The Woes of a Lazy Photographer

Quick, name the top five things you like to spend your time on. How much time did you spend doing those things in 2017? Are you satisfied? Or did they take a back seat to other activities and life in general? My favorites are motorcycling, travel, photography, hiking, and knitting. There are a handful of runners-up but those are my …

Your Comfort Zone is Perishable

broken mirror - val in real life

In a few short days, we will say goodbye to another year. We humans have a propensity to get nostalgic, as well as hopeful, in the course of ushering in a new year. It’s natural to take the time to look at where we’ve been in the last year and where we are going in the next. As you go …

A Beginner’s Guide to Death Valley

In recent years, I’ve had the good fortune to explore Death Valley National Park in a variety of ways: by camping and hiking, motorcycle travel, family travel, a photography workshop, and 4×4 excursions. Through those adventures, I’ve become a huge fan of the park. That means I often get quite enthusiastic about extolling the virtues of what it has to offer …

Expanding Adventures with a Sidecar

I’ve been toying with the notion of getting a sidecar rig for some time. Quite honestly, those thoughts first surfaced when I was facing the possibility of losing my leg or its ability to handle a two-wheeled machine. As that threat faded, so did the urgency to explore sidecar rig options. The seed was planted though and little musings about it …

Forty-Six: Gratitude

Last year when I set out on my motorcycle for Baja, it was with the intent of pursuing adventure for my 45th birthday. This year, I’m back in Baja for my birthday but it wasn’t the purpose of the trip, just a coincidence. It happens to be a great time of year to be here. However, being here and traveling …

Hungry for Baja

baja tacos - val in real life

It’s time to go back to Baja and take in the mañana spirit. Having gone from the challenges of frenetic travel this summer to very little at all while dealing with physical therapy and doctors, my traveling soul needs the balance of Baja. So tomorrow I cross the border to set life back in order. That my birthday again falls in …

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 …