Archive of ‘Adventures’ category

When the Snow Thaws, The Planning Begins…

Amanda Loft Blue Ridge Mountain VAHere on the east coast, the snows are beginning to melt and we’ve had our first two consecutive 60 degree highs in a row. We used the first day to begin figuring out what seeds we’d like to sprout for the garden and airing out our camping gear after a few months in storage.

The trick is to plan your next trips before the weather changes completely, otherwise (as we’ve learned from experience!), you’ll miss some of the best early weekends for camping when it’s just cool and wet enough to be pleasant hiking and sitting near a fire, but there are not yet crowds of people with the exact same idea!

While we prepared for a coming canoe trip, Christian and I made a list of essential knowledge, questions we hear often and random things I wish I’d known a few years ago starting out. More on that later in the week – including an interview with two Boy Scout leaders who always plan the best trips!

How I Fell in Love with a Truck and Began Local Adventuring…

Series III 1972 LandRover Roof Tent

My adventures really began when I fell in love with a Land Rover – a 1972 Series III to be specific. There was a guy involved in there too (still is) but the real story is what started in my head when I sat on her bumper outside a friend’s friend’s apartment building on a cold Halloween night.

Series III 1972 LandRover Mason Neck Trail VA

The Landy was obviously a car that went on true journeys – she had dents and gouges in the paint but also looked lovingly maintained. When I mentioned my infatuation to my friend Lauren, she took one more sip of her cigarette, exhaled and said, Well, you better go back upstairs and talk to that guy in the dirty bunny mascot suit. It’s his car.” And we’ve been weekend adventurers together pretty much ever since.

 Series III 1972 LandRover Gas Cap
Landy Tail Lights

Which is not to say I didn’t bring plenty of my own to the table or the urge to adventure had not previously wove a scarlet stripe through my soul.


I studied Art History to be able to imagine riding the Silk Road and piloting lofted sailed junks in the Far East, ferrying the most beautiful items in the world safely from one horizon to the other. I read and dreamed and fought to give others the same knowledge and possibilities, but I didn’t realize you could actually DO these things, if in a more regional rather than global version.

  Series III 1972 LandRover Steering Wheel Landy Back Window Stickers

But this Landy, she was the one who made me want to stop researching and strategizing, dreaming and planning and instead go out and actually try.


With the Landy, my adventures became local – my rich imaginings of adventure became taking out a Flying Scot on the Potomac, hiking to the beach to climb the bones of an old Civil War ferry, off-roading down the mountainside of a colonial forge and camping on All Hallow’s Eve on a haunted mountain top in the snow, listening for the much folklored local yeti’s call.


My conception of what I was capable of doing just grew and grew – as well as a deep need to see the stars without cloud cover regularly.

Series III 1972 LandRover Back SeatSeries III 1972 LandRover Badge

Of course, I still love a perfectly balanced G&T in an art gallery or glossy-wooded bar or under the soft lights of a rooftop garden – it’s just now, I’ll also happy to take one in a campaign chair with Orion’s belt above me. I found a place for both parts – manicures and the freedom of not washing my hair for 4 days in a row (and now I know why Indiana Jones clung to his fedora – hats cover all sins!).

And I was absolutely scared at certain points – but when I came out on the other side I knew how much more I could do – like canoe for 5 days and drink mostly river water, camp outside in the late frigid winter, ride a Land Rover off road without a trail, drive a Kubota around a cliff-edged trail, or hike through the legendary snake rock mountain – the startling tale of snake rock mountain to come…

There were certainly some ups and downs or learning curve(s)…but like I always say when the Landy breaks down and we’re fixing her in the middle of nowhere – It wouldn’t be an adventure if we knew exactly how it would end.


So let me tell you about what I’ve loved, learned, bled and griped over and give you the best of what I love about adventuring on the East Coast. Next Wednesday, I’ll be back with the top 15 things new adventurers wonder and need to know about spending a few days in the out of doors.

1972 Series III LandRover MAR 2011

2015 – A New Look for a New Year of Adventures!

Amanda Shoemaker on the Ice Mountain Trail, WVThis past year provided so many incredible opportunities to meet amazing entrepreneurs, try a few things I never thought I’d have a chance to do and expand what I thought was possible for me to accomplish.

Among those experiences was creating this blog, meeting and learning from a diverse group of lady bloggers and spending some time rethinking what I wanted to say.

A little smarter and with so much more information on hand, I’m restarting writing here with a new more consistent, steady schedule and I’m so excited about what I have to share.

I hope you enjoy and find something useful within!

Adventures, Cheap & Local: Canoe Trip on the Shenandoah River

Canoes Red and Blue on the Shenandoah River VA

Do you like the idea of watching otters and herons frolic while you glide through crystal clear waters with a canopy of trees shading you from the sun?

In other words, are you alive and breathing?

For some reason, I imagined a multi-day canoe trip would be much more arduous and complicated than it actually was. Not unlike the point where I realized hiking is nothing more than walking outdoors off the concrete sidewalk, canoeing is mostly just floating down river trails, carefully curated and maintained by the park service. Our 28 mile trek drifted sedately by over the course of three days.

And it is wonderful! And relaxing! And cheap! And you should absolutely plan a canoe trip before the cold weather hits this fall – just grab a map and a canoe (plus your  usual camping kit and supplies) from one of these fine local proprietors (Down River Canoe or  Shenandoah River Outfitters) and start on your way! Free camping sites are noted on the maps, as well as more difficult portions of the river and spots with clean fresh water available.

But for the moment, just take a look at these photos and visualize your own adventure.

Canoe Trees LowCanoe Sam Becca Low     Canoe Paddle Low Canoe Bernie Low Canoe Becca Zombie Low   Canoe Two Canoes Lowcanoe trip canoe paddle low  Canoe river grass low Canoe Christian Low Canoe River Grass Low (2)Canoe Becca Tall Lowcanoe in front lowCanoe Farm LowCanoe Horizontal Low

1812 Overture: Pride of Baltimore II Cruise on the Potomac

The Pride of Baltimore II Mast

1812 1This past weekend, I had the luck to sail with a friend on the Pride of Baltimore II, as part of Accokeek Foundation‘s 1812 Bicentennial celebration. The rain held off for a beautiful evening sail – well worth a trip up to Charm City to visit her again soon!

More information on the Pride and the Chesapeake in the War of 1812.

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