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 …

Nevada: What You’re Missing

I admit it—I never gave Nevada more than a passing thought before George requested a birthday geocaching adventure back in 2012. With that trip, limited to the southern part of the Silver State, I had no idea the breadth of what Nevada has to offer. At least until beginning to explore it in earnest a couple of years later. Since then, …

Seattle with Teenagers

These days Fred and George balk at the idea of weeks-long camping trips like we used to take. They’re teenagers and they’re more intrigued by urban adventures right now. With that in mind, for an end-of-summer trip we flitted off to Seattle. It’s been a few years since we were last there and they’ve both changed so much we decided to …

Tales from the Chute: The 2017 Virginia City Camel and Ostrich Races

virginia city camel and ostrich races - val in real life

It’s the second weekend in September and I’m in the center of the arena at the Virginia City Camel and Ostrich Races once again. After our brief interviews for the spectators, Joe Hedrick, the man in charge of the show, has just given us the command to head to our respective chutes. As we work our way through the soft sand, …

A Camel Walks into a Saloon

It’s another severe clear summer day on the Comstock. I’m at the end of the bar nursing a cold beer. I’ve earned a drink or two to quench my thirst after racing camels all day in the high desert. Gazing out the picture window, I contemplate the vastness of the Nevada desert from the comfort of the dark saloon. On my …

A Jillion Miles with a Thule Roof Box

thule atlantis 1600xt - val in real life

For quite a few years my trusty Subaru Forester has served as the main adventure-mobile for my explorations with Fred and George. She’s been in semi-retirement as life has moved on but this week “Blubaru,” as she’s known, is headed out for her first cross-country trip in a couple of years. George and I will be trekking from Georgia to …

Getting my Nevada State Parks Passport

nevada state parks passport - val in real life

I spent many of my years in Georgia exploring the vast offerings of its state park system. Much of that was with Fred and George in tow as we pursued the Parks GeoTour and History Trail GeoTour geocaching challenges. Through that effort, we got to know the state and the Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites in depth. Now that …

Love Note to the Peach State

love note to the peach state

Oh Peach State, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways—mountains, swamps, beaches, rivers, pinelands, farms, waterfalls, museums, gardens, rich history, beautiful people. The list goes on and on. You hold so many special places and experiences within your boundaries. I know I left. I’m sorry. It was time. Twenty-two years we spent together—living life and weathering its ups …

Bringing Home the Baja Mañana Spirit

baja mañana spirit - val in real life

I recently returned from my first trip to Baja, Mexico. Intent on living my life as well as I can in the moment right now, I rode my motorcycle 1,500-miles south from my home in northern Nevada to the town of Loreto, on the Sea of Cortez. Why travel? The benefits of travel are well known but hard to measure. …