My name is Rayana and I’m a 20-something gal living and working in
downtown Chicago. I’m a Microbiologist at a Children’s Hospital (science geeks for life!). I love this city– but my true heart is in the woods, and I frequently find myself feeling trapped in this concrete jungle. My favorite hobby is daydreaming about national park
adventures — especially ones that involve camping for 5+ nights and
returning to civilization with a new host of scars, stinks, and memories. My life’s goal is to visit all 58 national parks. 11 down so far!
Before Chicago, I spent the majority of my life in Kansas. I’m a proud University of Kansas alumni (rock chalk!) and will always hold a special place in my heart for the quiet prairie.
I chose to hike the Appalachian Trail for so many reasons– but mostly because I crave a “larger than life” adventure. The happiest moments in my life are the days I hike all day and fall asleep, exhausted, in my hammock.
My trail name, Acorn, comes from my favorite quote: Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. It means that great things often have small beginnings. It helps keep things in perspective and it lifts my spirits on bad days. If one acorn can fill the earth with trees, then what can I accomplish?