Bad Weather and Good Friends at Tremont

great smoky mountains institute at tremont - val in real life

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 trip to Georgia. Part of the time was dedicated to hanging out with Fred and George. The rest was mostly allocated to attending the spring photography workshop at my beloved Great Smoky …

Back to the Throttle With Moto Guzzi…

Back to the Throttle With Moto Guzzi - Val in Real Life

Last time I talked about the physical and emotional process of getting back to riding after a crash. With that out of the way, let’s talk about the technical aspects of re-gearing and choosing a new motorcycle. The logistics of starting over… As a result of the crash, my motorcycle was totaled and my gear was destroyed in the effort …

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 in photography, the Smokies, and my Tremont friends for the next several days. I’ve written much about my time in the Smokies and this workshop in particular is a sweet …

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 learned a lot from some inspiring people. But today I get to return to my beloved Tremont to expand my Great Smoky Mountains knowledge through immersive, experiential education. (It’s not …

Guest Post: Lost in the Dark at Crater Lake

Dear readers, help me welcome a special guest blogger to Val in Real Life. You might recognize Steve Zigler as a Friend of Camp Granola and today’s post is brought to you by his big adventure this summer. Steve came back with an epic panorama of the Milky Way over Crater Lake that he shared with us through space.com initially. …

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 as of Sunday I’ll have officially graduated! One of the most frequent questions I get about the program is why I chose to do it. Well for one, I’m a …

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 nonetheless and a very welcome adventure at that. In spite of the “littleness” of this journey in terms of time and distance, I’m still excited about what lies ahead. So …

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 to refresh your memory on my love affair with this place, here’s a roundup of what I’ve written about Tremont so far… Autumn Brilliance in the Smokies Friends of Camp …

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 further because there is no end to what can be discovered in the Smokies. We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity …

Postcards from Real Life: A Happy Place

Given my love affair with the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, it seems fitting to be posting this week’s Photo Friday from here. The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. – Benjamin Franklin