Thank You for NINE Years

We have an important announcement, but first, in gratitude:

Thank you for reading… since Gale launched the blog in 2014 with a dream of creating a space where exploration was encouraged, and creative work and expression inspired by time outdoors and on the move could find a home (here and in two books published by Chronicle Books). 

Thank you for sharing… your words, stories, and artwork with us. We’ve been proud to publish the writing, artwork, photography, interviews, essays, poems, guides, and more, from nearly a thousand (or more) contributors in the past nine years. Your stories help showcase what’s possible when we step outside. 

Thank you for listening… to 218 episodes of the She Explores podcast, four miniseries, and a few other shows we’ve had a hand in producing. And if you were on the show, thank you for putting such trust in letting us provide a container for your voices.

Thank you for meeting us in person and online… at Outdoor Retailer trade shows in Salt Lake and Denver, campouts in Taos and Moab, book events across the US and online, in our Facebook Group, a virtual Women’s Outdoor Summit, and our social channels.

Thank you for working with us… Jaymie Shearer, Steph Wright, Dani Opal, Korrin Bishop, Laura Borichevsky, Hallie Rose Taylor, Tori Duhaime, Julie Hotz, Teresa Baker, Gabaccia Moreno, & Nallely Bean for all the behind-the-scenes support on social, website, event, and audio production over the years. 

Thank you for supporting this work… to all the partnering sponsors, brands, agencies, editors, and publishers for supporting this creative vision and giving life to so many stories by helping us pay for some of that time and energy.

Thank you ALL for watching us grow, joining us on this collective journey, and for now: letting us go…

As of July 2023, we have officially decided to close submissions and end production for She Explores

This announcement is a bittersweet one. After slowing down the last couple of years, we have reluctantly decided that the time has come to officially close submissions and production for She Explores. With the exception of relevant updates for our books, She Explores and Women and Water we will no longer be publishing new content to our blog, social media, or podcast.

The reasons for this end are multifold—logistical, practical, and emotional—but ultimately the time is right to hang up our hats as we all move forward with other things. 

Looking back, it’s heartening to scroll through this website and, in many ways, see Gale’s original dream realized through our robust archive. And it’s all been possible because of you: the readers, listeners, contributors, and collaborators. 

While we’re reluctant to let it go, the reality is that to truly do the work that we set out to do, She Explores takes more than we’re able to give it. Sometimes, the best way to honor what you’ve built is to say goodbye.


Where the team is going

Gale Straub is now a senior producer for At Will Media, working behind the scenes to create award-winning podcasts. In her spare time, she’s also had a lot of fun collaborating with artist Anna Brones on a show called Creative Fuel.  You can find Gale eating baked goods on the seacoast of New Hampshire and exploring trails near and far. She posts annually on her Instagram @galestraub, and is slowly dreaming up a newsletter. If you want to stay connected, check out her website   

Hailey Hirst is now in the thick of mothering two small girls, freelancing design work and copy writing at Contently, and scraping small bits of time for creative practice in the margins around bedtime stories and slow walks to the park. She occasionally posts on Instagram @haileyhirst and will eventually update her portfolio site at 😉 with new writing and perhaps a newsletter.

Noëll Russell is now the CXO and a founding team member at Whimstay, a tech startup in the travel sector. She also lends her time and skills as a board member and advisor to a handful of amazing organizations. In her freetime she logs a lot of miles running, hiking, and swimming at the city pool and relishes every moment she has with her two small-but-mighty rescue pups. She posts less often on IG these days but you can find her @Noel_Russ.


What we’re carrying forward

It feels impossible to encapsulate what these years creating She Explores has meant, and how it will continue reverberating through everything we do from here on. 

When we started this work, our younger selves were experimenting with new mediums and formats, hoping to find connections, open a space for wider perspectives. Our team has grown from dabblers with a passion project to professionals in different fields. It’s been incredible to see individual and collective evolution unfold in the lives of so many people who we’ve been privileged to work with, too.

Take a listen to the final podcast episode to hear what we’re carrying forward (and to glean some wisdom from a few past guests as well!). … Or you can dip through the archives and take a peek at what anyone is up to now. 


You might be wondering…

What will happen to the blog, social media, and podcast archive?

For the time being, our entire website archive will stay up on, the podcast feed can still be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you find podcasts, and our social media platforms will remain online. So, if you have an article bookmarked or an episode you’ve been meaning to tune into, they’re not going anywhere just yet. We’ll update here on the blog or elsewhere if that changes.

Can I still submit my work to get it published on the blog? Can I be featured on the podcast?

No, we are no longer accepting submissions for the website, social media, or podcast. That said, here are a few places you might consider submitting your work: HiHeyHello Magazine, WhoaMag, Sisu Magazine, Trail Sisters. And here are a few independent podcasts that you might reach out to: Tough Girl, Out There, Outside Voices, The Trail Ahead.

I submitted to the blog in the past, but I didn’t hear back. Does this mean it won’t be published?

We won’t be publishing any more submitted content to the blog that hasn’t already been published, but we’re so grateful for everyone who’s sent work our way over the years.

I had something published on Will I always be able to access it?

We can’t guarantee that your work will always be published on If you’d like to maintain an archive for yourself, you can take a screenshot or copy the text/photos.


  1. Ellen M Clancy says:

    Thank you, Gael and team! I learned so much from you and everyone who came on each podcast episode, reassuring me that the outdoors are for everyone, regardless of gender, age or ability. I will miss listening to episodes as I dream of a sabbatical to go wander in Patagonia as a middle aged woman. The warmest good luck to the team in your next adventures.

  2. Oh wow. The end of an era for you and us. Heavy but understandable. Many of us moved through our 30’s with the sound of Gale’s voice and she explores stories. Time passes, lives change, and we grow in new directions. Y’all changed some
    Lives, cheers to that!

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