Getting my Nevada State Parks Passport

nevada state parks passport - val in real life

I spent many of my years in Georgia exploring the vast offerings of its state park system. Much of that was with Fred and George in tow as we pursued the Parks GeoTour and History Trail GeoTour geocaching challenges. Through that effort, we got to know the state and the Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites in depth. Now that …

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 …

George L. Smith State Park: A Photo Essay

Last weekend, the Camp Granola crew set off for a camping adventure in George L. Smith State Park in central Georgia. It was one of many trips we’ve taken around the state to complete the Georgia State Parks Geocaching Challenge. Being the types inclined to head to the mountains, the challenge has forced us to step put of our comfort …

Postcards from Real Life: Campfire

Last weekend we trekked off for a little local adventure here in Georgia. Part of the purpose of this trip was to make progress in completing the Georgia State Parks geocaching challenge but it was more so for some Vitamin N. Fred grouses about camping these days, summoning discontent from the depths of his teenage bosom. But once we’re there, …

Georgia’s New Don Carter State Park

This spring, Georgia added a new park to its collection of wonderful places to play outside. Don Carter State Park is perched on the north end of Lake Lanier, just outside the city of Gainesville and provides state park appeal to lake lovers. Of course, being huge fans of our state’s parks, we had to go check it out for …

Going Caching: Georgia’s Geocaching Mega-Event

Anyone who follows the adventures of Camp Granola knows we’re nuts for geocaching, even going so far as to drive across the country to geocache the E.T. Highway. Sometimes I sound like a broken record, always talking about the benefits of using geocaching to explore the world around us. Aside from the intriguing places this sport takes us though, it’s …

North America’s Best Campgrounds: Cloudland Canyon

The state of Georgia is an outdoor wonderland. From mountains to beaches to swamps to rivers and everything in between, my home state has a lot to offer the outdoor-minded explorer. So when you’re trying to pick a place to highlight, it can be tough simply to choose what kind of outdoor adventure to focus on, much less which one of …

The Len Foote Hike Inn: Unplug in North Georgia

If you’re unfamiliar with the Len Foote Hike Inn, it’s time to get familiar! Georgia’s unique lodge getaway in the North Georgia Mountains is located five miles up the Appalachian Trail approach that leads to Springer Mountain, the official starting point of the AT. Are you putting the puzzle together? That’s right, the only access for visitors is by hiking …

Postcards from Real Life: Good Weather

One of the things I believe in…. and I try to get Fred and George to understand in spite of their complaints, is that we can explore in all kinds of weather. Each scenario offers it’s own unique view of a landscape, regardless of whether it’s the forests of the Smokies, the deserts of the Mojave, or anything in between. …

Unexpected Treasure: Skidaway Island

I’m going to fess up from the start. I’m a mountain girl. So when I visited Skidaway Island for the first time in November 2011 it was because of a geocaching event, not for the allure of Georgia’s coast. Which brings me to my next confession… I loved it. And I was very excited to return this past November, not …