Motorcycling Through Northern California and Southern Oregon

motorcycling california and oregon

“Shit!… are you kidding me?!? I don’t know about this. Shit-shit-shit-shit-shit!” (Or possibly stronger oaths.) Those are the words I gasped in my headset to my riding partner as the pavement suddenly deteriorated to something formerly known as asphalt. The sand and gravel covering it didn’t help matters. The unexpectedly unruly terrain had my bike dancing over its surface like a slapstick comedian …

Death Valley Super Bloom

Death Valley Super Bloom - Val in Real Life

A few weeks ago, I got to shuttle myself out to Death Valley National Park for the Super Bloom. The timing was such that I had to be there President’s Day weekend… so it was crowded and a bit before the super bloom’s peak. Given the once-in-a-lifetime nature of this event, I wasn’t going to be picky so I took …

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 …

Death Valley with David Middleton and Brenda Berry

As you know, back in November I ventured out to Death Valley for the rare delight of a kidless adventure. It was a two-part trip of camping with friends and a photography workshop and it was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. The combination of location and people was spot on but I’ve already talked about that. Now …

Discovering Death Valley

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending some time in Death Valley National Park. Unlike a typical lengthy road trip with Fred and George, this was a quickie solo blast out-and-back involving planes, rental cars, and the general travel mayhem I try to avoid. Those necessary evils were well-worth the effort though. The backstory… This trip started …

Stumbling for Words

You may have noticed I like to travel. I feel at home out in the world. It’s not always easy though and some trips are certainly better than others depending on logistics and conditions. I spent last week in Death Valley, a combined trip of camping with friends and a photography workshop. It’s there I found one of the sweet …

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 …

Overland Expo to TBEX: Three weeks in…

In a complete blur, we’ve completed the first three weeks of our seven week journey. As I mentioned before I set out, I knew Stage 1 would be completely bonkers in terms of the pace and what I was trying to accomplish. But as of yesterday, we’ve entered Stage 2 and we will be able to ramp down but only …

Postcards from Real Life: Nature

Dear friends, I’ve been inside too much in the last few weeks. Semi-convalescence is apparently not something I do well. I’ve been trying very hard to allow my toe it’s healing time but it seems even at home, and especially with the pressures of house showings, I’m getting nowhere. In the meantime, I’m also going a bit batty not getting …