Travel Whiplash

Life is a funny thing. While I prefer the rhythm of extended travel, the obligations on my calendar don’t allow for it at the moment. With that limitation, I’ve been bouncing between smaller adventures in order to keep my wanderlust properly satiated. Looking back at how frenetic August and September were for me, I’m marveling at the diversity of experience I crammed into a short …

Nevada Day

Today Nevada turns 153. On October 31, 1864, the constitution for the formation of the state was telegraphed from Fort Churchill, not far from where I now call home. I’m very much smitten with my new home state and this year, for the first time, I got to celebrate Nevada Day in Carson City with my fellow Nevadans. Nevada Day …

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, …

Tales from the Chute: The 2017 Virginia City Camel and Ostrich Races

virginia city camel and ostrich races - val in real life

It’s the second weekend in September and I’m in the center of the arena at the Virginia City Camel and Ostrich Races once again. After our brief interviews for the spectators, Joe Hedrick, the man in charge of the show, has just given us the command to head to our respective chutes. As we work our way through the soft sand, …

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 after racing camels all day in the high desert. Gazing out the picture window, I contemplate the vastness of the Nevada desert from the comfort of the dark saloon. On my …

A Jillion Miles with a Thule Roof Box

thule atlantis 1600xt - val in real life

For quite a few years my trusty Subaru Forester has served as the main adventure-mobile for my explorations with Fred and George. She’s been in semi-retirement as life has moved on but this week “Blubaru,” as she’s known, is headed out for her first cross-country trip in a couple of years. George and I will be trekking from Georgia to …

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 which I consider personal new years, even contrived holidays have their place as a marker to review your time in this world. For all of our good intentions, hopes, and efforts …

Getting my Nevada State Parks Passport

nevada state parks passport - val in real life

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 the Parks GeoTour and History Trail GeoTour geocaching challenges. Through that effort, we got to know the state and the Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites in depth. Now that …

For the love of extended travel…

val in real life

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 a new place to sleep or set up camp every few days, all of the uncertainties—there are definitely some challenges. For me though, short-term yo-yo travel is harder: trying to …

Fear

Ted Simon's fear quote - Val in Real Life

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 well-meaning commenters it’s a compliment to tell me I am fearless. I understand the intent. Especially the extra layer of concern that is draped over the compliment for a woman who …