Eight Years of Geocaching

I began geocaching on my birthday in 2009. That means in a few short weeks, I’ll celebrate eight years of geocaching. I need to confess, however, that I’m not a rabid geocacher. I go through ups and downs with being engaged. In spite of those waves, I’ve always enjoyed the unexpected places geocaching takes me, the people I meet, and …

Investment

If you’ve followed Val in Real Life over the last few years, you know I gave my recovery from the 2015 crash every ounce of energy and determination I possess. Even though I knew my body would never be the same, I refused to settle for anything less than the best possible outcome of a bad situation. My physicians have …

Travel Whiplash

Life is a funny thing. While I prefer the rhythm of extended travel, the obligations on my calendar don’t allow for it at the moment. With that limitation, I’ve been bouncing between smaller adventures in order to keep my wanderlust properly satiated. Looking back at how frenetic August and September were for me, I’m marveling at the diversity of experience I crammed into a short …

Nevada Day

Today Nevada turns 153. On October 31, 1864, the constitution for the formation of the state was telegraphed from Fort Churchill, not far from where I now call home. I’m very much smitten with my new home state and this year, for the first time, I got to celebrate Nevada Day in Carson City with my fellow Nevadans. Nevada Day …

Stomping Grounds

Stomping grounds—the areas where you spend most of your time, the accessible places from your home base, your most familiar territory. For most of my life, my stomping grounds consisted of the humid southeastern temperate forests, the wet earth. It’s lush, ethereal, and enveloping. The air is dense, the landscape is verdant, and the scent of humus permeates every cell …

Nevada: What You’re Missing

I admit it—I never gave Nevada more than a passing thought before George requested a birthday geocaching adventure back in 2012. With that trip, limited to the southern part of the Silver State, I had no idea the breadth of what Nevada has to offer. At least until beginning to explore it in earnest a couple of years later. Since then, …

Seattle with Teenagers

These days Fred and George balk at the idea of weeks-long camping trips like we used to take. They’re teenagers and they’re more intrigued by urban adventures right now. With that in mind, for an end-of-summer trip we flitted off to Seattle. It’s been a few years since we were last there and they’ve both changed so much we decided to …

A Confession from a Friend

With my move to Nevada, I left behind friends I adore in Georgia. So in addition to spending time with Fred and George on my whirlwind visits, I try to pack in as much reconnection time with my tribe as possible. That’s a challenge for an introvert—something you might not realize I am. On my most recent visit, largely consumed …

A Motorcycling Ambassador

As a rider, I believe in continually training. Improving my skills not only increases my confidence and enjoyment of motorcycling, it helps me stay as safe as possible. Our roadways are an unforgiving environment dominated by automobiles. On a daily basis, I share the road with people who do not prioritize safety and responsibility when driving. So I wear gear …

Tales from the Chute: The 2017 Virginia City Camel and Ostrich Races

virginia city camel and ostrich races - val in real life

It’s the second weekend in September and I’m in the center of the arena at the Virginia City Camel and Ostrich Races once again. After our brief interviews for the spectators, Joe Hedrick, the man in charge of the show, has just given us the command to head to our respective chutes. As we work our way through the soft sand, …