Turning Misfortune into Opportunity: A Photographic Journey

Val in Real Life

Each April I return to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont for the spring photography workshop led by the fabulous Bill Lea. While it’s largely a family reunion for me and I love spending time with people who constantly inspire me, I also look forward to honing my photography skills when I’m there. At the Tremont workshops (both spring and …

Postcards from Real Life: Moments

So the Camp Granola crew spent a long weekend at Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountains last weekend. After the blistering pace we set on our Overland Expo to TBEX expedition this summer, we were due for a low-key pure camping trip. That’s why I let the boys drive our time-frame and activities this weekend… to decompress from our more …

Discovery

Today the boys and I set out for familiar territory… The Great Smoky Mountains. It’s our first trip together since the Overland Expo to TBEX expedition came to an end in June. This is a short trip, only five days, and we’re returning to our favorite Smokies front-country campground at Elkmont for some much needed R&R from urban life. But …

North America’s Best Campgrounds: Elkmont

This week my fellow outdoor enthusiasts and I are highlighting our favorite campgrounds in North America. While I have several favorites across the country, I wanted to bring the love down south into Camp Granola’s main stomping grounds. To highlight our home state, I’ve got Cloudland Canyon for you. But you know I can’t help but share some Great Smoky …

Autumn in Elkmont

A few weeks ago I took the boys to the Smokies for a long weekend and it was simple and blissful. It wasn’t a trip highlighted by outrageous adventures with stories we’ll be telling for years to come. It was a trip of relaxation, rejuvenation, exploring, and one subtlely wonderful moment followed by another. We were treated to the crisp …