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 …

Overland Expo West 2015

ovelranad expo 2015 - val in real life

I’ve been debating what to write about Overland Expo this year… about writing anything at all, actually. Because it was such an unusual and trying endeavor this time, I’ve spent the last few weeks attempting to sort what the true take-away was. For my first foray into Overland Expo, I had no idea what to expect or if it would …

The Pacific Northwest Tour: Sunset Crater and Wupatki

As a largely indy traveler, I always revel in finding groovy little destinations that aren’t overrun by crowds. I love iconic places as much as the next person but hoards of people can take the fun out of that experience. That’s one of the reasons I’m partial to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and its nearby sister, Wupatki National Monument. …

Overland Expo West 2014

My first official destination of the Pacific Northwest Tour was Overland Expo 2014 at Mormon Lake in Arizona. This was my second year attending and after my first visit last year, I knew this event would be something I’d want to return to year-after-year. The largest reason part behind that is the reunion with some of my favorite outdoor folks, …

The Pacific Northwest Tour: Week 1

I’m one week into the Pacific Northwest tour and I find myself in Cortez, Colorado. I’m currently hunkered down in a hotel room trying to catch up on work. The whirlwind of a 1,700+ mile drive to Arizona followed by the chaos Overland Expo hasn’t left a lot of free time to process images and events but in an effort …

Postcards from Real Life: Overland Expo 2014

Greetings from Overland Expo 2014! I’m currently surrounded by a sea of about 7,000 travel enthusiasts and experts which means I’m immersed in a fantastic travel community for the weekend. One of the things I love about attending events like this is the opportunity to expand my perspective on travel. Everyone here has different motivation driving them to explore and …

The Pacific Northwest Tour: On the Road Again

So now that I’ve finally finished chronicling the Overland Expo to TBEX trip… it’s time to set out on another journey. On Tuesday, May 13th, I’ll be heading out to Overland Expo once again. It will be the kick-off destination of another 10,000-mile(ish) road trip. As we well know, a trip of this scope lends itself to major changes along …

Overland Expo to TBEX: Post-mortem

Back at the end of the Overland Expo to TBEX expedition, I gave a break-down of the journey in numbers and a couple of the larger take-away points. After chronicling the entire journey though, I’ve had time to consider the triumphs and pitfalls more fully. I always like to do a trip post-mortem to make sure I take the time …

Overland Expo to TBEX: The Road to Taos

In this episode of Overland Expo to TBEX, the Camp Granola crew starts the haul back east… the long way. Exiting California… After getting a west coast education from friends in Santa Monica and Topanga, the boys and I geared up for a driving day. Before we could bid farewell to California though, a couple of matters needed to be …

Overland Expo to TBEX: Going West Coast

In true Val style, I’m taking the glacial approach to sharing the epic Overland Expo to TBEX adventure with you. Did you expect anything else really? Exit Stage Left… So as you know, I had a very groovy time at Overland Expo in Arizona and hanging out with the colorful characters of the ATQA crew. Sadly, the event only lasts …