Forty-three

Today marks another year under my belt. Like any year, forty-two presented it’s triumphs and challenges. I’m thrilled with the adventures I was able to have both solo and with the boys, though. For me, that’s the big picture as I look back at the year. And to that end, this year marks the beginning of a transition for the …

The Beauty of Gray

I’m a fan of black-and-white photography, particularly infrared conversions. There’s something so simple yet visually intricate about the tones. Recently jamming out to some Live while I was working away behind the scenes here at Val in Real Life HQ, I revisited one of my favorite songs of theirs, The Beauty Of Gray. And it got me thinking about the …

Adjustments

If you follow along on the various social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram, you know I’ve been battling a fairly significant hand injury that I sustained back in June on the Pacific Northwest Tour. It’s been a doozie to deal with. Having postponed surgery until after the Hell Hike and Raft expedition, I’ve spent the last couple of months …

On Remaining Vibrant

My forty-third birthday is a mere four weeks away. And with autumn in full swing and the leaves turning, I’m facing my own change. Yep… I have officially found my first gray hairs. I can’t help but consider the corollary. While trees go through a dramatic change every year, I will only face this once. It’s just one of those …

Real Life Connections: Hell Hike and Raft

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… the friendships I’ve made through social media are amazing. And it was social media that made the Hell Hike and Raft possible. It was an amazing adventure and I’m thrilled to have met everyone involved in person. Our online chatter allowed us to connect before hitting the trail but these real …

Journeys

On Monday I set off for the Hell Hike and Raft. After months of anticipation and preparation, it’s finally upon us. This type of travel is actually quite different for me and has set me out of my travel and packing comfort zone. Airline travel, backcountry hiking, and whitewater rafting are not activities I’m involved in all that much these …

The Art of Living

Dandelion in the Great Smoky Mountains

Today’s Postcard is inspired by two women I greatly admire. They both recently posted some wonderful thoughts on how they live their lives that resonated with me. They reminded me of something I often say that I feel I’ve lost sight of lately… that there’s an art to living. The important thing to remember is that art is subjective. And …

Setbacks and Denial

oregon sunset

So you know how I was feeling triumphant for having returned from The Pacific Northwest Tour sans major travel catastrophes for once. Other than feeling a little worse for wear, things went pretty smoothly considering the undertaking. The bad news is that I was wrong. I’ve been basking in a healthy dose of survival-denial in that I’ve been ignoring the …

Back in the Saddle

So the last couple of weeks I’ve talked about adventures completed and adventures to come. I’m guessing you probably won’t realize how these two intersect… and it’s not in a good way. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve been seeing my posts about getting out on the trails, upping my pack weight, and upping my distance while …

Sanctuary

Today I’m nestled in one of my favorite places in the world. It’s spring photography workshop time again at The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and I’ll be immersed in photography, the Smokies, and my Tremont friends for the next several days. I’ve written much about my time in the Smokies and this workshop in particular is a sweet …