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 …

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, …

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 …

My Forty-Fifth Birthday: Celebrating with Adventure

birthday - val in real lie

I’ve published a birthday post every year since 2011. It’s a reflection of my outgoing year as I consider the new year ahead. In that first birthday post, I confessed to my behind-the-scenes health issue. Little did I know how much worse things would get for me. It’s ok to laugh ironically, I promise. I have at least some sense …

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 …

The Liebster Award…

So my Hell Hike and Raft crew buddy, Adam, at Hiking the Trail tagged me in this Liebster Award thing. Apparently it’s been around for nearly a decade and the idea is to tag bloggers to learn more about them and their blogs. So here goes… The Rules: Link the person who tagged you. Answer the 11 questions that the …

A Decade of George

Dearest Camp Granola friends, our “little” George turns ten today. And while the decade marks seem to be intriguing to all of us, for George ten is an especially magical number. For those of you who don’t know, my sweet boy was ten days late in his arrival and that entrance to the world was marked by a maternal-body-destroying birthweight …

Postcards from Real Life: Planning

So I’ve done a post-mortem of last year’s big adventure but I’m way behind in putting together a plan for Camp Granola’s upcoming expedition. It’s quickly approaching and while I only plan to the extent that I have a skeleton of an itinerary, there are some advance considerations necessary. Given that we’ll be traveling in high season AKA summer, I …

Real Life Connections: Family on Bikes

It’s one of those truisms of life that you don’t live it alone. The people you meet change you. Sometimes for worse but mostly for better. Sometimes in little ways, sometimes big. Sometimes they help keep you on the right path, sometimes they show you a new one. Some people you only meet briefly, others are with you for the …