Putting Outdoor Research’s Supercharger pants to the Test

Call me obsessive or call me thorough (or both if you like) but I really feel it necessary to put new gear to the test before I write up a review. That’s why for more than three months I’ve been putting four items from Outdoor Research to the Val in Real Life test. That test has taken me and these …

Going Caching: Georgia’s Geocaching Mega-Event

Anyone who follows the adventures of Camp Granola knows we’re nuts for geocaching, even going so far as to drive across the country to geocache the E.T. Highway. Sometimes I sound like a broken record, always talking about the benefits of using geocaching to explore the world around us. Aside from the intriguing places this sport takes us though, it’s …

North America’s Best Campgrounds: Elkmont

This week my fellow outdoor enthusiasts and I are highlighting our favorite campgrounds in North America. While I have several favorites across the country, I wanted to bring the love down south into Camp Granola’s main stomping grounds. To highlight our home state, I’ve got Cloudland Canyon for you. But you know I can’t help but share some Great Smoky …

North America’s Best Campgrounds: Cloudland Canyon

The state of Georgia is an outdoor wonderland. From mountains to beaches to swamps to rivers and everything in between, my home state has a lot to offer the outdoor-minded explorer. So when you’re trying to pick a place to highlight, it can be tough simply to choose what kind of outdoor adventure to focus on, much less which one of …

The Pride of America: Our National Parks

Here at Camp Granola, we always seem to be furiously planning our adventures. Exploring is the core of what we do as roadschoolers so there is lots of excitement ahead for us. Coming up in the next few weeks I’ll be returning to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont for the Spring Photography Workshop, my final course in the …

Postcards from Real Life: Wild Days

We’ve talked about the community in nature before here and today’s post is inspired by a weird mashup of that community and the modern world… in this case, a weekly Twitter chat called Adventure Travel Q&A. So while we discuss exploring outdoors, it happens virtually through the marvels of modern technology. In this way we get to know people and …

The Len Foote Hike Inn: Unplug in North Georgia

If you’re unfamiliar with the Len Foote Hike Inn, it’s time to get familiar! Georgia’s unique lodge getaway in the North Georgia Mountains is located five miles up the Appalachian Trail approach that leads to Springer Mountain, the official starting point of the AT. Are you putting the puzzle together? That’s right, the only access for visitors is by hiking …

Last Reflections of Winter

I’ve written a bit in recent months about my conversion from South Florida girl to winter-cold-weather-embracing North Georgia girl. One of the things I love about being in a place with a true winter is the bare trees. Being able to ponder their intricate structures, I feel that in winter we get to see the secrets they hide the rest …

Postcards from Real Life: Good Weather

One of the things I believe in…. and I try to get Fred and George to understand in spite of their complaints, is that we can explore in all kinds of weather. Each scenario offers it’s own unique view of a landscape, regardless of whether it’s the forests of the Smokies, the deserts of the Mojave, or anything in between. …

Postcards from Real Life: Anticipation

I’ve confessed to not being very snow-savvy before but I’ve definitely acclimated to the cooler winter climate of North Georgia. I’ve also fully embraced a love of winter in terms of it’s stark beauty. I know many people find it dismal and dreary but I challenge those folks to take another look at winter. Even on cold days, the sun …