Snow Days and Sled Fails

Well…I jinxed myself. I shouldn’t have made a crack about the cold on Monday.

Leaving work on Friday…

Now, I have snow. It’s up to my shins and if there’s a drift my corgi, Freya, becomes submerged.

Snow dogs!

I don’t dislike snow. I actually really love it and it makes me happy. Until I have to shovel the wet heavy stuff multiple times a day for work and home.

Even then, I still enjoy opening up the blinds, making a cup of tea or cocoa, and reading a book. However, the dogs start whining and I have to suit up to go out.

In all fairness, Wade, clears most of the snow himself either by hand— which is great for me view wise— or with a snowblower. Growing up where barely a dusting of snow was a statewide emergency— I’m slowly adapting to living with snow and not just finding it pretty.

It’s not quite a love hate relationship but it gets close. Negative numbers and windchill, however, I straight up hate and Princess tends to avoid as well.

Wade just runs around in shorts sometimes— Nebraska genes or something… and Freya bounds after him.

Now, Hunter didn’t really get to experience walking in a winter wonderland last year. He thought it was cold and his time could be better spent with me in a rocking chair topping him off with fresh milk.

This year he got to experience the snow, cold, and the wet. Plus, learning how inertia works.

I got an early Christmas present of Arctix snow bibs. Paired with my Columbia snow boots and Marmot puffy the cold wasn’t bothering me— dressing for the weather does make it more enjoyable. I just needed snowshoes but Wade threatened to throw me into a snowdrift if he saw anyone he knew. I left them at home.

It was something about how ridiculous it would be to wear them in town and getting razzed for it at work— the big drama queen.

We bundled Hunter up but couldn’t find his good mittens. We figured if it was just a quick trip down the street to the park he would be okay with his cotton ones.

He was having a blast riding in his little sled. Dad would drift him on the icy pavement to his delight. Once we slide over onto the snow he was patting it and giggling.

Then dad decided to try to drift in the snow.


Hunter found he did not like snow on his face. Or being rudely slammed into a drifting turn.

But after a little cry and daddy snuggles and letting mom pull him he was back to giggling and patting the snow.

Once we got back to the house he got to play in the snow and confirmed that as long as it was on the ground to pat and not on his face life was good.

It’s taken me seven years (almost) to acclimate to the winter weather. I’m not expecting to overcome my misgivings about the weather or keep my yearly run in with SAD from happening but I’m more optimistic this year.

I have better winter gear and I’m trying to make changes for my mental and physical health. I need to lose weight and I find getting out and walking helps. I don’t want to only walk on a treadmill and making the changes to my winter wardrobe will make it better for me to go outside in -20 weather. At least according to the bibs.

Keep wandering,


P.S. it’s all fun and games until snow goes down your pants or up your nose.

Flashback Friday: Smokey Mountains National Park June 2017

Starting a new thing– Flashback Fridays! I’ll take a few moments to talk about a hike, trip, or adventure. I can think about warmer days and get into a habit of posting every week.

It’s a win, win!

For my first Flashback Friday I’m going to talk about probably my favorite trip ever…so far…

Those mountains!

It was my second trip to Smokey Mountain National Park but the first long distance trip with my husband, then boyfriend, Wade. We had a few adventures to Wyoming, South Dakota, and Oklahoma by this point. But this was the first that crossed the Mississippi.

The Smokey’s were a secondary part of the trip and where we’re camping. The main reason was a family reunion in Maryville, Tennessee. While I was working at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery as a Environmental Education Intern in 2014 I took a weekend trip to visit my uncle and aunt.

I had a fun trip to the national park. Wade and I were talking every night I was living in Kentucky. Gotta love long distance relationships. I told him how beautiful I found the park and how I didn’t get to see any bears.

I like bears. Or wildlife in general. Any place I visit (Yellowstone, Smokey, etc.) I always try to find the wildlife. I usually miss out.

This trip with Wade I saw bears!

He really is my lucky charm.

We had a fun weekend of family, food, and …fun…

I need to work on synonyms.

We camped because I like camping. I had just gotten a tent cot that I really like and it’s handy for car camping. It’s easy to set up and it folds up nice. Even though it was a front country campsite it was surprisingly quiet– which is what I like about National Park Service sites.

Low key camping

We had a plan to do the drive through Cade’s Cove and maybe hike a little bit… but I was enchanted watching bears. It kind of cut into our hiking time.

Plus, Wade had a little surprise for me.

I found this little valley along the Cade’s Cove drive and decided I wanted to get some shots of the trees and a panorama of the area. I had just set up my camera and was working on attaching it to the tripod when my darling boyfriend started poking me on my butt. Well, upper left hip, in his words.

My favorite valley in Smokey Mountain

I was getting a little grumpy and said just a second…

I finally turned.

He asked to make him the happiest guy in the world.

Some random car drove by… “OMG! He’s asking her to marry him.”

He blushed.

I said yes.

Engagement Valley!

Keep Wandering,


P.S. If anyone knows the actual name of “engagement valley” I would love to know the name. I’ve either forgotten or never wrote it down. It is probably one of my favorite places and I would like to get the right name.

P.PS. Before we went I told him if he asked me at the actual family reunion I would have a panic attack (I hate being the center of the attention in a large group setting) or my family would have us married before the weekend was over.

Wannabe on the Trail: Side Hustles & Small Business

Hey all!

I don’t know if it’s the millennial mindset or just the ADHD talking but I keep trying to find new ways to make my hobbies pay for themselves. I like hiking and thought taking photos and writing about it would be fun. Probably not a high paying niche but fun. Once I started doing it, I had some people ask where they could get my photos. My poems got some interest. Then the Pennington Book project popped up. I figured I’d try a few different things, self-publishing, blogging, Redbubble and Etsy stores to gage interest. All have low overhead and no horrible up-front costs.

Trying to create ad’s… not my best skill. Plus I’m not a good model…

I’m just out the time in most cases. I keep it very low key.

But every now and then when I self-promote myself I get messages from people I knew in high school. That haven’t really spoken with me since or in some cases at all, even when we went to school together.

“Oh you’re trying a side hustle– why don’t you try out these Essential Oils *or other MLM*? You can be your own boss and hustle! You will make money right away– can you say that with what your doing now?”

They also really pushed the messaging, or I at least noticed it more, when I was home on maternity leave. The amount of messages I got about how I should stay home and how *insert MLM* could be a dream come true for me.

Uh…my side hustle already lets me be my own boss… and I don’t have to pay to join.*

They also don’t understand the words “no,” “thanks any way,” or “that stuff gives me migraines.” They also don’t appreciate when you say, “it didn’t cost me anything other than time and equipment for what I’m doing now.”

They also don’t like it when you ask if it’s an MLM.

