Hey Ladies! Save the Dates!

October 3-5, 2014 on Grand Island, New York – Wild Women Unite!

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That’s me – being a wild winter woman.

I’ll be teaching a photography workshop at this event. I’ve never been to it, but when Yvonne approached me about teaching, it sounded like so much fun, I think I’d go even if I weren’t teaching! Here’s what Yvonne asked me to share:

This is an event for all women: whether we are looking for a weekend relaxing with friends or looking to sharpen our outdoor skills. You can find it all at our Wild Women Unite weekend October 3 – 5 on Grand Island. The weekend is packed with learning, laughter and fun.

It begins Friday, with a meet and mingle happy hour, presenting our very own “Wild Woman Song” written and performed by Gina Holsopple. The adventure starts here, so come and sing along!

Later Friday evening there will be a presentation by Jennifer Haddow, owner and director of Wild Women Expeditions. Jennifer has been providing outdoor adventure travel for women since 1991. Listen and learn how to be brave enough to release your inner Wild Woman. She will talk about her world aventures from Iceland to Thailand and beyond. Our own Canadian Wild Woman!

On Saturday, everyone is given a chance to participate in four (out of thirty) beginner level workshops providing hands on opportunity to learn to play outdoors. This year for the first time, we are offering a “seniors” track of four workshops providing very “first step” lessons to start moving and get healthy (Grandmas allowed). Our workshops are designed to support all sorts of interests, from easy living to heart racing adventure, allowing every sort of woman to participate. Take a look at the workshops choices on our website.

Saturday evening is a barbecue and relaxing around the campfire with an Alaskan Wild Woman. CarolAnn lives in the Alaskan wilderness where her only neighbor is nature. Come listen to her stories.

This is a unique opportunity for women, 16 and older, with any level of outdoor experience to become more familiar with and comfortable in the environment while learning new or enhancing existing outdoor skills.

Warning: Be prepared to meet new friends, let your hair down, kick back and kick some butt!

Just go to the website!! https://www.wildwomenunite.com/

First Hike of 2014

My first hike of 2014:  Allegany State Park, of course.  We started on Coon Run Road, heading out the Fire Tower Trail.  Somewhere before we reached Willis Creek, we needed coffee and donuts.  Here was the view from our log:

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Once we crossed Willis Creek, we headed upstream, bushwhacking at first… but then finding the trail marked “indistinct or abandoned” on our topo map. Someone has been working on it! It was easy to follow – most of the way. Then either we took a wrong turn, or the maintenance stopped.

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After a bit more bushwhacking, we found the lean to:

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The doggies quickly gobbled down a cup of dog food each. We ate our chili a bit more slowly.

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After conversation about the “State of Emergency” the NYS governor has issued, I wrote the following in the trail register:

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NYS Gov declared a state of emergency. What else to do but hike! Started at Coon Run Rd Fire Tower Trail. Followed Willis Creek up to lean to. Stopped for coffee and donuts along the way. Had chili, apples, oranges and chocolate for lunch. Do we know how to handle an emergency or what? ~ J, T, L, and G

IMG_7853The hike was to continue along the North Country / Finger Lakes Trail back to Coon Run Road. We got a bit of a false start, but eventually found the blazes.  When many trees have tufts of fluffy snow stuck to the bark, a white blaze can be hard to find.

There is a feeling of peace and comfort that I get every time I hike the trails at Allegany – but especially when I’m on a ridge that gives me a view over a valley to another hill beyond.  It’s like I’m in a big cradle or being hugged by huge unseen arms.

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And what is it about shadows on sparkling snow that I feel obliged to photograph?

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I hope this first hike of 2014 is just the beginning of many hikes this year!

Happy New Year!