Riding in the Virginia City Camel Races

virginia city camel race - val in real life

Joe Hedrick wasn’t kidding. Camel racing isn’t for wussies. That’s what he told us in our introduction at Virginia City’s 57th International Camel and Ostrich Races. Along with my fellow media-types, I listened intently to Joe’s warnings and admonitions to recuse ourselves at any second until the gate opened if we had any doubts. We laughed nervously at possibilities of death …

Getting to know the Virginia City International Camel and Ostrich Races

virginia city camel and ostrich races - val in real life

When I first visited Virginia City, Nevada two years ago, I arrived just after the conclusion of the annual Virginia City International Camel and Ostrich Races. I enjoyed exploring Virginia City as the town seemed to be taking a huge, post-event collective breath. But let’s face it… Camel and Ostrich Races! That’s something I knew I had to see. And now I …

Virginia’s Appomattox Court House National Historic Site

Appomattox Court House - Val in Real Life

Back in April, I ventured out for my second time at the Horizons Unlimited Traveller’s meeting in Appomattox,Virginia. Before I left, I extolled the virtues of extended travel and how it gives a traveler the ability to have a richer experience. Because of changing how I approached this trips by combining with my annual spring photography workshop in the Smokies, I succeeded …

For the love of extended travel…

val in real life

For some, extended travel seems wearisome. Spending weeks (or months, or years) on the road, not seeing your home, managing your life from a distance, finding laundromats, having to find a new place to sleep or set up camp every few days, all of the uncertainties—there are definitely some challenges. For me though, short-term yo-yo travel is harder: trying to …

Embracing Community with Horizons Unlimited

Horizons Unlimited - Val in Real Life

When I attended my first Horizons Unlimited Travellers meeting in April of last year, I didn’t know what to expect. It ended up being a delightful feast of adventurous souls, practical knowledge, and the beginning of beautiful friendships. It was a no-brainer then, to dart off to to the Horizons Unlimited North Carolina event last October. Held at the Iron …

Overland Expo East 2015

Overland Expo East 2015 - Val in Real Life

Even for adventure travelers, the conditions were somewhat daunting for this year’s Overland Expo East event in North Carolina. The rain and winds were the courtesy of Hurricane Joaquin. At our location near Asheville, we were on the outskirts of the storm but the impacts were still significant. It had many of us longing for the less-challenging conditions of Overland …

What is Adventure Travel?

Adventure Travel - Val in Real Life

I’ve been in full-tilt travel mode the last few weeks between three different events. And guess what? Much of that time has been spent riding in the rain, sleeping in a soggy tent, and finding creative ways to extract my motorcycle from mud bogs. It’s been extraordinarity difficult. And I’d do it all again. But make no mistake about the …

New Mexico’s Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument - Val in Real Life

When it comes to our National Park system, national monuments tend to be sorely overlooked compared to the marquis parks that visitors flock to in their travels. Bandelier is not one of those overlooked monuments. Except by me. I’ve passed by it countless times as I’ve traveled through northern New Mexico. This time, though, I was determined to take Fred …

Roadschooling at Arizona’s Meteor Crater

Meteor Crater in Arizona - Val in Real LIfe

As you know, we here at Val in Real Life like to learn when we’re traveling. Fred and George don’t travel with me as often these days but when they do, I still like to sneak in some learning that doesn’t feel like education. So when George asked if we could stop at Meteor Crater on our way through Arizona …

Full Throttle at Tellus Science Museum

Last Saturday, Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, Georgia unveiled it’s new Full Throttle exhibit. So I rode my groovy Moto Guzzi there to meet some fellow riders and check it out. This new presentation explores the evolution and design of motorcycles. It’s a fitting addition to the museum’s existing permanent Science in Motion exhibition that spans the history of transportation …