Which, it is and somehow even when you’ve said all the above they still try to upsell you into being a downline. Plus, the pitch to spend $45+ on a starter kit… and the need to spend x amount each year to maintain. It’s better than some but nah…

*Other than the camera I already paid off like ten years ago and my blog fees I’m not spending close to the $95 a year minimum to do a business in essential oils or other things with a higher cost. I also don’t want to spend the amount of time running leads and spamming acquaintances on social media.

I share a link every now and then to my Redbubble Store, Etsy page, and my tip jar and that’s about it… I might run an ad on Facebook and Instagram once in a blue moon but I don’t spend more than $30 bucks- $45 a year on that. If I really wanted to make money at this “side hustle” I’d be upping my social media game, running ads at a higher cost, and plugging myself more. And clearly making, uploading, and perfecting my content a lot more.

Trying to improve my photography and use logo’s.

For me it’s fun and might make me some money. It gives me something to do in my free time.

I have no desire to make a side hustle into a career at this point in time.

No, I don’t want to work from home. I about lost my mind teleworking through a pandemic. It was nice to wear “comfy” clothes and cook a hot lunch some days but no…I couldn’t “turn” work off like I can now.

No, I don’t want to be a #bossbabe or #bossmom.

I currently have a great job and I can grow a hobby into a possible business venture. If that hobby pays for itself great! If not, I’m only out the ad money.

I’m lucky with my job and life, but considering how hard they tried to guilt/upsell me on the beauty of being my own boss so I could stay home– I know why people go for it and then wind up floundering in debt.

While some MLM’s might not be as bad try out these options instead of signing up!

  1. Create a Redbubble shop and sell your art, photography, or sayings.
  2. Create a blog! WordPress has plans for what you’re trying to do. Start a blog and if you make enough of a splash you can upgrade to premium or business and get plugins or widgets to take payments. I currently have the premium which works great for my tip jar! It’s also my biggest expense yearly expense, unless I order a lot of canvas prints.
  3. Start an Instagram page showing off your photography– do business and sell prints off of PayPal or another format like Etsy. (If you hit up local craft fairs/or small business shops there will be more money sunk into this cost. A variety of prints, canvases, or digital markers are good to have on hand as actual inventory. You can find some wholesale printers for a decent base price. You can even have a “private” shop on Redbubble where you print your own items at cost. Decide your prices and sell.)
  4. Start your own house cleaning or home organizing business if that is your thing (this might be a job you wait until kids are older/in school or hire them as employees and do limited hours/weekends).
  5. Start a cooking/home centric YouTube/TikTok channel. Tie it to a blog.
  6. Pick up a part time job– I’d rather wait tables than pay to sell something but that’s just me.

You don’t have to buy special equipment for most of these– some don’t even cost more than $10 to do. If you build it they will come and in the long run these will pay off faster than an MLM.

Sorry for the rant.

Keep wandering,


P.S. Just take a hike!

Taken with an iPhone… seriously, you can do this to get started! Then buy the cool camera.

Wannabe on the Trail: Winter’s Here

Poor Bison… from earlier this year.

Well, at least it’s not snowing…yet.

Woke up to a -3 day. Not my favorite thing.

But I need to get over it. I don’t want fall into the same patterns I do every winter were I binge watch stuff, or read, under a blanket and not go outside.

I want to see if sucking it up and going out will help combat my usual SAD I deal with every year.

Although, using terms like “get over it” and “sucking it up” probably isn’t a great way to look at my wintertime slide. I’m trying to think more positive without falling into the toxic positivity. It’s hard.

However, I want to get back into shape and honestly the best way for me to do that is walking. Other than the long payoff time it’s the best (free) way to jumpstart your weight loss plan. It’s low impact, I’d rather swim but not in this weather, and it works.

I have a spare tire…

I’m working on a YouTube video about that. I’m hoping I can use it for some accountability and help other people, like me, that are not into the fitness model guru/Crossfit mindset. Although, I wish I was in shape to do Crossfit– but I would break something.

I’m also investing in the *appropriate* winter hiking gear and I plan on getting out more. I don’t know if I’ll take Hunter every time because Nebraska gets ridiculously cold and I don’t want to subject him to that.

Keep wandering,


P.S. What’s your wintertime pastime?

Baby Wipes & Day Hikes: Big Spring Trail

Sunset on the Current River, Missouri.

I got to go home over Thanksgiving. I had a week to show my son around my hometown, hunt, spend time with family, and hike. Hunter has been there back in February but that was a quick trip and we didn’t do a lot of exploring.

I should have planned two weeks. However, we got a lot of things accomplished.

I got my deer. I spent time with mom and dad. Hunter became best buddies with grandpa and got to cuddle with grandma.

We only got to do a short hike.

Big Spring Trail Staircase.

That was okay though– a perfect Day Hike and Baby Wipes post. Other than my hiking buddy, Hunter, who was bored with me taking photos and wanted me to keep moving. So he pulled my hair until I started hiking again.

It’s a great motivator.

Horrible video… I need to work on preventing lens flare and get a gimbal.

We also took the hike a little later and the day. He was worried we weren’t going to make it back for dinner in time. Even though I brought snacks galore for him.

I originally planned on hitting up the Ozark Trail at Rocky Creek but time got away from me. I wanted to deer hunt while I was home. I hunt for food– I like knowing were it comes from, what it was fed, and using all I can. Plus, I can stock my freezer for a while, even with the two bottomless pits in the house.

I had a cabin, Scenic River Cabins (awesome place to stay), that was right down the road from Big Spring. Ozark National Scenic Riverways keeps a nice trail and frankly I was feeling nostalgic for my early seasonal ranger days.

Big Spring in the Fall. If you checked out my Instagram you can see the original photos for this panorama. I think it turned out well!

I worked the Big Spring District as a seasonal ranger from 2008 until 2014. It was my first park! I loved it because it was home and I could work weekends in the late spring and early fall while I was in college at Arkansas State University. It worked out really well. As a summer seasonal, you usually only work 3-5 months (if you’re lucky) or 1,039 hours.

I miss the Current River and Big Spring. I had a lot of firsts at Big Spring. From school events to leading National Park Service events, plus senior photos.

I hiked a lot there. Both as a kid, before I even had an inkling what a park ranger was, and as a park ranger.

The hike I took last week was a little bittersweet. Things have changed but it still seems the same, at least there at the spring. Sure there is a little more erosion than when I was there but that’s normal.

The old heritage cabin was gone, I did a lot of events in that cabin. I gave so many programs at the Big Spring Amphitheater– it’s gone too. Water changes a lot, especially during the spring floods.

Growing up in this part of the Ozarks you learn to respect the power of water. Especially, in creeks and rivers. It probably wouldn’t be bad to fear the water a little too.

