Angle of Repose

Greetings dear readers… I piled too much into my life yet again but with each advancing year I learn to recognize the signs and rein them in more quickly. Whether you call it wisdom or school-of-hard-knocks, I am much better than I was at managing the balancing act of life than I was, although I don’t know if I can …

Throttle and Torque: Outdoor Research’s Trail Duds

We’ve reached the final installment in my Outdoor Research review series. I shared my thoughts on the Supercharger pants as well as the Redline jacket, both of which are now among my favorite outdoor clothing. Now I get to move on to the Throttle Shorts and Torque Tee, the last of the goodies OR send my way. As you know, …

Postcards from Real Life: Moments

So the Camp Granola crew spent a long weekend at Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountains last weekend. After the blistering pace we set on our Overland Expo to TBEX expedition this summer, we were due for a low-key pure camping trip. That’s why I let the boys drive our time-frame and activities this weekend… to decompress from our more …

Overland Expo to TBEX: The Taos Edition

As you know, early on in the Overland Expo to TBEX expedition, the Camp Granola crew had a severe case of the grumpies as we made our way towards Taos. With great effort we managed to keep them from taking over but they lay just below the surface, threatening to undermine our trip only one week in. We were planning …

Discovery

Today the boys and I set out for familiar territory… The Great Smoky Mountains. It’s our first trip together since the Overland Expo to TBEX expedition came to an end in June. This is a short trip, only five days, and we’re returning to our favorite Smokies front-country campground at Elkmont for some much needed R&R from urban life. But …

Overland Expo to TBEX: The Road to Taos

In this episode of Overland Expo to TBEX, the Camp Granola crew starts the haul back east… the long way. Exiting California… After getting a west coast education from friends in Santa Monica and Topanga, the boys and I geared up for a driving day. Before we could bid farewell to California though, a couple of matters needed to be …

Putting Outdoor Research’s Redline Jacket to the test…

So as you know, Outdoor Research sent me some goodies to try out and I had a lot to say about their Supercharger pants last time around. Of the four pieces they had me put to the Val in Real Life test, the pants were by far the most useful. But now it’s time to give you the rundown on …

Postcards from Real Life: Getting Lost

Earlier this week, my buddy Steve shared his moment of getting lost in the pursuit of finding himself. Steve’s story resonated with me because I’ve had a few of those epic moments. They’re usually out exploring some natural wonder but not always. But Steve’s moment got me thinking… is getting lost the same thing as finding yourself, or maybe one …

Guest Post: Lost in the Dark at Crater Lake

Dear readers, help me welcome a special guest blogger to Val in Real Life. You might recognize Steve Zigler as a Friend of Camp Granola and today’s post is brought to you by his big adventure this summer. Steve came back with an epic panorama of the Milky Way over Crater Lake that he shared with us through space.com initially. …

Parks Folio Unveiled for National Parks 97th Birthday

Just a quick post today to let you all know about a fabulous new project that was unveiled today which happens to be the 97th birthday of our National Park System. Please allow me to introduce Parks Folio! (cue marching band and confetti…) This project is the result of a lot of hard work by the fabulous Tim Miner of …