Whimsy & Wilderness Photography

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I have done a lot of day hikes on the Appalachian Trail. It’s hard not to, when you live in Virginia and grow up hiking in Shenandoah National Park. The AT cuts a path through the heart of the Virginia mountains, and is home to a huge number of day hikes. The older I get, the more I think about trying to hike the whole thing. It’s been a “someday” goal since… Read More

I’ve made the drive from central Virginia to eastern Tennessee more times than I can count, from when I was too young to drive, to now when I’m often the only driver. While doable in a day’s drive, as my own family has grown and our kids have gotten older, we’ve found it’s often easier to break the drive into two days. Usually, we stay at a hotel. Weather, no room in… Read More

I’ve been on somewhat of a social media hiatus since the beginning of the year. Not as a resolution, just in an effort to be more present, and to free up some of the clutter in my mind. I need to think about where to take my business, this blog, and I’ve been working on the beginning stages of what could be a very large project for later in the year. And… Read More

My favorite professor in college was a man of stories. He was the head of the Philosophy and Religious Studies department, and had a background of military service, psychotropic drugs, and a time he hitchhiked from Canada to, wait for it, Hawaii. This professor shaped my college experience in so many ways, from how he lectured, to leading a class I was able to attend post-graduation on the Camino de Santiago. But his… Read More

In my last post I talked about some of my favorite small businesses specializing in outdoor gear for kids. But what if you already have rainsuits and sunscreen towels, or would rather spend your money on experiences instead of things? Winter is still a great time to get outside, and there are new experiences that benefit kids and parents alike. Whether you make one of these trips a gift, or plan something… Read More

After planning our trip to Bear Creek Lake State Park for Kairi’s birthday over the summer, I realized we had a pattern of unique adventure trip for our birthdays. We went to the desert for Sebastian’s, the beach for Billy’s, and a lake for Kairi’s. So I announced that I wanted to go to the mountains for mine. It’s been awhile since we’ve had an October camping trip and we were due,… Read More

After we announced we were leaving RVA, a close friend in HIB told me she and her family were taking a southeastern road trip in August that included two nights in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and asked if we wanted to camp with them. Of course I was more than happy to make the drive, not just to see friends I knew we would be missing terribly by then, but also… Read More

One of the benefits to moving, is having an entire new state’s worth of new trails and campgrounds to explore. After Billy finished his first week at his new store he ended up with Sunday and Monday off, so we decided to escape the humidity of Chattanooga and travel up to South Cumberland State Park to camp for a couple of nights at Foster Falls Campground. I chose Foster Falls due in… Read More

We went to Bear Creek Lake for the first time when Kairi was two. It was a nice day and we wanted to take advantage of the weather, so figured we’d drive the hour outside of Richmond to check out the beach on the man-made lake at the park. Unfortunately, storms passed near the area not long after we got there, so while we never saw any rain, the lake closed on… Read More

A couple weeks ago, a very close friend of mine got some bad news. I had already been debating on taking the kids camping for the night, so when she told me, it cemented my decision: I invited her over, and then whisked her off to the mountains for some nature-therapy in one of my favorite campgrounds. Loft Mountain is located around milepost 80 off Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, and… Read More