We have incredible, and destructive, flash floods. One of the worst hit the town of Van Buren in 2017. While Fremont is my “hometown,” Van Buren is where I went to school, worked, and grew up, plus most people know or have an idea of the town. I had moved to Nebraska by 2017 but I still felt the pain. The river crested at 37 feet, flooding most of the town. It surpassed the previous record flood by eight feet–in 1904 it crested at 29 feet.

I grew up on Pike Creek, it’s a dry creek most of the year but in the spring you see a raging river almost. The water in the narrow draws has enough power to push trees, upright sometimes, down the channel to the Current River.

I gave a lot of talks about how Big Spring puts out a lot of water (286 million gallons a day) and how during flooding conditions it puts out even more. It’s impressive.

Big Spring
Panorama of the spring and spring branch.

So impressive in fact that it’s the largest spring in the state of Missouri and third largest (or largest depending on drought/rain conditions) in the USA. Idaho’s Snake River Spring Complex and Florida’s Silver Spring, being the other two contenders.

From the other side of the trail.

The trail system is nice, when the NPS isn’t working on rebuilding bathrooms and pavilions, it connects the spring to the campground, the Big Spring Lodge (currently closed for renovations), and the group campground. It occasionally has trees across the trail, between that and the hills you can get quite the workout.

Amateur videographer view of the trail around Big Spring

I miss those hills. I also miss endless trees.

Hills, trees, and sunsets soothe me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my adopted prairie home. However, I’m a ridge runner and miss where I grew up.

I need to get my act together and go home more. It’s a 13 hour drive, now a little longer with the little man.

It was a tough trip– Wade had to work, so it was a semi-solo adventure. Hunter hated being stuck in his car seat and I couldn’t do the drive in one long jaunt like I normally do. Mainly, because my son can imitate a banshee quite well. I split the drive up and back into two days with lots of stops so little man could be free. I pushed for 7 hours on average the first day (same going back) and then 4-5 the second day. It worked really well.

The first night on the way to Missouri, I made it to the outskirts of Kansas City. Once we stopped at the motel I pulled him out and he was so happy. I got the key and found out it was on the other side of the building from where I parked. I had to put him back in the car seat. He screamed so loud I was worried the cops would be called.

They weren’t but I did get some stares.

He cheered up once I sat him down on the floor in the room and he could go where he wanted.

He did the same thing once we made it to Grandma and Grandpa’s.

I’m not getting back in that car– I’ll crawl home.

I still need to figure out how I’m going to do some hiking trips in Yellowstone and Rocky Mountains with Hunter. While those drives won’t be as long, I still need to plan better.

I’m excited for some more semi-solo adventures with my little dude– we’ll save the long trips for when dad can tag along for the drive though!

Keep wandering,


Take a Hike

It’s National Take a Hike Day!

Rocky Falls! I took this picture I think in 2009.

And I had to work… and I’m taking a shift on the ambulance so I have to be ready to respond. So no hikes for me…


But if you have a chance, go take a hike!

Well, because I didn’t plan this well we’re doing a #waybackwednesday post. I’m also planning on revisiting this particular hike next week. I’m hoping to get some new photos and maybe see the “wild horses” while I’m there.

Ozark Trail: November of 2007

Wow, I was styling.

This particular section of the Ozark Trail is my favorite. Partly because it’s really close to the old family farm but mainly because it used to be my great grandmother’s family homestead. Up the creek from Klepzig Mill she used to watch bobcats play on the bluff.

Rocky Creek, the bluff in question is upstream and behind me in this picture.

We did a family trip and hike over the Thanksgiving Holiday. My aunt on my dad’s side and her family and myself. Mom and Dad didn’t feel up to it from my memory and my sister was working up until Thanksgiving itself. Or I just dreamed all that up and they just didn’t want to hike with us…

Rocky Falls

Either way we hit up the Current River Section hiking from Klepzig Mill to Rocky Falls and back. Or vice versa… seriously my memory is already going.

The crisp fall air and lingering campfire heartened me. The Ozark hills spoke to me and they still do. I was a transitioning from high school to community college and I still didn’t know what I wanted to do yet. I was going back and forth between agricultural business and history. It would take me two years to figure out history and go on to finish my degree at Arkansas State University.

Honestly, I still don’t know what I want to do with my life…

It wasn’t a long hike by any means but it was full of family stories, traditions, and jocularity.

I’m looking forward to next week. I will get to take Hunter out for a jaunt and hang out with family and friends.

Keep wandering,


I could have been a model. I also need to learn how to change the date on my digital camera…

Wannabe on the Trail: Influencing

I’ve been thinking a lot lately— inspired by a documentary.

Imagine that.

Anyways, I watched Fake Famous. It’s an interesting look at how we view influencing and a social experiment into how to become a mega influencer.

Me, trying to be “on brand”

I related the most with Chris but I don’t think I deserve to be famous in the same way he does. However, I do admire his principles about going with the 100 real followers over the thousands of bots. I also agree with not changing myself drastically in order to get famous either.

I have no inclination to be a mega influencer, yeah, the perks are kind of cool. But I don’t really want to do merch advertising for other people or paid partnerships. Collaborations with other posters in my niche would be cool. I’m happy with people buying my designs, photos, and the ad revenue. Maybe write some books.

I don’t plan on getting rich off any of it or being “famous” like most influencers.  All I want is a little extra money to fund a college/trade school fund for my kid (maybe kiddos), fund a hiking/rafting trip each year, and the rest into savings.

This little guy!

Lofty goals I know—right now, I’m just starting out in the grand scheme of things and the possibilities are endless.

However, as I watched I realized at all the wasted time I could have been building this blog or my Instagram. I’m late to social media bubble. It honestly doesn’t appeal to me in the way it does most people. Partly because I have luddite tendencies but also, I thought I was boring. I also didn’t think I was pretty enough to cash in on the selfies either. Plus, with the dopamine chasing from ADHD if I didn’t have Facebook, Instagram, or now TikTok actually open I sometimes forget they exist—which was great in college.

But mainly, I’m boring.

I liked to read (still do). Canoe or kayak. Hike. Ride horses. Take photos—basically some of the stuff I still do now but at the time I didn’t realize I could brand any of that, because, to reiterate, I thought I was boring.

Now, that I’ve been messing around trying to find my niche with this wannabe blog I realize had I started back in early days with Instagram I could have cultivated a bookstagram theme and reviewed books on YouTube. Because I am a huge bookworm—although I prefer Ink Drinker, and daydreamed about reviewing and reading books all day.


I could have gotten into cosplay—it would have been mainly Lord of the Rings, but it would have been cool.

I could have become a “horse girl” on there.

Really pushed out canoe and kayak content—photos, videos, and articles on how to handle the gear… (stares at day job media webpage…never mind).

