Parenting Teens

Val in Real Life

This week when I shared the nuts-and-bolts of visiting Bandelier National Monument, I had to think back to why I enjoyed camping there so much. Certainly it’s a very agreeable campground in a technical sense but really it was that the time with my sons went well. There are so many challenges to traveling in a small car with two …

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 …

The Pacific Northwest Tour: Week 1

I’m one week into the Pacific Northwest tour and I find myself in Cortez, Colorado. I’m currently hunkered down in a hotel room trying to catch up on work. The whirlwind of a 1,700+ mile drive to Arizona followed by the chaos Overland Expo hasn’t left a lot of free time to process images and events but in an effort …

Overland Expo to TBEX: Post-mortem

Back at the end of the Overland Expo to TBEX expedition, I gave a break-down of the journey in numbers and a couple of the larger take-away points. After chronicling the entire journey though, I’ve had time to consider the triumphs and pitfalls more fully. I always like to do a trip post-mortem to make sure I take the time …

Overland Expo to TBEX: The Taos Edition

As you know, early on in the Overland Expo to TBEX expedition, the Camp Granola crew had a severe case of the grumpies as we made our way towards Taos. With great effort we managed to keep them from taking over but they lay just below the surface, threatening to undermine our trip only one week in. We were planning …

Overland Expo to TBEX: The Road to Taos

In this episode of Overland Expo to TBEX, the Camp Granola crew starts the haul back east… the long way. Exiting California… After getting a west coast education from friends in Santa Monica and Topanga, the boys and I geared up for a driving day. Before we could bid farewell to California though, a couple of matters needed to be …

George’s Birthday Adventure: The Long Road Home

When you’re facing the end of a trip, it can be hard to let go right? George’s Birthday Adventure had been truly epic and the 2,000+ miles back to Georgia seemed so boring. So in true Camp Granola style we opted to make it not boring… Four Corners… Which is how we found ourselves at the Four Corners Monument. With …