My head hurt. We stayed out too late in Flagstaff, had way too much fun, and I’ll admit it. Fortunately for me, we drove our car and Laughlin drove us to Payson while I closed my eyes. That said, she continually reminded me that she couldn’t have felt better and I suppose I didn’t expect anything less. Tough love. That’s part of the reason I married her!

Staying in one place for more than just a day or two has become a nice break for us after our short stays on the first leg of our trip. Watching movies until late at night and sleeping in made us feel like we were on our honeymoon, which, we are. Finally, we have been able to get back to exercising, which is tough to do, but we know that with as much driving as we have ahead of us, is an important habit to keep.

One of our first days in Payson, we grabbed some coffee and took a drive to the top of the Mogollon Rim which is a rock wall that divides the lower elevation hills from the high elevation mountains for miles. Atop the Rim lies many forest service roads, hiking trails, and lakes which were mostly abandoned for the winter. The cold weather and icy roads didn’t stop us from enjoying nature as we took a quick hike to Woods Canyon Lake where it was deafeningly quiet aside from the brief gust of wind.








The Rim also gave us a great perspective of the Mazatzal Mountains and snow covered pines. From our perspective, we could see Four Peaks which are, well, just that – four peaks, clearly visible from Phoenix. It was about 30 degrees and sunny from our perspective and made us think about how much warmer it would be in Phoenix.



Our remaining days in Payson were enjoyable and productive. We were able to catch up on our blog, make final phone calls before we give up our phones, read books, continue our morning runs, visit friends and family, and so much more. Laughlin’s mom planned all of our meals for which we were both grateful! Laughlin was able to dye her hair back to a more natural brunette in the attempt to not stick out as much as we enter Latin America.

Laughlin wouldn’t let me share the immediately after photo, but here is the before!

Once our week was over, we said goodbye to Laughlin’s parents, Larry and Barbara, her youngest brother, Curtis, kitties, Finnegan and Reggie, and new dog, Sam. It was bittersweet to say goodbye as it will most likely be a long stretch of time before we see each other again, but, with a bit of luck, we will reunite somewhere along the highway.



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