Had I settled into the seasonal park ranger life a little more I could have been a lifestyle guru fulfilling Chris Farley’s inspirational “living in a van down by a river!”

Some saw this as bad thing…others wanted to live the dream

Okay, maybe I wasn’t as boring as I thought I was.

I was not feeling bored.

Had I built on any of my interests or hobbies I might have cultivated a larger following and had a totally different brand.

 I could have done a lot of cool stuff, but would I have wound up where I am?

Great job, sharing happiness (and a little grumpiness) with the love of my life, the best little man ever, and the cute dogs. The grumpy cat is starting to like me which is nice. Or would I have fame, fortune, and a branding deal? Would I be happier?

Nah, I’m happy were I’m at and who I’m with, plus who I am as a person, but it would be kind of cool to be a micro-influencer. I still don’t plan on chasing the fame. I’ll continue to plod along with my rambles, thoughts, and cute photos. Maybe I’ll turn into a “mommy blogger” for ADHD wannabes that think they lack the mom gene sometimes but try their darndest to make their kiddos happy—maybe by taking a hike.  

Or playing in the leaves!

Keep wandering,


Return to Girl, Take a Hike

I really want to go hike on a beach somewhere. It’s been an insane week already. It’s also starting to get cold. I don’t like it. Well, I do but it’s a weird toxic love hate relationship with cold weather. The snow makes it so pretty. Luckily, we only had a little light dusting of snow that didn’t stick but it’s coming.

Took this last year– see I do get out in the cold weather!

And because I have a tendency to binge watch YouTube and hide under a blanket this time of year, I fall into my other weird toxic love hate relationship: Anti-MLM videos and in particular Rachel Hollis videos. Or I watch music videos, lately Bo Burnham Inside has been a major focus. All Eyes On Me is hauntingly beautiful.

I love that people are deconstructing these groups and people but at the same time they are giving them attention… it’s cyclic folks. Yet here I am ranting about Rachel Hollis, so I love and hate myself for the same reasons…

But this time as I was listening to Not The Good Girl’s take on Hollis. Not The Good Girl does an awesome job breaking this all down in a documentary style format.

There was two things Hollis said really stuck me:

“We all have the same 24 hours.”


 “Sometimes it’s okay if the only thing you did today was breathe,” and Hollis’s ensuing rant video about the Pinterest quote and people not ‘hustling.’

In some ways, yes, she’s right about how we all have the same amount of time and we should hustle to make our goals.

However, I sure as hell don’t have the same quality of 24 hours as Hollis. I don’t have a nanny and maid to assist with my child or housework or a husband (now ex) that could offset what my business costs would be. A ‘team’ to pass the blam…eh assist when something goes wrong or to help put on any speaking engagement.  

I’m my own editor, maid, nanny, content creator, graphic designer, cook, bottlewasher, and this list is getting ridiculously long—if I make a mistake, I own it because I’m literally the only one on my ‘team.’ Do I get everything I want to do done? No, because I like sleep and now that I’m not suffering from insomnia as much, I can actually enjoy it and wake up refreshed at 6 am…

It’s really easy to say we all have the same amount of time when you have a safety net. Now, in fairness she didn’t have that all her life—but once she started the self-help guru stuff (and really pushed this messaging) she did. And it’s a bit of a problem that she doesn’t acknowledge that aspect. I mentioned on a previous post about this that she did hustle, she did accomplish a lot, but this type of glamorizing comes off as a bit of a red flag for me. When you make it seem like it was simply your hustle that elevated you but don’t acknowledge that you have someone in your life that added in making those connections and provided a safety net (even if he was a huge walking red flag) it’s a bit disingenuous.

Which opens us up to a lovely discussion about curated authenticity and its relationship to toxic positivity.

Hollis made waves when she posted about her stretch marks which in some ways was groundbreaking but honestly, she’s attractive, had a decent following, and simply capitalized on that. Hollis curated a form of voluble authenticity that highlighted her “flaws” that she totally demolished with her “What is it about me that made you think I want to be relatable?”  

I post curated photos to an extent but I don’t highlight my flaws in a funny quirky way– I just don’t post or if I do it’s not a glam shot of me being funny and quirky in a misadventure. I also don’t wax poetic about my overcoming anything. I usually talk about how I wannabe doing something but get sucked into why I didn’t or a rant about something/someone. *scrolls back up post, cringe.*

I also don’t put my family in the center of the blog. I did add in about hiking with Hunter but that’s more because I just can’t leave him at home for a weekend hike… plus he’s adorable. But I don’t claim to be a marriage help guru or post how wonderful we all are. I’d rather have what I have now with my husband—he supports me in what I do (and vice versa) but we work on a budget and we compromise what we do and how to fund that endeavor. He also doesn’t have the same priorities as me, he would rather spend the weekend gaming on his PlayStation while I would rather hike or read a book. We compromise. Some weekends we stay in, some we go hiking. It works for us. He doesn’t make snide comments or inspire me to make passive aggressive jewelry once I have a successful moment. Or totally pigeonhole maid services into the most demeaning part of cleaning your house. If I had a maid—I’d pay her, make her cookies, and hype her up to my friends to support her small business.

Just a little cutie in a hiking carrier!

Now—I used to be the self-described queen of hustle mainly because my ADHD wouldn’t let me sit still long enough. Before I had Hunter, I worked my forty-hour week, volunteered twelve hour shifts on my local ambulance two-three nights a week, taught CPR/First Aid classes at least once a month if not more, pursued grad, professional, and continuing education classes for education now history, work, and EMS, and for a while waited tables. *

The extra money was great, but I didn’t need it (although, it did pad my emergency account). I did it because I wanted the dopamine hit and I like giving back to my community.  I could have taken a lot of that “hustle” and worked on this blog but at the time the dopamine wasn’t there for this—it’s back and I don’t know for how long… *crazy ADHD inspired moments*

Which is probably why I’ll never go very far with my “brand” because if the dopamine isn’t there or I put it on a shelf in the basement (or even in the middle of the living room) I will forget about it for a while. Instagram is the only thing I seem to do regularly and even that I skip a few weeks depending on what’s going on in my life. (I’m on a Bo Burnham kick… don’t judge).

Some would argue that I wasn’t hustling for ‘myself’ since I wasn’t doing a home business. But yeah—that was all for me to keep boredom away.

Now, I have a toddler to keep the boredom at bay. Plus, everyone is retiring at my day job, so I have a slew of collateral duties to tire out my brain. History grad classes that require lots of reading which I can hyper focus on since it’s a topic I like. On top of that, my sleep apnea machine is helping with the insomnia—I sleep which is weird and awesome.

I’m also learning how nice it is to have free time– after talking with some doctors after having Hunter we discovered I have ADHD. I received some strategies to help with (healthy) coping and now I don’t feel a driving need to constantly be doing something. Although, the song is about the Internet, Bo Burnham’s “little bit of everything all of the time,” could have been my theme song for a long time.

