About Us

Ralph & Tamera at LaConte Lodge.

We love exploring, and we love exploring Western North Carolina, home to some of the most intriguing cities and towns in the United States and to some of the world’s most beautiful natural attractions. We live in a land of mountain peaks, misty valleys, waterfalls and cascading streams, all contained within a region of our state that shares a common area code: 828. Our goal with my828life is to share all that we experience during our outings, most of them being in Western North Carolina, though we may occasionally stray outside the area code – and outside of the state, in fact. Our main home, digitally speaking, is on Instagram, where we post as often as possible on @my828life. We prefer Instagram because it allows us to take part in a like-minded community, those of you who love 828 as much as we do. – Ralph & Tamera

Leave it to the beaver! ...

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Waiting for my next cruise on AmaWaterways, combined with Backroads, I stepped out last night to take a look at the Arc de Triomphe. With the Eiffel Tower in the distance, the monument was stunning. France is cleaning up as it prepares for the 2024 Olympics. It is an exciting, but busy, time to be here. Today we visit Versailles by bike, and a new adventure begins. ...

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You missed it! The Marmalade Jam at Turgua. But it’s happening again in March. #my828life ...

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On such a cold, winter day, remembering exhausting farm work this past summer @bearwallowmoon ...

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Chillin’ in Bryson City. ...

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The city of Asheville is hiding beneath those clouds. #828isgreat ...

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Monday night 1/2 price bottles @vinnies_avl Great atmosphere, great service and delicious dishes! #ashevilleeats ...

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Survivor. ...

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Met @officer_kora today, our community support dog. She’s a cutie! #asheville #my828life ...

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A fun 🚴 ride in Cherokee National Forest 🌳. ...

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Some people hike the Appalachian Trail in Hot Springs and some people eat pie. After eating this delicious blueberry pie will need a hike on the AT. #blueberrypie #hotspringsnc #appalachiantrail #artisungallery ps. We also have the book at home! ...

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Ralph Grizzle, still cycling.

Ralph began his journalistic career at the age of 32, following the conclusion of his “sabbatical decade.” From 1980 through 1990, he bicycled across America, pedaled through Europe and island-hopped the South Pacific. After backpacking through Bali, bussing through Java, hopping a boat to Singapore and crossing Malaysia to Thailand, he flew into Burma, tramped to Dhaka and endured a 32-hour train ride from calamitous Calcutta to bustling Bombay. From there, he hopped a plane for Greece and traveled to Switzerland before returning home, where he settled, quite naturally, into a career of travel writing. Ralph’s work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Hemispheres and numerous consumer magazines. Ralph is author of Remembering Charles Kuralt and other books.

Tamera Trexler, backpacking at Grandfather Mountain

Tamera has been a nomad/global traveller and nature lover for her entire life. After holding a professional career for 25 years and living in England for six years, she embarked on the epic journey of through-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2007. Tamera knew she needed the mountains and moved to Asheville in 2010. Of all the places she has lived, Asheville was the perfect place for someone who had dedicated her life to long-distance hiking and backpacking. Her hikes include not only the AT but also Western North Carolina; the West Highland Way in Scotland, Yosemite, Glacier, the Long Trail, PCT sections, Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park. And she has so many more to do.

Tamera also has nine years as an outfitter in specialty outdoor retail, and as a Leave No Trace Awareness Instructor. She loves 828 for its culture, character and characters, for its beauty and wildness. 828 is not “everywhere” America. Let’s keep it that way.

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Rent Our Adventure Vans To Explore Western North Carolina We love exploring Western North Carolina in our adventure vans, and we’re sure that you will

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