Nevada: What You’re Missing

I admit it—I never gave Nevada more than a passing thought before George requested a birthday geocaching adventure back in 2012. With that trip, limited to the southern part of the Silver State, I had no idea the breadth of what Nevada has to offer. At least until beginning to explore it in earnest a couple of years later. Since then, …

New Mexico’s Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument - Val in Real Life

When it comes to our National Park system, national monuments tend to be sorely overlooked compared to the marquis parks that visitors flock to in their travels. Bandelier is not one of those overlooked monuments. Except by me. I’ve passed by it countless times as I’ve traveled through northern New Mexico. This time, though, I was determined to take Fred …

Backstories

I’m a sucker for a story. I love all kinds. I find a particular sweet spot when I get the opportunity to learn the backstory behind something I’m fond of, whether it be a song, a photograph, a place, or a person. Suddenly what you viewed from your own experience is reshaped and reformed through someone else’s experience. An interview …

History

Growing up, like most kids, history never excited me. Maybe it was the way it was taught, maybe I wasn’t old enough to understand the importance. Either way, it wasn’t until I had more life experience under my belt that it began to fascinate me. Beyond the big events though, I often wonder about the individual stories of the people …

Education

Here at Camp Granola, Monday marks the the official beginning of a new school year. It’s not a huge landmark for us like so many other families sending their spring-offs back to new teachers, new classmates, decked out in new clothes and with new school supplies bulging out of new backpacks. Our “new” year is much more subtle. We’ll shake …

Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center – A Photo Essay

Two fabulous weeks in the Great Smoky Mountains are at an end. An amazing solo journey for yours truly. I’m still mentally processing my time there. So much to reflect upon. One place I ventured to embrace the past of the Smokies is the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center. And now for your moment of green…

Cumberland Gap: Rangers in the Making

Obviously one of our priorities as parents here at Camp Granola is fostering a love of the outdoors, adventure, and nature in our littlest granolans. Fred and George are curious about a great variety of things, not all of which are related to these pursuits but it makes for a happy granola mom when they embrace it. Part of fostering …

Cumberland Gap: Heart of the Park

So diving a bit more into the details of our recent trip, let’s start with a short introduction to the first stop, Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, shall we? The big picture… The timing of our trip put us too early to experience the fall colors but Cumberland Gap did not disappoint in spite of that. We spent three nights …