Aquapac Daysack GIVEAWAY!

 Aquapac Daysack Giveaway

(giveaway has ended)!!

A few weeks ago Aquapac asked us to review one of their new backpack duffle bags the 28L Toccoa Daysack. We jumped at the chance since it is a product we would love to use!

Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack

 

Here are the specs of the bag from the Aquapac website:

 

Tough 500D Vinyl will resist scrapes and abrasion on the trail.

 

Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack

 

All-welded construction seals out any water.

 

Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack

 

Roll-down seal with side (compression) or top (maximum volume) closure.

 

Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack

 

Mesh side pockets for drinks or quick-access items.

 

Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack

 

Breathable mesh straps and padding.

 

Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack

 

Lash points for lights.

 

Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack

 

Daisy-chain webbing to secure carabineers to the side of the bag.

 

Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack

 

Grab handle, for grabbing.

 

Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack

 

TECHNICAL SPECS:

Waterproof Rating: Stormproof

Volume: 1709 cu in / 28 Liters

Color: Green & Grey

Materials: PVC

Weight: TOTAL 31.39 oz

Removable waist belt: 2.58 oz

Bag: 28.81 Oz

Dimensions: W 11.96in x H 16.02in

 

OUR THOUGHTS:

This is a great all around bag! We use a lot of camera gear and I am always nervous to accidentally expose it to the elements. This bag is great to quickly protect your gear from a flash rainstorm!

Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack

The versatility of the bag is essential. The ability to carry it on your back or by the top handle is a great addition.

Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack

The lash points are nice to quickly loop additional items, such as headlamps, bandanas, or even a dog leash.

Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack

The mesh padding makes a slightly heavy load more manageable. And the side mesh pockets are easy access to small items such as keys and phones.

Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack
Aquapac 28L Toccoa Daysack

We really enjoy this pack and hope you will too since Aqcupac sent us TWO of these great bags! One for us and ONE to give to our readers!! Who wants one??  Fill out the Rafflecopter below for multiple chances to win! Giveaway ends at midnight Monday April 7th!!

(U.S. shipping only)

The WINNER:  Wes Hovorka

Wes, Please check your email! You have 48 HOURS to contact us with your address!

CHEERS!!

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Surly Big Dummy UPDATES

The Silver Back Gorilla (SBG) came into our life mid January 2014 and its been a hoot to put some miles on it during the winter. The Virginia weather has been a bit of a downer on outdoor activity, however the SBG has forced me to suck it up and get on the saddle. The Dummy is already proving to be an awesome addition to our growing stable of bikes, but like many other toys, this one CRAVES upgrades and aftermarket goodies!

Surly Big Dummy Yepp Seat

 

Surly Big Dummy Yepp Seat
The primary reason for purchasing the SBG was to haul our little girl around on the back (at least that is how I justified it to my wife). So the first addition was a Yepp seat. You can see the installation of this seat HERE.

Only change with the seat was moving it more to the center of the deck in order to keep it from hitting my heels when I peddled. The platform as a whole is very stable, proving to be very easy to haul a toddler, groceries, workout gear, large awkward objects and enough beer for all your friends in one trip if you so desire.

Surly Big Dummy
Surly Big Dummy
Surly Big Dummy Yepp Seat
Surly Big Dummy Yepp Seat

The next thing I swapped out was the saddle. I added a black Brooks spring seat to the mix. We have Brooks saddles on multiple bikes, but this is the first one with springs and I really dig it. The springs add a nice shock absorber to the rig and I believe some style points for sure.

Brooks Saddle
Brooks Saddle
Brooks Saddle
Brooks Saddle

The last thing we’ve added up to this point is a set of Jones Loop H bars (710 version). I chose the slightly wider ones in hopes of finding a wide variety of hand positions and so far am very pleased. I slapped on some Ergon GP 1 grips and then wrapped the rear portion of the bars. The front loop will likely receive some bar tape in the near future, providing for additional hand placement. The bars are AWESOME.

Jones loop bar
Jones loop bar

I don’t think the SBG will ever be complete. A Dynamo front hub and light setup is on the wish list. Additionally I would like to swap out the tires for something a little more in line with our dirt road touring. At this point I’m trying to choose between the Scwalbe Marathon or the Big Apples. Anybody have experience with either tire and care to pass on some advice?

 

Wanna see some Historic DOORS ?!

Yesterday we spent a few hours walking Historic Downtown Fredericksburg, VA. We decided we needed a photo challenge to kick start some creative juices. I had seen a book a few years ago that featured photos of historic doors (not the rock band, actual doors on homes). So we decided to spend the few hours poking around the downtown area and taking photos of old doors, a bike without a seat and one old car.

