Life

Celebrating Near-Perfect on Mother’s Day

I know, I know… it’s a Hallmark holiday. But my dear Fred happened to be born on Mother’s Day so I’m fond of it in my own way. And like birthdays […]

val in real life
Travel

For the love of extended travel…

For some, extended travel seems wearisome. Spending weeks (or months, or years) on the road, not seeing your home, managing your life from a distance, finding laundromats, having to find […]

Ted Simon's fear quote - Val in Real Life
Life

Postcards from Real Life: Fear

News flash. I’m not fearless. I’m often told I am and it makes me laugh. I think “Are you kidding me?!?” Of course I have fear. Lots of it. To the […]

Adventure Travel - Val in Real Life
Travel

What is Adventure Travel?

I’ve been in full-tilt travel mode the last few weeks between three different events. And guess what? Much of that time has been spent riding in the rain, sleeping in […]

Bikes, Blues, and BBQ - Val in Real Life
Motorcycling

Joining Progressive for Bikes, Blues, and BBQ

A couple of weeks ago, I partnered with Progressive Insurance to ride to my first major motorcycle rally. Since my motorcycling interests skew towards adventure travel, most of my experience […]

Val in Real Life
Life

Parenting Teens

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 […]

val in real life
Life

Foundations

Back in March I wrote about why it’s important to keep your bucket full. But I realized my thoughts at the time were an incomplete picture of the tools needed […]

Life

2014: Real Adventure. Real Life.

Seems it’s that time again… to review one year before beginning another. With the 2015 calendar staring at us and inspiring introspection, I marvel at what 2014 held for me […]

Travel

Overland Expo West 2014

My first official destination of the Pacific Northwest Tour was Overland Expo 2014 at Mormon Lake in Arizona. This was my second year attending and after my first visit last […]

Travel

Postcards from Real Life: 48 Days

This past Sunday, I wrapped up the Pacific Northwest tour my longest road trip ever, 48 days. Given the type of people I often associate with, the overlanding and dirtbag […]

Travel

Postcards from Real Life: Milestones

I had an entirely different postcard written for today but I’m scrapping that in favor of getting a little bit sentimental because today marks a pretty big milestone for Camp […]

Outdoors

The Liebster Award…

So my Hell Hike and Raft crew buddy, Adam, at Hiking the Trail tagged me in this Liebster Award thing. Apparently it’s been around for nearly a decade and the […]

Outdoors

Postcards from Real Life: Overland Expo 2014

Greetings from Overland Expo 2014! I’m currently surrounded by a sea of about 7,000 travel enthusiasts and experts which means I’m immersed in a fantastic travel community for the weekend. […]

Travel

The Car-Camping Guide: Road Trip Essentials

You’ve probably figured out by now that I spend a lot of time on the road. There are a great many facets to making a road trip come together and, […]

Travel

Postcards from Real Life: Swept Away

As you know, on Tuesday I head out for another big adventure. This is possibly the loosest I’ve ever planned before. With only the skeleton of a route sketched out […]

Travel

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 […]

Life

Connecting: Travel, Life, & Social Media

We’re all learning to navigate this modern, hyper-connected world. As a forty-something, I’m in that category of people who didn’t grow up with the internet and social media but have […]

Life

Getting mileage out of 2013…

With all of the year-end recaps happening out there I got inspired to go through the images of Camp Granola’s 2013 adventures. I thought I’d pull out a few gems […]

Life

Postcards from Real Life: 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 […]

Life

Postcards from Real Life: Limits

One of the things we have to recognize in all aspects our lives is our limits… and that includes travel limits even when you’re a traveler. Taking note of that […]

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