The added benefit it is now I can take a little time to write about this and that in the evenings while relaxing on the couch. I don’t write every day—but since it’s National Novel Writing Month (#nanowrimo) I’m trying to hit that 50,000-word count.  The other thing is I’m trying to incorporate my wannabe plans into my writing. In fact, I’m going to do some day hikes (maybe an overnight) on the Ozark Trail this November. So, I really am going to take a hike! But a lot of days I read—just to make me happy.

There are also days where all I do is breathe…well in my case sleep/nap/zone out.

Now, the “breathe” rant happened before a lot of this but I caught it back when it was first made and it royally ticked me off. Someone shared it in a depression related group on Facebook. The group was small and we didn’t go jump on her post or page. We just commented on how she missed the point.

Because the original pin poster was talking about dealing with depression. If you’ve never dealt with depression, it’s easy to think—oh just get out of bed and go for a hike! You’re the only one in charge of making yourself happy!

I dislike that mentally. I know they are trying to be helpful and inspiring, but it doesn’t actually help. If anything, once the person tries that and fails it could send them deeper into the pit. In a lot of cases a person’s brain is literally not performing or producing the chemicals to “make” you happy. Or your hormones are totally off the flipping wall and you go from laughing to crying in less than 30 seconds. However, in mild cases of depression going out for a walk might help—it does for me about 90% of the time. The other 10%? I hung on by my mental nails to make it through the day. Once I was home I would shut down.

There’s no hustling yourself out of depression.

There is just a wide empty maw of failure. And because we don’t like to think about mental illnesses as any other type of medical malady, we are ashamed by it. We don’t reach out for help like we should.

I did—it helps. Not everyone that goes to a doctor winds up on meds, sometimes you just need to talk it all out and get therapy. Sometimes because your hormones are so out of whack due to just having a baby you do need to go on a mild anti-depressant but if you stay in communication with your doctor, you’re not on it long. Just long enough to help the hormones level off.

And in all those struggles weather your getting help or not—you accomplished one thing by just breathing. And that’s okay.

But Hollis didn’t see the pin in that context or if she did, she was self-absorbed on her brand that it didn’t matter.

She regulated it to just being “lazy” and not hustling or being positive to get what you want. That’s toxic. This push that if you hustle and appear to be happy about it you will get success is just gross to me. But it is a powerful message and people lap it up…sometimes to their own detriment.

This “breathe” rant was when I kind of realized Hollis was all hype and branding. So, when she had her epic TikTok rant I wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t surprised that she wanted to be privileged or unrelatable. I was surprised by how long it took her to backtrack though. She almost waited a week to respond to the havoc created by her own words.

The apology has been scrutinized in fact a writer, Shannon Ashley, at Medium provided a great commentary on Rachel Hollis. I used her article to get the block quotes.  

When Hollis issued an apology—it really was a non-apology. She twisted it back to make it seem like she was the victim. The sad part was had she left it with the first two images it would have been a better apology, not great or really authentic but authentic to her and solely with herself to blame.

“Someday I’ll learn.

Not yet apparently– but someday I’ll learn.

Someday I’ll learn that my intent and my impact can be wildly different things.

I made a post last week that was upsetting to people and even though that was never my intent, I own that it was and I apologize.”

[Should have stopped there! But she didn’t do that—she had to add to it and then spin it as her ‘team’ that ignored or hide comments… however, this to me was the most problematic part of the whole thing]

 “Was my post upsetting because I said I have someone who cleans my house twice a week?”

[This is a dog whistle. This is look at how all these people are focusing on me hiring a maid and making that the issue—when it wasn’t.

The issue was how Hollis prefaced the maid as the ‘person who cleans her toilets’ and made it seem like that job was so far beneath her. A lot of people hire maid and cleaning services nobody begrudges people that and it’s a viable small business option for a lot of women who are traditionally homemakers that now have free time for whatever reason. I thought about doing it for a while, but I got a permanent job that I like.

The rest of the image statement apology is equally flippant and shifts the blame from her to her team…again—she’s really good at pushing any criticism of any kind off on her team.]

“I’ve talked a lot about this over the years;

I have a nanny, I have someone who helps with cleaning, I have a team at work who helps to build this business and I think it’s CRUCIAL that I keep talking about it. I could very easily pretend that I don’t have any assistance.

I’m sure it would make my brand more likable and certainly more relatable if I act like I achieve all of these things through hard work and organization, but that’s bullshit. You don’t have to have a clean house or help with your kids or a business with 25 employees — but if you see those things in my life and wonder how they got there, I want you to know it’s a group effort.

A whole village in fact.”

[Hollis kind of does diminish how much they do help her and allow for her to achieve her goals]

“Was my post upsetting because I mentioned some of my favorite women in history?

This one is even harder for me because, those women are the most badass I could think of. Someone on my team said, “I think people believe you’re comparing yourself to them.” Comparing myself to the first woman to win a Nobel Prize? The first — and only — female monarch in the history of China?? To the most inspiring woman in America who freed herself and then risked her life — repeatedly — to lead others out of slavery? There is NO comparison.”

[Holy Batman! That has “that’s not what I said but totally what I meant” vibes. It was a comparison—when you state you are ‘unrelatable’ and then tag a bunch of women in the post that are historically relevant without providing context that you are “inspired by their qualities” you are implying that you are comparable and relatable to them. Therefore, making them unrelatable to the people you’re trying to gaslight with this apology.]

“To believe that because I mentioned them, I am comparing myself to them is ludicrous. Do I aspire to be as brave? As fierce? To live life on my own terms and — hopefully — inspire other women to do the same? Hell yes! But I cannot now, or ever, compare myself to them and I don’t want to. I don’t want to try and be the next fill-in-the-blank, I’d like to try and be the first me.

That was where things started, but, because I still haven’t learned, I didn’t respond to these things on Friday when I heard that people were upset. I listened to my team instead of my gut.”

[*eyeroll* Hollis used the same type of scapegoating when she was caught plagiarizing. Do it once and yeah, it might have been a team error but when it keeps happening and you keep passing it off as your ‘team misguided you’ it’s just your fault.]

“What you find on my social media feed, is me. For better or worse, it’s all me. And because it’s me, what you’re seeing is sometimes great and sometimes the fumbling’s of being human.

Because it’s me and not a perfectly polished statement written by a publicist, I’m going to get it wrong. But I’d rather get it wrong, and learn from it (painfully and publicly) then not show up at all.”

[Which is it? You or your team? Because you keep saying it’s you but then you turn around and blame the really sketchy stuff (plagiarizing, hiding POC comments, etc.) on your team.]