 

One thing you will notice in these photos is that they are crooked. It is not the camera or the photographer; these doors are so old that they are crooked on the door frame. I even cropped [most of] them so the bottom of the door is level. Interesting that they are still crooked like that and how they were never fixed over the years.

 

Have you participated in a Photo Challenge before? If so, share the link with us! We would love to see your work!

 

 

Old Car - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Car – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Capital Ale House Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Capital Ale House Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Bike without a seat - Fredericksburg, VA
Bike without a seat – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA

How to bike and wine taste as a family in Middleburg, VA

A few years ago (pre-baby) we discovered an area in Virginia where the wineries were close enough together that we could easily bike from winery to winery. One winery even said there was a “bike and wine taste tour”.  We have been trying to find this area since we moved back and low and behold, this weekend we did!

Wine tasting - Adventure Family in Motion
Wine tasting – Adventure Family in Motion

It was about 50 degrees outside so we loaded the bikes in the UAV and  headed northwest to an area near Middleburg, VA. The hour and a half drive took us on the backroads passing an awesome craft brew shop called Crafted.  It shares a parking lot with the only diesel gas station in a 15 mile stretch so we were in luck by finding both of them. Crafted wasn’t open yet so we made a point to stop on our way home.

Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA

Just outside Middleburg lies the very small town of Aldie, VA.  The Aldie Mill Historic District had a nice quaint feel. Although, if you blinked you would totally miss the town.  While driving along, we noticed the all to familiar smell of  a smoker, bellowing out  the smell of the BBQ Master’s latest offerings at the Aldie Country Store.  Varun Parti is definitely a BBQ Master! We feasted on two massive plates of BBQ smoked ribs and 2 pints of mash potatoes and macaroni and cheese.  With an amazing lunch in our bellies we were sure to get a long ride in.

BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
HUGS - BBQ Master
HUGS – BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master

We first stopped at Chrysalis Vineyards which sits 1.5 miles off hwy 50 on a rutted single lane dirt road. We pulled into a picturesque setting with a pond, rolling hills and plenty of seating. There is a nice place for families to corral the kids while the parents can sip on a  glass of wine, play bean bag toss or have a picnic.

Chrysalis Wineyard
Chrysalis Vineyard
Chrysalis Wineyard
Chrysalis Vineyards

From Chrysalis Vineyards we drove a few miles down 50 to Greenhill Winery & Vineyard (although you could bike this portion, the road is a little rough at times).  Sitting directly off hwy 50 on a 1/4 mile long driveway, The Greenhill Winery and Vineyard was where we decided to start our cycling trip. While Donald unloaded the bikes I got us a nice glass of Syrah for sampling and pre-ride motivation.

Adventure Family In Motion
Adventure Family In Motion

This winery loop is a relatively easy 7 mile bike loop, with the primary difficulty being not tasting to many glasses of wine to continue on with the adventure.  You can start this loop by heading out of Greenhill Winery and turning left on US 50 for approximately 1/2 mile until you come to your first dirt road on the left named Parsons Road.  Parsons Road is a quiet dirt road with limited to no traffic, perfect for a mountain bike, hybrid or cyclocross bike.

Greenhilll
Greenhilll Winery

At the “T”in the road turn right on Halfway Road and start up a gradual hill. Before you know it, you will be at Boxwood Estate Winery and it is time to taste some more wine. Boxwood has a very modern layout with a wine cave, a picnic area and a circular tasting room.  Skylights and white paint fill the rooms with immense lighting and the wine cave is gorgeous.  Boxwood has great wine with a pristine layout.

Boxwood Winery Estates
Boxwood Estate Winery
Boxwood Winery Estates
Boxwood Estate Winery
Boxwood Winery Estates
Boxwood Estate Winery

After Boxwood, you jump back on US 50  and bike through the town of Middleburg. We had been here before years ago on a motorcycle and remembered the plethora of restaurants and cool shops in the downtown area.  This area is  a go to weekend stop for washingtonians. From antique stores to a conglomerate of restaurants and coffee shops, Middleburg is a great place to poke around on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Yepp Child Seat
Yepp Child Seat

When we got back to Greenhill we pulled the bikes up to a table at the edge of the field and shared a glass of red wine. The little lady of ours scooted around on her Strider in the field and stomped through the very small snow pile that was rapidly melting.  We ran in the field chasing puppies and tried to catch the horseback rider on the horizon.

Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA
Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA
Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA
Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA

After a day of biking,  we loaded up the UAV and started the drive home making sure to stop at Crafted on the way back. The quaint shop was loaded with tons of craft beers, wines and ciders. The owners and their cheerful dog greeted us with a friendly smile and a nice chat about ciders and the awesome assortment of beers available!  The owners have an extensive knowledge about the 100s of beers stocking the shelfs and are more than willing to explain the differences of them all.   After purchasing a good amount of cider and beer for future samplings, we were on our way home wrapping up another awesome adventure.

