Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Clingmans Dome

The highest elevation in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Clingmans Dome standing at 6,643 feet above sea level.  This peak straddles two states and is the tallest peak in Tennessee and the third tallest peak in North Carolina.  Clingmans Dome is also the highest peak on the 2,174 mile Appalachian Trail that runs […]

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Fitness Life By Design

When we started our Van Life By Design website and blog, our mission was to write about and photograph our travels in our Sprinter van Alice and other travel related topics. This is still true. Gail is also interested in writing about exercise and fitness, healthy eating and other lifestyle topics so we have launched […]

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Spring in the Smoky Mountains

We visited the Great Smoky Mountain National Park recently when the forest in the lower elevations of the mountains was coming to life. The week we were there, the renewed plant life in the forest introduced me to more shades of green than I had ever seen in one place. It’s interesting what one notices […]

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USS Alabama Battleship

During a family trip to the Florida panhandle, we happened to pick a week when the weather was less than ideal for hanging out at the beach. For this reason, we began to seek out places to visit in the area with our grandkids where the rain would not hamper our fun. One day, we […]

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A Daily Dose of Hiking

Gail and I generally hike somewhere every day. Granted, if we are going through the neighborhood on our 3-mile route, we will call it a walk. Some might say it’s an Urban Hike. I call it putting one foot in front of the other. Getting outside and trekking makes me feel happy. It’s good for […]

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Monument Rocks

Unlike anywhere else in Kansas that I know of, the Monument Rocks are chalk towers that rise imposingly from the otherwise flat prairie. Located about 25 miles south of Oakley on Highway 83 and a few miles east on a gravel road, the formations sit on private land. The public is welcome to visit the […]

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Elephant Rocks State Park

One thing Gail and I have learned during our travels of the United States is how rich the country is with interesting and unusual places to visit. Some of our destinations are cultural stops that highlight the vision, the creativity and the expansion movements of the country and its people. Other places highlight mother nature’s […]

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February Ho-Hums

What do bloggers do to bridge the gap when their main topic is in pause mode? The pace of our posts lately are reminiscent of a sign we saw this summer alerting drivers to watch out for turtles crossing the road! We were warned when we started our blog that writers block would inevitably set […]

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Arapaho National Forest Colorado Trip

We love Colorado and have been there many, many times over the years. Our problem is, we can’t decide what season we love the best in the Rockies. Summer is beautiful with all the mountain flowers and sunshine. Fall is magical, especially when the Aspens are changing colors. Winter is wonderful for skiing….we love to […]

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Plan Less, Experience More

How do you plan a trip when you want to make it up as you go? Our preferred style of traveling with Alice is to have as much flexible time as possible. We research an area pretty heavily when we decide on a destination. However, we have learned that no matter how much time we […]

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Running for Scones

As I have mentioned before, I LOVE to run. I also love to eat scones. When we lived in McFarland, Wisconsin, I would run many days with my amazing friend and runner Anne. (Anne is a wonderful running coach, you can find her at Pace Perfect). On the weekends when Anne and her family would […]

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Aspen Season in Colorado

As luck would have it, we scheduled a trip to Colorado in mid-September. While we were planning the trip we didn’t even consider the fact this was peak season for the colorful turning of Aspen leaves. My, were we surprised and awestruck when we arrived at our destination near Georgetown. This was a perspective of […]

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The Lake of the Clouds Photograph

Last summer, we visited the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and spent a couple days in the Porcupine Mountains. This rustic forested area is located on the shores of Lake Superior and offers many scenic hikes and vista overlooks. No matter where we are, one of our favorite things to do when we travel is get […]

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