angelajpayne Ua Pou: one of the gazillion amazing places on our planet. Humans have an okay thing going, being on this chunk of rock in space. Hopefully we aren't dumb enough to throw it all away. 5d

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angelajpayne Sunset at Boulder Reservoir. The South Pacific was stunning, the East coast was lovely, Kentucky was beautiful and San Diego was excellent. I've been to some nice spots over the past few months, but I'm never sad to return home to Colorado -- one of the most gorgeous places there is. Heading back to enjoy it for 36 hours before taking off again... 6d

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angelajpayne An eerie morning in The Park, Summer 2014. It's looking a bit like this today in Colorado, as Winter returns for one last hurrah. Guess it's good timing that I'm heading somewhere warmer for a bit. Soon enough, though, it will be time to head back into the mountains to throw ourselves at little rocks. 2w
  •   tyler_h90 Your shots are always amazing; it would be awesome to have a simple webpage with all of your shots in full resolution w/ accompanying descriptions! 2w
  •   angelajpayne @tyler_h90 Thank you!!! I have a page on my website that shows all my Instagrams, but maybe I will add something a bit different with larger photos someday. 2w

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angelajpayne An evening at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Back in November I kicked off my 30th year by hiking out of this big, beautiful ditch. That was the beginning of a good run of great trips. I still don't feel any older, so I figure I'll keep on going. Busy month ahead, hitting both coasts and some spots in between. Ready, set, go! 3w

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angelajpayne Silhouetted deck hand on the boat ride out. I've been home from Ua Pou for a month now and life is back to normal. There are plenty of photos left to share, but I'll save those for the days when life seems a little TOO normal (whatever that means). For now, I'm soaking up the mundane and enjoying the comforts of non-jungle life. 3w

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angelajpayne Nice light hits the jungle. My feed has been dominated by shades of green over the past few weeks, but hey, what's a little more? It still feels a bit soon to say I honestly miss this view, but it WAS pretty damn beautiful. 4w

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angelajpayne Island life, Ua Pou. After helping us carry bags down from our camp, David was thrilled to show off his skills on a horse. He made the riding look manageable, but when I asked if I could try, he laughed. A few things were certainly lost in translation, but the word “unstable” was not. 1mon
  •   andy_mann Haha. That horse was sketchy. 1mon

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angelajpayne Textures of the jungle. Most everything in Ua Pou was green, save the occasional hibiscus flower. This one seemed particularly beautiful when I spotted it on the hike out. The fact that it was floating in the stream that marked the end of our journey after 16 days in the jungle certainly added a brightness to its hue. 1mon

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angelajpayne More mud and (the remnants of) the doormat. My leaf weaving craft did help to slow the inevitable takeover of the sludge, but by the end of the trip my vibrant green mats and bright purple toenails were, like everything else, consumed by brown. As I'm sure you've gathered, the amount of mud in Ua Pou was astounding at times, and I wasn't the only one taking foot selfies to document the filth (see @ladzinski). 1mon

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angelajpayne My handwoven tent doormat. It didn't take long for every inch of ground at camp to turn to mud, and it didn't take long for me to tire of sloshing through it. My attempted solution was to weave a couple of these mats out of leaves. I told @andy_mann @ladzinski & @mikelibecki I was taking orders, but no buyers ever came 1mon

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angelajpayne Late evening light and the mossy trees. Many evenings brought waves of rain that rolled up the valley with a characteristic rumble and sent us running to our tents. A few times, however, the rain waited, and we were treated to some of the nicer sunsets I've seen. 1mon
  •   st.malko Wow incredible shot:) 1mon
  •   ramalama3 Stunning! Love the light coming through the clouds and trees... 1mon

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angelajpayne Kau Kau and his machete -- the two MVPs of the trip. Our adventure wouldn't have been nearly as successful without the help of this incredibly skilled and kind local. Kau Kau moved through the jungle with speed and ease, and in his jelly sandals, at that. When he wasn't cutting trails or shuttling loads, he was bringing us water and fresh-picked local fruit and motivating the team. Kau Kau was a crucial part of our successful ascent of the tower, and @mikelibecki named the route in his honor as a small token of our gratitude. 1mon
  •   emilyaharrington I bet those jellys have magic in them 1mon
  •   angelajpayne @emilyaharrington Judging by how this guy moved in them, they must. 1mon
  •   davidjackson__ Power sandals are key in the jungle 1mon
  •   beaniebanditblue This is just lovely. So much happiness 1mon
  •   billay88 The Dude of the jungle. 1mon
  •   rexsoutrageous Look at the smile on his face! He's got it going on! 1mon
  •   craigmalik So. dude. 1mon
  •   geeraldine Jellies are the best! We love them in Tahiti. Great to hike, fish, go canyoning, approach shoes, they are super grippy and can accommodate reefs, rocks, mud. Etc. Slip on a pair of socks if you're worries about chaffing. Just don't hope to meet Prince Charming while wearing these haha... 1mon

