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Campfire stories

Our Campfire Stories are an opportunity to get to know our team and join in on the adventures they take outside of the workday.

You’ll read stories about weekend treks in hammocks, week-long expeditions to foreign lands, and the tips and tricks to help you succeed during your own adventures. All with a little bit of wit and comedy thrown in.

Visit 30A

Visit 30A

The Emerald Coast, as it’s known due to the emerald green waters that crash into its sugar-sand shores, is a stretch of beautiful beaches along the Florida Panhandle. Getting there can be difficult if you don’t live within driving distance due to the lack of a major airport. However, trust me when I say that finding your way there is well worth it.

Best Water Filtration

Best Water Filtration

I’ve seen LifeStraw advertised a number of places over the past few months. This lightweight, compact filtration device seemed amazing to me. I wouldn’t have carry tablets that made your water taste terrible. There was only one problem, it wasn’t convenient to drink with. You would have to either fill up your bottle and sip out the water with the straw or, based on the ad images, you’d have to sip the water out of the stream with the straw. Personally, these both seemed unideal. It wouldn’t do any good for saving water for later. Then I saw an ad for the Sawyer Mini.

Sleeping In The Mountains

Sleeping In The Mountains

It’s October, which means it’s time for my annual trip to the Smoky Mountains to check out the changing leaves and hike in the mountains. No couple’s trip this year for me, it was a guy’s camping trip. We would be staying at Smokemont campgrounds inside the park on the Cherokee, NC side. We threw our supplies in the truck and headed north to the mountains!

The Dingle Peninsula

A relaxing Sunday was in store for us on the Dingle Peninsula. We slept in, ate breakfast while staring out the window at our incredible view, and just took our time checking out the gorgeous Dingle Peninsula. It was amazing how life felt so much slower in much of Ireland but even more so here on the Dingle Peninsula. This slower pace made it easier to take the time to find new adventures.

The Skellig Michael

Following a hearty, Irish breakfast we walked to the docks to catch our boat to the Skelligs. We were greeted by five or so captains all calling out names in very thick Irish accents looking for their passengers so they could be on their way. Asking a few of them for “Eoin”, which we had absolutely no idea how to pronounce at the time, yielded no results. Finally, one captain said, “I know Eoin, he’s over there.”. He pointed toward the end of the dock. We followed this captain as we thought he was taking us to him. After walking with him to the end of the dock, there was no Eoin. He turned around looking surprised that we were still behind him and said, “Why are you following me? Eoin is over there.”

Kerry Liked It

With morning came an end to our time in Kenmare, we were sad to leave this wonderful place that allowed us to see such amazing views around Killarney National Park, the Gap of Dunloe, and the Ring of Beara. It was time to continue our sojourn through Ireland though. Today we would finally be driving along one of the most famous drives in all of Ireland, the Ring of Kerry. Typically, you can do this drive in one day, but we will only be doing half of the drive as the next day we’ll be taking a boat to hike the Skellig Michael, an island off the coast of the Kerry Peninsula. With nearly all day to make an hour drive, we took our time. We explored portions of the Kerry Peninsula that visitors don’t typically get to do.

The Gap of Dunloe

We missed multiple turns and got a little lost along the way but that’s all part of the fun, right? Missing one turn took us to a serene lake, we definitely didn’t mind that detour at all. After driving down what looked like someone’s driveway we had finally found Lord Brandon’s Cottage. We abandoned our car and set out on foot towards the Gap of Dunloe.

Killarney National Park

From Kenmare, take the N71 toward Killarney. The road will eventually curve seemingly right into the rocks and all of the sudden the view opens up. A vast valley below, mountains all around, an utterly awe-inspiring view. Both our eyes went as wide as could be and in unison, we exclaimed one word, “wooooooooowwwww!!!”.

