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 …

Love Note to the Peach State

love note to the peach state

Oh Peach State, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways—mountains, swamps, beaches, rivers, pinelands, farms, waterfalls, museums, gardens, rich history, beautiful people. The list goes on and on. You hold so many special places and experiences within your boundaries. I know I left. I’m sorry. It was time. Twenty-two years we spent together—living life and weathering its ups …

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 …

Western Adventure Road Trip Wrap-Up

I recently wrapped up another western adventure. This road trip chimed in at 31 days, 5,890 miles, and spanned 11 states, making it one of my smaller undertakings. I spent 18 of those days exploring solo before Fred and George joined me. In that time, I ventured to Overland Expo and explored the joys of eastern Nevada. After I picked …

Celebrating Winter

Here in the Peach State, winter is a conundrum. The respite from summer’s brutal heat is welcome yet we don’t have the benefit of snow to liven up our outdoor adventures. In fact, snow here is quite catastrophic… just sayin’. But as hard as cold, rainy, dreary winter weeks like this one has been, I still actually appreciate winter in …

2014: Real Adventure. Real Life.

Seems it’s that time again… to review one year before beginning another. With the 2015 calendar staring at us and inspiring introspection, I marvel at what 2014 held for me as well as my boys. 2014 Recap… Overall, 2014 was a year that began in lots of excitement but ended on a mellow note. The bulk of our adventures were …

Virginia City: Historic Nevada Delight

Where do you go after you’ve been to hell and back? Last month at the end of my epic Hell Hike and Raft adventure, my crew mates headed back home but I grabbed a rental car and pointed myself towards Nevada and the legendary Virginia City. The good folks at the tourism board helped me get set up to explore …

The Pacific Northwest Tour: Redux

So it’s been a full week since I’ve returned to “normal” life back at Camp Granola HQ after the Pacific Northwest Tour. My glamorous post-trip activities have involved the likes of buying a new refrigerator, tackling the massive computer difficulties that kept me from processing images while on the trip, sorting through stacks of mail and bills, unpacking the car, …

The Pacific Northwest Tour – Week 7

Week 7 of the Pacific Northwest tour marks the end of our journey this time around. I wish I could say it wasn’t mostly just driving but we did try to break it up. I fact, this ended up being our biggest week of geocaching as we used the sport to add life to our drive. What I was up …

The Pacific Northwest Tour – Week 6

It’s now been six weeks on the road in the Pacific Northwest tour and we’ve finally made it to Canada… and started moving back eastward. What I’ve been up to… 1 day exploring Seattle: We did a big day in the city and visited the Great Wheel, the Space Needle, the REI flagship store, the Pike Place Market… and the …