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

This post first appeared on 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”

Compiling the Soundtrack to My Appalachian Trail Journey

This post first appeared on on March 19, 2018.  Sitting on the plane, about to embark on what I hope will be the greatest adventure of my life so far, my feet won’t stop tapping. Tap, tap, tap. I’m probably driving my neighbor crazy – shifting this way and that, practically bouncing out ofContinue reading “Compiling the Soundtrack to My Appalachian Trail Journey”

Ready, Set, (Almost Time to) Go!

This post was first published on on March 13, 2018.  Whatever happened to the calm before the storm? You would be surprised just how much preparation goes into a thru-hike. It seems simple, right? Pack up your backpack with camping gear and snacks and hit the road. Go be free, little bird, go beContinue reading “Ready, Set, (Almost Time to) Go!”

The Long and Winding Road to the Appalachian Trail

This post was first published on on February 28, 2018.  Why? That is, of course, the first word that tends to pop out of a person’s mouth the moment you tell them you’re planning a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (otherwise known simply as “the AT”) from Georgia to Maine. Usually, it is accompaniedContinue reading “The Long and Winding Road to the Appalachian Trail”

The Seven Year Itch: Why I Quit My Job to Hike the Appalachian Trail

In the words of Bilbo Baggins, “I’m going on an adventure!” A GREAT adventure, in fact. I’m going to hike the AT!! In case you’re unfamiliar, this means I’m embarking on a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, a 2,190-mile hiking trail along the Appalachian mountain range in the eastern U.S. The dreamer and adventure seekerContinue reading “The Seven Year Itch: Why I Quit My Job to Hike the Appalachian Trail”

The Land Before Time

So, I have this problem. Every winter, and I mean every winter, I get cabin fever. Real bad. To cope with said cabin fever, I book up my entire summer with mini-trips for a combination of nature, fitness and summer partying (the best kind of partying). It’s only the end of May, and I’m alreadyContinue reading “The Land Before Time”

Snowy Adventures and My Secret Spot

It’s a brand new year folks (where does the time go?!) and so far, 2017 is going swimmingly! (Again, I know there are plenty of valid fears and disappointments out there over the state of politics and our world today, but I’m keen to keep this blog about positivity and finding happiness so am goingContinue reading “Snowy Adventures and My Secret Spot”

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!”

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”

Full Steam Ahead

Now, I know that many of you are probably not resolutions people, especially at this time of the year, when your New Year’s resolutions may or may not have fallen by the wayside. Personally though, I love them! I like having goals to achieve and I think they keep me from getting too complacent. Yes,Continue reading “Full Steam Ahead”