great smoky mountains institute at tremont - val in real life
Photography

Bad Weather and Good Friends at Tremont

Let’s face it, life dishes out the unexpected and undesired. A lot. The only thing we’re in control of is how we respond, right? I just returned from a whirlwind […]

Photography

Postcards from Real Life: Mentor

Today I’m back in the Great Smoky Mountains for my photographic family reunion. It’s time for the Autumn Brilliance workshop again and this is where I come to get rejuvenated […]

Travel

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 […]

Life

Postcards from Real Life: Sanctuary

Today I’m nestled in one of my favorite places in the world. It’s spring photography workshop time again at The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and I’ll be immersed […]

Life

Postcards from Real Life: Contact

I’ve talked a lot lately about how much I appreciate the connections I’ve made during my life as a blogger. I’ve made some great friends in various communities and I’ve […]

Outdoors

Tremont’s Naturalist Certification Program: Discover the Great Smoky Mountains

You all know by now that I love the Great Smoky Mountains and that I’m obsessed with the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. In fact, I’m a Junkie. I’ve […]

Outdoors

Great Smoky Mountains: The Spruce-Fir Nature Trail

The Great Smoky Mountains are the most visited National Park in the U.S. and if you follow this blog with any regularity, you know this is one of my favorite […]

Outdoors

Postcards from Real Life: Moments

So the Camp Granola crew spent a long weekend at Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountains last weekend. After the blistering pace we set on our Overland Expo to TBEX […]

Outdoors

North America’s Best Campgrounds: Elkmont

This week my fellow outdoor enthusiasts and I are highlighting our favorite campgrounds in North America. While I have several favorites across the country, I wanted to bring the love […]

Life

Postcards from Real Life: Why?

Today I head off yet again to my home-away-from-home, the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. This trip marks my final class in the Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification program so […]

Outdoors

Postcards from Real Life: Winter

We’re in the thick of winter finally. It was beginning to look like we wouldn’t have to break out the heavy coats here in Georgia this season but it is […]

Life

Postcards from Real Life: Possibilities

Today I head back to Tremont for the next class in my pursuit of the Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification. It’s a little trip, just a weekend, but it is travel […]

Outdoors

Autumn in Elkmont

A few weeks ago I took the boys to the Smokies for a long weekend and it was simple and blissful. It wasn’t a trip highlighted by outrageous adventures with […]

Photography

Postcards from Real Life: Artistry

It’s time! Time to head back to Tremont for the Autumn Brilliance workshop. As I set forth this morning, it’s more about getting a break from the house-selling insanity than […]

Photography

Time to Get Your Tremont On…

In just a few short weeks I will again set off to the Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont for the Autumn Brilliance Workshop with Will Clay. My thoughts… Just […]

Life

Postcards from Real Life: Curiosity

I’m back to Tremont today for the next installment towards my Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification. A short weekend full of study that will not satisfy my curiosity but fuel it […]

Life

Memories of Trees

So the good folks over at Boots N All have been issuing weekly Indie travel Challenges all year. For all of my good intentions, I’ve yet to get a post […]

Outdoors

Going Solo

I know you parents out there feel my pain. As rich as our kids make our lives, sometimes you need a little adult time. And when you spend as much […]

Life

Tremont Kids Have Their Say…

I’ve sounded in quite a bit on my love of The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, particularly the photography workshops they offer. So you already know how I feel […]

Outdoors

Postcards from Real Life: Requiem

Back in July, yours truly headed off to the Smoky Mountains for a couple of weeks of solo exploration. It was a much needed mental reset. I spent part of […]

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