Discovering the Nature of Nevada

When I lived in the southeast, I spent a good bit of time immersing myself in the nature of the Great Smoky Mountains. That included becoming a Certified Southern Appalachian Naturalist […]


A Camel Walks into a Saloon

It’s another severe clear summer day on the Comstock. I’m at the end of the bar nursing a cold beer. I’ve earned a drink or two to quench my thirst […]


A Walk on the Freeway in Carson City

It’s not every day you get to walk on a brand-new interstate. Pristine pavement. Sharp, fresh striping. Hundreds of bicyclists, roller-skaters, skateboarders, and runners whizzing by you. I had that […]


Awake: Finding my Inner Thelma

I imagine most of you are familiar with the movie Thelma and Louise and its tale of two women finding their strength through a series of unexpected and escalating ordeals. In one of the […]

nevada state parks passport - val in real life

Getting my Nevada State Parks Passport

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 […]

Embracing Nevada - Val in Real Life

Embracing Nevada: A Georgia Girl Moves West

Twenty-two years. Half of my life. That’s how long I’ve called the Atlanta area home. (The other half was in Florida, for those that aren’t in the know.) And now […]

virginia city camel race - val in real life

Riding in the Virginia City Camel Races

Joe Hedrick wasn’t kidding. Camel racing isn’t for wussies. That’s what he told us in our introduction at Virginia City’s 57th International Camel and Ostrich Races. Along with my fellow […]

virginia city camel and ostrich races - val in real life

Getting to know the Virginia City International Camel and Ostrich Races

When I first visited Virginia City, Nevada two years ago, I arrived just after the conclusion of the annual Virginia City International Camel and Ostrich Races. I enjoyed exploring Virginia City […]

Carson City Sheriff's Office Extreme Motor Officer Challenge 2016

Carson City Motor Cop Competition

Each year, the Carson City Sheriff’s Office hosts the Extreme Motor Officer Training Challenge. This year marked the 13th anniversary of the event, designed to bring motor officers together for friendly competition, […]

Death Valley Super Bloom - Val in Real Life

Death Valley Super Bloom

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 […]

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge

Nevada’s Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge

Tucked off of the very busy Highway 93, 80 miles north of Las Vegas, you’ll find Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. This Nevada oasis seems horribly overlooked by the cars and […]

cathedral gorge state park - val in real life

Camping at Cathedral Gorge State Park

Now that I’ve given you a peek at exploring Cathedral Gorge State Park, it’s time for a look the camping facilities. After the bare-bones, but not quite primitive, offerings of […]


Exploring Cathedral Gorge State Park

Back in May, I set out on another mega road trip to regain my Val-ness. After Overland Expo in Arizona, I mozied my way to Great Basin National Park in […]


Great Basin National Park

My western adventure was a fairly loose mess; largely unplanned and willy-nilly. After my exit from the surprisingly wintry experience at Overland Expo, I ventured into the Silver State and […]


Virginia City, Nevada: Room and Board

Obviously when I visited Virginia City last month, I didn’t just wander around visiting museums. I did have to eat and sleep. And, as I mentioned, it is a small […]


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 […]


Postcards from Real Life: Mojo

I just returned from another whirlwind adventure… a two-parter. I spent 6 days on the Hell Hike and Raft in Idaho followed by a trip to Virginia City in Nevada. […]


Postcards from Real Life: Reminders

There’s always chatter in the travel community about souvenirs… as in, how do you go about remembering your journeys? As you can imagine, there are a wide array of philosophies […]


George’s Birthday Adventure: Death Valley

I know I left you hanging on George’s Birthday Adventure with the story of the E.T. Highway but I promise I’ll keep sprinkling it in here between our other antics. […]


George’s Birthday Adventure: E.T. Highway

Dear readers, you’ve made it. Finally here at Episode 5 of George’s Birthday Adventure, we get to the main event, the reason for trekking across the U.S., the big kahuna…the […]

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