The Ring of Beara

Feeling fully rested, my wife and I were ready to explore our homeland. We packed up the car to head out from Kinsale and on to our next destination Kenmare. We weren’t heading straight there, however. No, we wanted to explore the road a little less traveled, the Ring of Beara. Situated just below the famous Ring of Kerry, the Ring of Beara doesn’t see nearly as many tourists. Though to be honest, I’m not sure why one became popular and not the other. It was as beautiful, if not more so than Kerry. With fewer cars and more importantly fewer buses to clog up the roadways, we enjoyed unabated views. Just goes to show, that sometimes the best places are off the beaten path.

Irish Music

After moonwalking in Ireland, our trip took us north to Westport. I began loading up the car with our luggage at our B&B when I heard the host’s small dog, a Shih Tzu I believe, begin barking and running down the porch. A chicken from the neighbor’s pen had gotten out and the dog started chasing it. For about 5 minutes the dog chased that chicken around. Into the coup area, out of the coup area. Into the bushes, out of the bushes. Around in a circle, behind a small wooden building. I had stopped paying too much attention at this point when I heard loud “bagawk” noises from the bushes. The chicken had run back to the bushes and the Shih Tzu had followed. The noises continued and then feathers began flying out of the bushes. I was completely awestruck and didn’t know what to do. A moment later, it didn’t matter. The “bagawk” noises had ceased and the Shih Tzu pranced out from the bushes. The chicken was dead.

Moon Walking in Ireland

Our first stop of the day was to see the Burren. The Burren is the smallest of Ireland’s six National Parks but is definitely the most unique. The entire region is covered in limestone which formed there as sediment over 350 million years ago. The Burren has been compared to walking on the Moon due to the landscape being covered by a large amount of rock. It’s one of the strangest landscapes I’ve ever seen. While sadly, I can’t confirm that it’s similar to walking on the Moon as I’ve yet to leave this planet on an adventure (I know, I’m sorry I’m such a homebody), I can confirm it was unique, to say the least. Our only hike in the Burren was to see the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a large portal tomb that was built sometime between 4200BC and 2900BC, so a really long time ago.

The Cliffs of Moher

Leaving from Ballyferriter and heading north towards Doolin to see the Cliffs of Moher, we took a mountain road called the Conor Pass. The Conor Pass provides magnificent views from the road. At the top of the pass, there is a vista point you can pull off at. Wanting to hold on to the Dingle Peninsula as long as we could we pulled the car over for a hike without hesitation. Climbing the hills next to the lookout led us to a high hill with a 360° view of the valleys below. Hikers here had created a rock mound, with each hiker adding a rock to the pile. At this point, it was a few feet in diameter and almost as tall as I am. We added our own rocks to the pile and made our way back to the car.

The Dingle Peninsula

A relaxing Sunday was in store for us on the Dingle Peninsula. We slept in, ate breakfast while staring out the window at our incredible view, and just took our time checking out the gorgeous Dingle Peninsula. It was amazing how life felt so much slower in much of Ireland but even more so here on the Dingle Peninsula. This slower pace made it easier to take the time to find new adventures.

The Skellig Michael

Following a hearty, Irish breakfast we walked to the docks to catch our boat to the Skelligs. We were greeted by five or so captains all calling out names in very thick Irish accents looking for their passengers so they could be on their way. Asking a few of them for “Eoin”, which we had absolutely no idea how to pronounce at the time, yielded no results. Finally, one captain said, “I know Eoin, he’s over there.”. He pointed toward the end of the dock. We followed this captain as we thought he was taking us to him. After walking with him to the end of the dock, there was no Eoin. He turned around looking surprised that we were still behind him and said, “Why are you following me? Eoin is over there.”

Kerry Liked It

With morning came an end to our time in Kenmare, we were sad to leave this wonderful place that allowed us to see such amazing views around Killarney National Park, the Gap of Dunloe, and the Ring of Beara. It was time to continue our sojourn through Ireland though. Today we would finally be driving along one of the most famous drives in all of Ireland, the Ring of Kerry. Typically, you can do this drive in one day, but we will only be doing half of the drive as the next day we’ll be taking a boat to hike the Skellig Michael, an island off the coast of the Kerry Peninsula. With nearly all day to make an hour drive, we took our time. We explored portions of the Kerry Peninsula that visitors don’t typically get to do.

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