and small. Here’s a nutshell roundup:

hell hike and raft
The Hell Hike and Raft crew. Nothing like adding a bunch of crazy people to your family.

Travel stats for 2014…

If you’re into data like my little George is, this is what our year of adventure looked like in numbers:

Our year started with this. Very glad that didn’t stage the stage for the entire year.

  • Travel Days: a paltry 97
  • Camping Nights: 46 (Better than last year… but not enough)
  • Hotel/Cabin Nights: 36
  • Non-Local Hiking Days: 35 (I lost track of local hike days… there were lots. 🙂 )
  • Geocaches: 63 (Only half of last year. Yikes!)
  • States & Provinces Visited: 27
  • State and National Parklands Visited: About 35
  • Instagrams: 422

Top posts…

Of my posts published in 2014, here are the dozen that have been most popular. It’s a little disconcerting that this year’s top post is the one involving my home city becoming the laughing stock of the nation over a couple of inches of snow. All kinds of awesome, no? Anyway, here you have it in case you missed any of them:

Val's Top Dozen for 2014

2014 Wrap-up Video…

With over 10,000 images from this year alone, winnowing the adventures down to highlights was a challenge. I hope you enjoy this look back at our year.

What’s coming in 2015…

There are lots of adventures in the planning stages but are far too uncertain to make any big announcements. When Fred and George are along for the ride, we’ll continue to explore through camping, hiking, and educational field trips, particularly in our home state of Georgia.

When the boys aren’t along, I’ll be venturing out on solo motorcycle trips, including adventures in the Great Smoky Mountains. My biggest challenge will be in May when I hope to take on my first cross-country solo motorcycle trip to Overland Expo in Arizona. And we’ll see what else falls into place as the year progresses. Stay tuned. Speaking of which…

craters of the moon
2014 was filled with some epic adventures. Will 2015 prove as fruitful? Let’s find out…

Keep in touch…

You may be aware that Facebook isn’t terribly inclined to show you the posts of pages you like without those pages buying into advertising. Yes, even for pages you already like. That’s getting even more restrictive in the new year. This puts us small-time folks in a bit of a lurch as you can imagine.

A few quick clicks and you can still stay up-to-date with your favorite Facebook pages.
A few quick clicks and you can still stay up-to-date with your favorite Facebook pages.

It also means you don’t get to see the things you said you like in your feed. So while it’s a bit of a hassle, you do have the option of going to pages and turning on notifications. I hope you will take the time to do that for Val in Real Life as well as other pages you like so your Facebook experience is what you want it to be, not the powers that be deciding for you.

But keep in mind Facebook isn’t the only game in town. Val in Real Life action and adventure is also available on various other outlets… Twitter, Instagram, G+, Pinterest, YouTube, Flickr, or even a good old-fashioned RSS feed. Handy-dandy buttons of all of my social media links are up top in the side bar as well. Happy clicking.

And you can always subscribe to get new posts delivered via email by plugging your address into the subscription box in the side bar. Don’t worry, no spam. None of us has time for that.

Thank you for following along in 2014. I hope our adventures have inspired you to explore and see the world with new eyes. Stay with us as we see what 2015 brings!

On behalf of Fred, George, the Disapproving Beagle, and myself of course, I wish you health and happiness in the coming year.

And now for your moment of green…

olympic national park
Our arrival in Washington marked the completion of the lower 48 for us. That makes 2014 a banner year in my book.


  1. I remember your snowcalypse nightmare. Let’s not do that again. To a good 2015!

    1. No, let’s not do that again… :-/

      Cheers, Raul!

  2. Sounds like you had a heck of a year, Val! Congrats–here’s to bigger and badder adventures in 2015.

    1. Thanks, Ryan. It has been quite year. Definitely not dull!

      Come back to OX this year and hang out with us.

  3. I love your highlight reel for the year! I wish I could find motivation and time to post on my blog… I’m glad Nancy and I got to see you this year, and hope we can see you more in 2015!

    1. Get on it, Lou! 😉

      Looking forward to it. I’ll definitely see you at OX. We just need to see about getting some more ATQA tweetups rolling.

  4. What a ride 2014 was!! Looking forward to hearing about the solo adventures yoy have planned. Here’s to 2015!! 🙂

    1. Cheers, darlin’! Thank you for being my surgery baby-sitter. How about we skip that undertaking in 2015? 😉

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