“I’m so disappointed in myself that I let y’all down. I’m so angry that I still haven’t learned this lesson. I’m going to get it at some point and unfortunately, you have a front row seat for how many times I’m going to make shitty mistakes along the way.”

[You’re right you haven’t learned any lessons and you keep making the same mistakes. You pass the blame onto your team and since it saved you the last few times, you’ll keep kicking that horse.]

It’s easy to harp on this stuff and when it’s 18 degrees I get sucked into the videos and drama of it…mainly because Wade doesn’t like it when I watch documentaries. So, I put my AirPods in and binge watch YouTube videos snuggled under a blanket. Soon the dopamine will dry up and I’ll tackle the books on my TBR pile. Maybe take a snow hike…but I doubt it…

I’m a wimp.

I probably will because how else will I get cute duck and geese shots.

Keep wandering,


*Fun fact: waiting tables isn’t easy, it is a lot of physical labor, smiling, and remembering orders. However, I found it relaxing and during the long shutdown because I was going stir crazy, something to do. I started picking up some shifts and kept with it for most of a year.

Oddly enough, it was a stressful job that brought me stress relief because it was a job I had for nearly nine years—muscle memory is a wonderful thing. Whereas the upheaval over the shutdown plus all the higher-level stuff that I didn’t know how to do that got dropped on me at my day job was a stress I wasn’t as adept to handle. I waited tables because I could “turn my brain off” for a couple hours a night—get a good night’s sleep because I exhausted myself and hit the ground running in order to handle the stuff I didn’t know the next morning.

It wasn’t because I didn’t have experience but I was taking on division lead duties that I never done before. Authorizing projects, determining budget needs, and trying to advocate for more seasonal employees. However, I was martialized and told I wouldn’t need to worry about a lot of that. And because I didn’t know what I didn’t know it bite me in the ass. It was so irritating because it created a short staff issue that led to me working far more than I should and until I approached the department head of my division in the regional capacity about closing our visitor center for two days during the week, so we wouldn’t be stretched so thin, borderline illegal. I asked a lot of questions that summer, got stymied by the person who was “helping me,” and nearly pulled my hair out… Now, I’m older and wiser and have the next person in my chain of command on speed dial if I ever have a boss that tries to pull a fast one again—because what my supervisor that summer did was shady (maybe even illegal) but I was young and naïve..*

Wannabe on the Trail: Musings on Timeshares

Cute photo to engage you… also I’ve not taken any in a few days

*** I haven’t got any cool photos for this post so I made memes…

Only late by what two decades?

So… on that last trip I took, that one to Branson, we went because of a timeshare offer. Yeah, yeah, I know…

We were walking through a popular outdoor store and Wade never learned to avoid sales desk people and interacted. Yay…

My normal reaction…

That will come back up later.

It was great going to my home state of Missouri and do some site seeing and visiting the family. But we had to give up a couple of hours to go to the timeshare pitch and sales meeting. I originally was saying to Wade, “We say no.”

He was on board with that!

While it was a bit of a pain and could be a costly mistake this particular timeshare isn’t as predatory as some and it had options. And that was a problem for me.

Plus, having Hunter provided enough of a distraction for our judgement to be clouded. We had to both take turns with him and missed parts of the talk and didn’t really get a moment to actually talk it through.

Had it been a traditional timeshare where it was one place, one week, and no flexibility I would have stuck to my gut and said no as soon as they ended the tour. Because I’ve looked into time shares in the past and they just barely skirt being a pyramid scheme…although I still think they are…

Just say no…

However, they started it out with a look at the cost benefit analysis of inflation on hotels. They do have a point with inflation continuing to rise—but so will wages and other offsetting factors. They also alluded that inflation was the reason for costs to increase during holidays…it doesn’t. As someone who works in the tourism industry, they left out how demand was a driving factor in pricing during the holidays.

I made a note about it… I took a lot of notes.

Then they explained how they were different—and they are. You can use your membership to go to several different places, your base points can be used anywhere at anytime as long as there is an opening in the schedule. You can also use your membership to pay for trips—with a little cash added—to other international places. They sold it as a way to go anywhere with your family for a decent price.

They really sold the family angle and it’s a great hook…

And in some cases, it would be worth the money and hassle. If we were making $250K a year maybe it would be worth it, but we don’t. They ended the talk with overall cost of the timeshare… it was a lot more than I was willing to pay and at that point, while tempting, I was still in the no category because of the price *before* associated fees.

I also did a little research on the agency and it did have some high points. But I always hate it when they pitch the overall cost but don’t mention what the annual and maintenance fees are. If I had those numbers while they were doing their inflation talk, I could have done the actual math and realized right then that it would be about the same either way… while they aren’t lying about the annual fees being stable—the maintenance fees will grow over time. Even I, the least math inclined person ever, can figure out the fees over time and the cost/benefit ratio.

But they don’t want you to know that until they lay the contract in front of you. And push you to sign before you get a chance to really review it.

Once the pitch was over, we moved on to the tour and hard sale.

Our salesman was nice, but you could tell he was a former auto sales guy—he was a big talker and a little pushy but that was expected.

He noticed my notes on the back and the love bombing began. Now, unlike cults this isn’t the same level but it’s a milder form.

“Oh, these are great questions—you asked about how maintenance fees can be offset by your points—they can. Oh, nice catch on the demand—that is true, but you won’t have to worry about demand costs around holidays with our program. You really know your stuff…”

Which appealing to your vanity makes it easy to ignore red flags. It’s also a red flag. (How many flags is that now? 3-4?)

…little bit of both…

The grounds and accommodations were nice, and the amenities were great for families. Which was another hook into us.

And he cold read us until he found what could hook us more.

We are both workaholics that feel guilty about taking time off for vacation. But now that we have a little one, we want him to have fun vacation memories.

I was a tad more susceptible to this because I want to take more fun vacations as Hunter gets older and take him to Missouri so he can see my side of the family more. Wade feels guilty for the same reason but he’s more the backyard camper because his family is where we live. Although, he does want to make me happy and thought it might be a good way for me to see my family more. Plus, it might get him more excited to go. Since we would have it and be paying for it…

And the salesman pushed that hard. *

I started to crack.

*Here’s the thing, this is a con—not a huge con but it is one. And you don’t think you will fall for it…until you do. Because you have a flaw in your ego—it’s too good a deal but I deserve it—that type of flaw. *

“It seems like a good deal.”

Wade was surprised by my shift in opinion but rolled with it.

Then the hard sale began.

When I said we couldn’t do the primary cost—they had two other options ready to go—one well in our price range.

I asked if I could talk it over with Wade… they gave us less than five minutes… red flag.

We were excited about the prospect of going to Missouri again, taking a cruise, or even going somewhere else. The fees associated weren’t a deal breaker “because we can pay with our points.”