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angelajpayne Fish eye view of Poumaka at sunset. @mikelibecki takes in the view from the land bridge that conveniently connected our camp to the base of the tower. Thanks to this amazing little ridge, our daily commute was relatively simple. The key word there, of course, is "relatively" -- getting to the base still required two fixed lines to prevent a slide into jungle oblivion. 2mon

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angelajpayne Fresh pomegranate, served attractively. Cleanliness and fresh food are usually two of the first things to go on long, remote trips. While we very obviously kissed one of these things goodbye, we didn't have to go without both. Pomegranate, passion fruit, papaya, grapefruit, and the *BEST* avocado in the world were a few of the fresh fruits we enjoyed during our time in the jungle. 2mon

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angelajpayne Looking out through the dense green to see some rare blue. Last time @mikelibecki was in Ua Pou, it rained nearly the entire trip. Considering that, we had "good" weather during our stay, with the torrential rains and serious wind coming mostly at night. Still, the blue sky was hidden by clouds and fog more often than not during the day. When it did peek out, it made a great backdrop for the bright green everything. 2mon
  •   pebbleshoospring Unreal! 2mon
  •   arcticotter85 Looks like a fun trip! :) @angelajpayne 2mon
  •   johnjmcmullen 🌲🌲 Wow! 2mon
  •   coreymkelly Amazing! @angelajpayne I was scrolling my Instagram feed and saw your pic on a post by a natgeo photographer I follow. I haven't seen you in years and couldn't believe how incredible it was and what you've been up to! Amazing!!! You rock! 2mon
  •   angelajpayne @coreymkelly No way!!!!! Corey Randall?!?! It's been a while! Yeah, that was probably a Keith Ladzinski photo. He was on the jungle trip I just returned from, and a trip to Greenland a few years back. Great to hear from you! Hope life is treating you well!!! 2mon
  •   okapimoon Beautiful! 2mon

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angelajpayne The daily view from Poumaka -- lurking peaks and the shadow of the tower itself. The climbing in Ua Pou was slow, messy and difficult for @mikelibecki as he waded through tons of jungle vegetation and mud (a small taste of which is visible in the foreground). While I belayed, I spent a lot of time getting familiar with this view. Good thing it happened to be gorgeous. 2mon
  •   vaughnlewis6 The coolest expedition! Thank you for capturing these photos of such a visually un-documented island 🌎! 2mon
  •   orion_chandelier Yay now you're both on Instagram!!! Thank you for journeying & sharing with us!!! I can only imagine & I'm grateful to see it through your eyes & fantastically generous descriptions! Mind-Blown 2mon
  •   okapimoon Great picture! Thanks for sharing your experience. 2mon

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angelajpayne Poutetainui, Ua Pou. This was one of the many towers that was visible from our high camp. The trees that surrounded us had spindly branches and were draped with beautiful green moss. When the light was right and the clouds rolled in, it all made for a spectacularly eerie scene. 2mon
  •   ltrainismyname Sometimes your photos take my breath away. 2mon
  •   ltrainismyname Also, we are all jealous of your travels but enjoying them vicariously nonetheless. 2mon
  •   kajren_adielman Woah 2mon
  •   _weepingangel_ I'm not going to blame it on no camera anymore. These are stunning photos taken and edited in iPhone!!! Thank you for the inspiration. What app do you use to edit your photos? 2mon
  •   angelajpayne Thanks everyone! @_weepingangel_ I use mostly Snapseed and Camera Plus, although now the editing tools in Instagram itself are pretty good. 2mon
  •   _weepingangel_ Thank you for your reply!! I look forward to many more of your adventures and captures!!! 2mon
  •   jrajbhandary @ian.mcfadden 2mon

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angelajpayne Poumaka, as seen from base camp. We hiked into the jungle unsure of which tower we would climb, so we picked a base camp location that was surrounded by options. Poumaka, with its proud stance and enticing little summit, quickly presented itself as the main objective. The fact that local legend calls this tower the ruler of the others also added some allure. 2mon

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angelajpayne Into the jungle. @ladzinski @andy_mann and our local helpers forge through typical Ua Pou terrain on our hike to base camp. It was all fun and jungle games at first, climbing up waterfalls and wading through deep pools in the creek, until the puking began. I was the lucky one to be struck by food poisoning of some sort as we neared our first camp. It was a rough way to start the trip, but I like to think it was 12 hours of "character building" :) 2mon

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angelajpayne Little creature, big leaf. I had no idea what to expect from the terrain of Ua Pou, but it was full-on jungle from the beginning to the end. Giant tangles of all types of plants dominated the landscape, and I often felt like this little guy -- lost in a sea of green. Moving through this place was a challenging, frustrating, claustrophobic wrestling match with Mother Nature, and it was definitely a relief to be released from her grasp at the end of the trip. 2mon

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