Relaxing after a fun day!
Relaxing after a fun day!

Touring Saint Simons Island, GA

 

We spent the say touring St Simons Island, GA. It is a must stop if you are driving 95 through Georgia. It sits 30 miles north of the Florida boarder. Only about 5 miles off the freeway and down a 2-mile causeway, this slow paced historic island is a great stop!

Adventure Family In Motion

Adventure Family In Motion
Adventure Family In Motion

 

Adventure Family In Motion
Adventure Family In Motion

The Village is more of the historic downtown area with eclectic shops, great food and a beautiful pier. There are two great parks for the kids and to top it off the dolphins love to play near the pier! The island looks like ancient times with the Spanish moss. Take note, the moss is beautiful in the trees but once it falls on the ground, it becomes infested with chiggers, DO NOT WALK IN IT!

Adventure Family In Motion
Adventure Family In Motion

We spent a full Saturday riding our bikes around St Simmons Island and checking out all the sites. We parked the Adventure Van at the beginning of the causeway and road the bike path to the island. The fog was dense and visibility was only about a mile or less.

Biking to St Simons Island
Biking to St Simons Island
Biking to St Simons Island
Biking to St Simons Island
Biking to St Simons Island
Biking to St Simons Island

Our first stop on the island was SSI SUPS. The owner has extensive knowledge of SUPs, the island and originally comes from California where SUPs are huge. The walls are full of beautiful photography and the counter was packed with local jewelry.

SSI SUP
SSI SUP

Stop number two was at the Monkeywrench Bike Shop. A great shop which mainly featured rental bikes and beach cruisers, but the mechanics were a wealth of knowledge.  This shop has grown extensively in the past few years.  They had a Surly Pugsley on the showroom floor just begging for someone to purchase it and start knocking out some serious miles on the beach.

Moneywrench Bicycles
Monkeywrench Bicycles
Moneywrench Bicycles
Monkeywrench Bicycles
Moneywrench Bicycles
Monkeywrench Bicycles

We took a right out of the parking lot and headed down the bike path alongside the road, passing the golf course, beautiful homes and small shopping centers.  We biked to Fort Frederica, which was 5 miles from SSI SUP. A nice ride although the path was pretty bumpy and at times only wide enough for one bike.

Fort Frederica, Saint Simons Island, GA
Fort Frederica, Saint Simons Island, GA
Fort Frederica, Saint Simons Island, GA
Fort Frederica, Saint Simons Island, GA

Fort Frederica, Saint Simons Island, GA

We turned around at Fort Frederica and took the paths back. We stopped at The Growler Factory, because who can pass up the opportunity to sample craft beers. For $5 you can buy a growler and for another $5 you have it filled (depending on size and style of beer). There are over 40 kinds of craft brews to choose from.

Growler Factory, St Simons Island, GA
Growler Factory, St Simons Island, GA

After The Growler Factory we had lunch at Southern Soul BBQ, which sits at the corner of a busy roundabout in an old gas station. Sounds eclectic right, because it is! There is very limited seating inside, but long picnic tables outside that you can share with 10 of your new BFFs. A huge smoker sits on the outskirts smoking the days BBQ.  The menu consists of a variety of options, along with many beers on tap.   There is a reason this place has been featured on the Food Network channel; it’s GOOD!

Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA

 

St Simons Island is a great weekend get-away with lots of things for the family to do.  The views are great, plenty of places to bike.  Maybe rent a SUP from SSI SUPs and spend some time out in the water.  St Simons Island is an awesome place to relax via an active vacation.

 

Have you ever eaten at Southern Soul BBQ? When was your last stop at St. Simons Island?

FREE STICKERS

FORUM3

 

Have you signed up for the FORUM yet? All forum members get a FREE 4×4 waterproof Adventure Family in Motion Sticker! The forum is a great place to share your family adventures, ask questions, browse local races, and  chat with pros who have most of the answers!

 

Once you are a member of the forum, LETS US KNOW and we will send you out a FREE STICKER! It may take 4-6 weeks since we will probably be on an adventure when you sign-up, but your sticker will be on its way as soon as we can get it in the mail!

 

Adventure Family In Motion Sticker - FREE FORUM SIGN UP
Adventure Family In Motion Sticker – FREE FORUM SIGN UP

 

 

 

Historic Triangle, Virginia

On a whim we decided to take a quick weekend trip to the historic triangle of Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown Virginia. The 2-hour drive from our house took us down 95 through Richmond, VA. The lack of snow was a nice change from the 2 feet we received the day before Valentines Day.

 

Historic Triangle, Virginia
Historic Triangle, Virginia

We drove through historic Williamsburg first traveling on the Colonial Parkway. This 23 mile 3-lane scenic byway starts at Yorktown and ends in Jamestown. Completed in 1957, it is a National Park Service success story.