We, sadly, thought it was a good deal.

Although, once we thought about it with the interest rate it would be horrible. And there was something that changed once we changed from the first offer to the cheaper one…

Even though I was agreeing to it—my gut or conscience was heavily cussing me in the back of my mind and telling me not to do it!

Which led to me asking some questions and I realized after the fact I should have pushed harder on some of them.

I asked repeatedly how to get out of the timeshare if we decided down the line we didn’t want it. They gave me a standard answer and pointed to a partner group (which is a red flag). If they cannot buy it back and send you to a third-party say no.

I should have had them clarify about how our points would pay the maintenance fees. Especially after we got the smaller contract. Had we gone with the larger package they could have—but the one we signed would not. But I didn’t push hard on that question again.  

And then they dropped the “this is only good for today…” line and we both said we should do it.

Bottom line we would have lost out on the extra club membership being “free” and the first year paid for—we should have just said we’ll think about it and that’s not important to us. Had we done that we would have been less stressed out.

Luckily, my gut or whatever made me fixate on a few things. I asked about their cancellation terms. They actually hedged a little and tossed two forms at us—one for Nebraska and one for Missouri. They did say we would fall under Missouri’s terms, but I had a feeling after we did all the paperwork that they hoped we would forget that. Mainly because they put Nebraska’s agreement on top and the Missouri section on the bottom…. I might just be paranoid.

…we didn’t think it through…

In Nebraska, you have three days to rescind the offer in writing and cancel the agreement—Missouri it’s five days. The cancellation has to be postmarked or hand delivered in that time frame.

After we walked out and weren’t being barraged with questions or being distracted with a bored toddler, we finally had the talk we should have had…

We both came to the same conclusion that this wasn’t something we should have done.

But even then, we still questioned it because it would be a great incentive to go on vacations and see my family more.

However, my gut kept pushing me and I went back and did some more googling. Sure, enough I found the answers I needed to remind me that while this particular timeshare does have far better options it’s still predatory. If we tried to get out of it after the five days, it would be very costly.

One positive thing I will say about this agency, they didn’t do hard “hard” sale tactics, they didn’t lie, and finally they did ask, nearly every time I brought it up about selling or cancelling, if we were sure we wanted to do this. It’s still questionable but they are not as predatory as some.

I sent the letter in under five days.

How I felt writing it…

Wade now gets to make fun of me because I gave him crap about smiling and talking to the sales desk folks that got us into this.

He did say we would take more vacations in the future though. We just might feel guilty about short staffing our respective jobs but for Hunter it will be worth it.

Just say no—if you still like it a week later then you can still sign up for it…

If you’ve never sat through a timeshare pitch but you somehow got roped into one here are some things to remember:

*You might think you will never fall for the sale—just remember they find a hook…

*They are salesmen—don’t let the fast-talking fool you—they are there to make a sale.

*They will do a form of love bombing to get you on the hook

*You can still get a deal if you say you want to think about it overnight.

*If even one little part of your brain is saying no—say no.

*In my opinion—timeshares are essentially a pyramid scheme.  Well maybe more akin to a Ponzi scheme…

Seriously change my mind…

Fast talking in Branson

Well… hiking around Table Rock didn’t happen. Combination of limited free time, a coughing cranky baby, and coughing cranky parents— it’s not Delta either.

I’m sick of this car seat mom!

Little man picked up a cold from daycare and decided to share the wealth. We masked up when needed which in Branson wasn’t normal— however, nobody commented when Wade starting coughing.

I didn’t start feeling the sinus pressure until the night before we left. Which made the car ride home suck…

It was still a fun trip though! We got to check out Branson— Wade wants to bring Hunter back when he’s older and I want to hike while they have a blast on the vomit comets 😆

Pop is showing me how to use this tractor grandma!

We also met up with my mom and dad so they could spend some time with the little dude. We checked out Bass Pro, some restaurants and the pool!

Then mommy and daddy had to sit through a timeshare presentation… joy. While I miss the accents and fast talking they didn’t talk fast enough.

Hunter loved the pool. He wanted to stay in even when he started shivering and yawning. But he slept like a champ that night!

Keep wandering,



Work in progress!

Hey folks! Fall is starting to wither a little bit here—we’re already getting calls for snow but right now it’s misty and dreary. Perfect Halloween weather—or perfect Halloween writing weather. So, I’m starting my own writing prompt for the two weeks leading up to Halloween. #writeaween

Basically, from today, October 20, 2021, until the 31st you write everyday in any style or form, but it has to have a Halloween theme. Horror, hauntings, broomsticks, dreary days, or spooky nights—make it creepy or suspenseful and put it out there!  

I’ve been on a writing kick lately. I’ve actually posted here several days this week—wow!

#NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is coming up in November and I’m working on something for that. Plus finishing up some of Grandma’s books for the Pennington Book Project through JP Brand Books.

Here are three poems I wrote today over my lunch break! Check out my awesome doodles and errors on paper. I will be editing them to a photo and posting on my PraireRiverWitch social media accounts later tonight.

My writings are mainly poetry, but I had an idea for a spooky hiking short story. Poetry is easier for me time wise, but I wanted to expand a little haunted hike poem into something longer. The real reason is I couldn’t end it the way I wanted too without writing something longer. If you’re interesting see some of those poems for #writeaween check out my other Instagram, @prairieriverwitch.

There are times I feel a little funny about having multiple social media accounts, but I like the separation and being able to curate the feel of each facet of my personality. Occasionally, I cross post some stuff but for the most part it’s pretty compartmentalized by design. I’m blending my blog a little more, from my original backpacking blog, to a more generalized one. It kind of feels like a public facing journal at times right now– and that’s okay.

I don’t think people are just “one thing.” Or only have one singular passion. I have several! I feed them all, usually in waves. My ADHD will hyper focuses on one thing for a bit and then hop to the next. However, with the stuff I love I come back to it—it might take a while, but I’ll get back to it eventually *like this blog*.  

Happy Write–a–Ween!

Keep wandering,


P.S. You can never have too many writing notebooks…

One from Target, two are my designs, and the one I’m currently writing in I think is from Walmart…

Wannabe on the Trail: Musings

Musings, 10-19-2021

Summer’s over and Fall is almost done…

In my quest to be better at posting—here’s what you’re getting. My random musings. Some will be hiking related. Some work related. Maybe a few about life in general. I’ll try to keep the history rants to a minimum. There’s also a chance you’ll get a weird combination of all those elements.

Right now, things are getting shook up at work. We’re seeing some staffing shortages and some of our staff retired or are in the process of retiring. I’ve taken on some more responsibility. It also feels like I’ve been stuck inside most of the year. Which, yeah, I have. There are days I miss being a seasonal and doing all the fun field work. Now, I’m doing the back in things which is fun and I’m growing as aspiring manager. But I still want to just go grab a canoe and not come back for a day or two.

