How to Spend Three Days Hiking and Camping Around Moab, Utah

This post first appeared on TheTrek.co on April 22, 2019. Now that I’ve moved out to Colorado, Western wilderness adventures are that much more accessible. To keep myself sane while working a desk job and dreaming of my next long trail, I’m doing my best to take advantage of the geography. This past weekend, IContinue reading “How to Spend Three Days Hiking and Camping Around Moab, Utah”

Why You Shouldn’t Fear the Virginia Blues on the Appalachian Trail

This post first appeared on TheTrek.co on February 1, 2019.  2019 thru-hiker hopefuls, strap in. You’re headed for a wild, beautiful, life-altering, incredibly meaningful, and downright magical ride. I remember the beginning of the trail vividly. You’re nervous, you’re excited, you’re meeting people, so many people, every single day. At the welcome center at Amicalola,Continue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Fear the Virginia Blues on the Appalachian Trail”

How to Hike West Virginia’s Cranberry Wilderness

This post first appeared on TheTrek.co on November 21, 2018. I’ve been going through trail withdrawal hard since finishing my AT thru-hike in September. With winter quickly approaching and hiking season winding down, I decided to peel myself off my couch and do something about it. I finally checked off a bucket list item andContinue reading “How to Hike West Virginia’s Cranberry Wilderness”

The Comedown from Katahdin: Recovering From the Appalachian Trail and the Post-Trail Blues

This post first appeared on TheTrek.co on October 12, 2018.  It’s been about a month since I finished my thru-hike. I’ve been wanting to write—wanting to put into words what it all meant to me, but I’ve struggled to pick up the pen (or, you know, keyboard). The Post-Trail Blues I’ve struggled with a lotContinue reading “The Comedown from Katahdin: Recovering From the Appalachian Trail and the Post-Trail Blues”

The Joy and Rhythms of the Appalachian Trail Get Into Your Blood

This post first appeared on TheTrek.co on March 23, 2018.  The other night, I dreamt of a space heater. Literally, the thing I wanted most in the world was a space heater. I was extremely disappointed to wake up and find it had only been a figment of my imagination. It was hands down theContinue reading “The Joy and Rhythms of the Appalachian Trail Get Into Your Blood”

Welcome (Back) to the Jungle

Friends, I feel it’s only fair to warn you in advance: this (extra-long) post will probably make you want to immediately shell out your hard-earned money for a one-way ticket to Southeast Asia. And I wouldn’t be able to blame you one bit if you did! I spent the last two weeks in Thailand gettingContinue reading “Welcome (Back) to the Jungle”

Mountains and Tall Trees and Bear Tracks, Oh My!

The Payne family is an outdoorsy people. I grew up in the country, in a house with a giant yard surrounded by woods, reading Ranger Rick magazine. I couldn’t see our nearest neighbor’s houses through the trees and there were no sidewalks for miles. My favorite hiking spot was (and probably still is) directly behindContinue reading “Mountains and Tall Trees and Bear Tracks, Oh My!”

Will You Accept This Rose?

You guys, it has been a fucking busy spring and summer. I have barely had enough time to breathe, let alone write! But I have been missing it, and all of you wonderful people who follow my adventures. Summer is my very favorite time of the year by far, but man, I do feel likeContinue reading “Will You Accept This Rose?”

The Wild, Wild West

I realize I’ve gotten quite far behind in my blogging. And so many exciting things have happened in the past few weeks that I should have been writing about! But alas, life has gotten in the way. I’ve been too busy living life to write about it! But here I am, back at it onceContinue reading “The Wild, Wild West”

Reflections (Someone is feeling mighty cheerful today)

I have noticed as of late that I have somehow, slowly and inconspicuously, managed to find my own life again, without Rich’s presence. Most days, I don’t even think about him anymore. I have found that I have much more pep in my step, optimism about the future and, in general, a very real feelingContinue reading “Reflections (Someone is feeling mighty cheerful today)”