 

Yorktown, VA Water Street Grille
Water Street Grille, Yorktown, VA

We stopped in Yorktown for lunch at Water Street Grille on Water Street. It was nearly freezing rain outside as we jetted in trying to stay dry.  We got a great window seat in the front allowing us to watch the rain and snow mix fall on the square. The grille has beautiful views of the river near the boardwalk. A large circular bar sits in the middle of the restaurant. A large menu selection along with a bigger beer selection and 3 preselected tasting beer flights, this was as great stop for lunch. On Sundays they offer a “Make-Your-Own Bloody Mary” bar!

 

Yorktown, VA Water Street Grille
Yorktown, VA Water Street Grille

After lunch we thought we would drive to a nice park to let the baby take a nap, listen to the rain and read our books.  We found a nice park on Queens Lake called New Quarter Park. The park has over 10 miles of paths, 5 miles of single-track mountain bike trails, in addition to fire roads that lead to views of the York River; along with 545 acres of forests, meadows, ravines and tidal wetlands.  10 picnic shelters, 9 hiking tails, paved paths, and an 18-hole disc golf course secure this awesome park with plenty of outdoor activities and all ages!  We hit a jackpot here!

 

New Quarter Park
New Quarter Park

We only stayed at New Quarter Park for about 45 minutes our first visit.  We listened to the rain and the baby watched a kids show. We read a book and ate a few snacks. We drove to Jamestown traveling again down the Colonial Parkway. We got there at 5:05pm right when the park closed so we weren’t able to go into Jamestown proper.

 

Watching DVD
Watching DVD

Jamestown lies close enough to Williamsburg that we decided to stop at a grocery store for a few things, grabbed the baby a balloon and let her run for a bit. Then we drove to Williamsburg Marketplace. The streets are lined with old homes and businesses.  Since it was dark and after business hours we just let the baby run up and down the blocked off gravel streets. There were a handful of eclectic restaurants, shops, and the Kimball theater featuring live performances and Independent movies. There is even a Cheese Shop!

 

Historic Market Place
Williamsburg Marketplace
Historic Market Place
Williamsburg Marketplace

The town itself is now a collage town, so there is a great bookstore called the Williamsburg Booksellers. We stopped in here to warm up and the little lady played in the kid’s section with overstuffed miniature chairs and a pile of teddy bears.

Historic Market Place
Williamsburg Marketplace

After we explored the marketplace we drove back to the colonial parkway to a scenic pull-off where we parked the UAV for the night. We boiled some water and made a dehydrated beef stroganoff for dinner. Our stealth camping location was perfect; if only the baby had slept well. She was up and down for a good part of the night which made sleeping for mom, a bear.

Adventure Van
Urban Adventure Van

The next morning we went back to Williamsburg Marketplace and rode the bikes around the town, which didn’t officially open until 11. We had French toast and coffee at Aromas Coffeehouse & Café.

 

After breakfast, we road our bikes through the Revolutionary City. During the day actors dressed in traditional 1775 clothing, speak in British accents and line the streets putting the audience back into the revolutionary time. From businesses to crafters to blacksmiths to an armory, the spectators are flung back into time.

 

Revelutionary City
Revolutionary City
Revelutionary City
Revolutionary City

 

Revolutionary City
Hugs! Revolutionary City
Revolutionary City
Revolutionary City
Surly Big Dummy - Revolutionary City
Surly Big Dummy – Revolutionary City
Salsa Vaya - Revolutionary City
Salsa Vaya – Revolutionary City

After a 45-minute ride around the gravel streets, we were pretty chilled and decided to load up the UAV. We had a great weekend on a whim to the Historical Triangle of Virginia. We stopped in Richmond on the way home and had dinner at Capital Ale House! Nothing like a great beer and huge pretzel to top off the weekend!

 

Capital Ale House
Capital Ale House, Richmond VA

Have you visited the Revolutionary City or Historic Triangle? Share you photos with us! We’d love to see them! 

 

Best Family Trips – National Geographic Travel

Namibia, Erongo Region, Swakopmund. A group of friends run down the steep face of a coastal dune kicking up sand.

Photograph by John Warburton-Lee Photography, Alamy

National Geographic Travel has posted their Best Family Trips around the World! These are just 12 of the top 100 from the book 100 Places That Can Change Your Child’s Life.

 

  1. Amalfi Coast, Italy
  2. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
  3. The Great Wall, China
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Iceland’s Ring Road
  6. Machu Picchu, Peru
  7. Manhattan, NYC
  8. Marrakech, Morocco
  9. Namib Desert
  10. Havana, Cuba
  11. Paris, France
  12. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Where is your next trip going to be? I wonder which of these places would be the best to travel by bike?