The exciting days of a seasonal ranger…

That said, I love my job. I get to talk to people, hike, canoe, try new things and wear different hats. However, I don’t love all the collateral duties I’ve accumulated. I’m getting some new ones, including IT. Which as a millennial isn’t too hard to figure out but I’m not thrilled with it when it’s all said and done. But here’s to new adventures at work!

I’ve taken to making random things, sayings, and stuff into stickers on my Redbubble site– please support my hiking fund 🙂
Redbubble also makes it easy to order framed photography, posters, and so on– I’ll be adding more of my photos there and on Etsy soon.

I’m fixing to head south on a kind of spur of the moment trip. I hope the hiking pans out. I know Wade wants to check out Bass Pro. Which is fun, but I don’t want to shop for hiking, camping, and hunting stuff all day. I want to actually go hike around Table Rock Lake and a few other places.

I’ve been working off and on, on a series of essays, poems, and general musings to maybe turn into a book someday. It’s a toss up between being a hiking book or a river ranger book. I haven’t made up my mind yet.

River Ranger at work.

Keep Wandering,


P.S. Random Historical Fact of the Day:

General Cornwallis signed the surrender of the British forces at 2pm today in 1781, formally ending the Revolutionary War in the U.S. favor.

It has a few more stars now than it did in 1781.

Baby Wipes & Day Hikes: Smith Falls State Park

Wade and the Pups on the boardwalk to Smith Falls

We had a busy weekend! We took a day trip down to my sister-in-law’s house for a birthday party for my nephew. Did some shopping, spent way to much time in a car– fun times.

It actually was a lot of fun! The cake was amazing. Hunter got to hang out and celebrate with his same day birthday bud.

But I wanted to go hiking. We didn’t make any stops on the way home so yesterday we decided to go to Smith Falls State Park. It’s a little further east of Valentine than my usual stomping grounds at Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge.

It’s a gem– hybrid aspen that only occur at Smith Falls, tallest waterfall in Nebraska, and a pretty campground along the river.

Niobrara National Scenic River at Smith Falls State Park

**Side note I just realized I haven’t gone camping this year yet. Dammit.**

It was a late afternoon hike. Hunter had his nap and was ready to explore!

Heavy little boy rocking out in his carrier– look at those eyes when he sees the waterfall.

Momma, found out that she really needs to start just walking the dogs while carrying the little man because I was out of breath barely moving.

We didn’t take the full MacAllister Trail which goes up by the aspens but we still had a fun trip. But it was a bit of a trip getting out. Wade and I both were grumpy with each other, not a big fight or anything just general grumpiness. He did get a little mad at Freya because she was so excited to go outside that she kind of pulled him into the door frame. Little puppy, big muscles. Once we were out walking though the grumpiness and stress went away. Freya burned off most of her abundance of energy. Although, I was nice and didn’t take a bunch of pictures of my favorite guy like I would normally do since he doesn’t like it most of the time.

Waterfalls, river, and dogs– plus a few selfies. That’s it.

I’ve talked about Smith Falls before, so I won’t go into great detail about how amazing the location can be for folks. Ecosystems comingle, water and rock come together, and it’s just a relaxing place.

Check it out on your next visit to Valentine or Nebraska!

Keep wandering,


Girl, Take a Hike

Playing with medias.

I have a confession, over the last few months I went down the anti-MLM wormhole on YouTube and stumbled onto a series of videos over the ‘rise’ and fall of Rachel Hollis. Somehow, I missed out on Hollis becoming such a big name– I didn’t know about her books or even her social media presence.

I’m a dabbler in social media *side glance at the large gaps in posting on here, photos, reels, etc.* that’s probably why I missed the drama leading up to the fall. I was also dealing with being pregnant and being a first time mom when it really hit the fan. But I did see the “…what makes you think I’m relatable…” video and yeah, it was something all right.

One of the YouTube commentators did an excellent job of not only reviewing Hollis’s books but of the rise and fall, SAVY Writes Books. Savy also took a look at Rachel Hollis’s self-help RISE conference. Savy did a deep dive and looked at Hollis’s social media and had a field day with the plagiarizing posts Hollis shared as her own; including one of my favorites, “Still I rise,” by Maya Angelou.

This led to Savy uttering one of my most favorite lines ever, “Girl, stop plagiarizing.”
Which she made into a totally awesome sticker which you can find at her online store: (support small businesses!).

So… by this point I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with hiking or really anything. In an odd turn, I kind of like *some* of Hollis’s ideas– stop apologizing, therapy isn’t bad, and you can do a lot through hustle. However, there are huge red flags to some of the other stuff she mentions. The biggest red flag, that you should cut *any* kind of negativity out of your life–this came up a lot in the MLM speeches she gave. There is something to cutting negativity out of your life but don’t cut off your mom, sister, or friend if they are genuinely asking if you are okay and are concerned when you drop a lot of money to start a business. The other red flag is how she “edits” her story. Hollis didn’t totally pull herself up by her bootstraps. Yes, she was accomplished. Heck, Hollis started out as an indie-author and event planner who hustled to make things work! That is amazing. However, my problem was that she sold her success as a testament to hard work but left out the key detail that as the wife of an executive at Disney she had more access and funds than the average small business owner.

But– you’re still asking what does any of this have to do with hiking?

Freya… the cute distraction to keep you reading!

Hiking is a form of self-help. It is a great way to get into shape, relax (hopefully), gain some mental clarity, and it can be a passion. Anyone can do it– all you really need to go on a hike is a decent pair of shoes and a bottle of water. It can get expensive but unlike some things you don’t have to put a lot of money into it unless it’s your passion.

It can also be a brand *cough*wannabebackpacker*cough.* I have no intention of becoming an influencer like Hollis though. I wouldn’t mind making enough on the ad revenue and swag to fund my hiking soirées. However, I don’t need to make a living off of this blog. I have a great job and one that I love. I started this as a way to work on my writing and share some of the cool places in the world. And document my successes and failures at backpacking. I’m also going to use it as motivation to get back into shape…for like the fifth time.

I’m good with being a wannabe. I wannabe a lot of things. Author, photographer, napping, in shape, backpacker, and so on. I’m now making stickers on RedBubble. Two were inspired by this Anti-MLM deep dive, “Girl, Read a Book,” and “Girl, Take a Hike.”

Check it out!

Thanks for letting me ramble,

BJ, the wannabe…

Cold Wind Blowing In

Ice coffee for the win!

Winter’s around the corner and I’m already ready for hibernation…oh wait humans don’t do that.


But that’s okay— I’ve got some trips south lined up and I’m looking forward to fall in the Ozarks!

Keep wandering,


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