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 …

Discovering the Nature of Nevada

When I lived in the southeast, I spent a good bit of time immersing myself in the nature of the Great Smoky Mountains. That included becoming a Certified Southern Appalachian Naturalist (SANCP), through a program that gave me the opportunity to understand the intricacies of the natural environment there. Then I moved to Nevada. Other than the basic concepts of plant …

Celebrating National Monuments For All of Us

Today marks the 111th anniversary of the 1906 Antiquities Act which gives presidents the ability to designate national monuments. National monument designations preserve historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest. It is the starting point to potential national park status later on. Some of our greatest treasures—places like Grand Canyon, Zion, Grand Teton, Olympic, Arches, …

Staying inReach with DeLorme

A while back I talked about some of my strategies for personal safety on the trail. One of the pieces of that strategy is a GPS tracking device. Whether I’m traveling by car, motorcycle, or foot, this technology is something I greatly appreciate. Especially when I’m solo. Why carry one? There are various mindsets about carrying a GPS tracker. Some …

#ThankfulForFamilies Instagram Contest

#ThankfulForFamilies - Val in Real LIfe

Your friendly, neighborhood outdoor family bloggers have put together a huge Instagram contest for you! Follow the steps below to enter to win one of the GOBS of prizes in the #ThankfulForFamilies #OutdoorFamilies giveaway! Steps to Enter: Post a NEW photo of your outdoor family on Instagram making sure to include both #ThankfulForFamilies AND #OutdoorFamilies and tell us why you …

Nevada’s Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge

Tucked off of the very busy Highway 93, 80 miles north of Las Vegas, you’ll find Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. This Nevada oasis seems horribly overlooked by the cars and trucks hurtling by. I’m sure they see it. There’s really no way to miss it. The lush landscape is a startling contrast to the Nevada desert surrounding it. I myself …

Camping at Cathedral Gorge State Park

cathedral gorge state park - val in real life

Now that I’ve given you a peek at exploring Cathedral Gorge State Park, it’s time for a look the camping facilities. After the bare-bones, but not quite primitive, offerings of Great Basin National Park, the promise of a shower at Cathedral Gorge was very exciting, as you can imagine. Camping… The nature of the landscape at Cathedral Gorge means the …

Exploring Cathedral Gorge State Park

Back in May, I set out on another mega road trip to regain my Val-ness. After Overland Expo in Arizona, I mozied my way to Great Basin National Park in northeast Nevada. I then headed south to Cathedral Gorge State Park and a vastly different landscape. Cathedral Gorge State Park… Cathedral Gorge is a popular Nevada destination for it’s dramatic, …

The PURE Electrolytic Water Purifier by Potable Aqua

On the Hell Hike and Raft last year, I overhauled my hiking hydration scheme to include my Potable Aqua PURE electrolytic water purifier. As a Potable Aqua Brand Ambassador, I had the lovely perk of getting my hands on it prior to its release so I could put it to the test. The basics… The PURE is a small device …

Great Basin National Park

My western adventure was a fairly loose mess; largely unplanned and willy-nilly. After my exit from the surprisingly wintry experience at Overland Expo, I ventured into the Silver State and mozied my way towards Great Basin National Park, a place I’ve long wanted to visit. Nevada’s weather is notoriously volatile and proved it with conviction while I was there. I …