“All I can tell you today is what I have learned. What I have discovered as a person in this world. And that is this: you can’t do it alone. As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” Amy Poehler
“Hey Jane! Stop right there for a photo-op!” Jane obliges and I get a photo of her in her orange jacket surrounded by snow-covered trees. We are somewhere along the Republic Trail, outside of Cooke City, Montana. Jane and Patty led the way up the track to the abandoned Erma Mine followed by Diane and me. We then continued up into the trees of the lower flanks of Republic Peak. It has been dumping snow for 3 days now and yesterday afternoon’s tracks have been obliterated. We decide to stay low along the creek and are moving slowly, breaking trail through knee-deep powder. The snow covers our hats, backpacks, mittens—worse than sand at a beach, this white stuff gets everywhere. But our smiles are huge as we look around taking in the scene. The surrounding mountains are invisible in the curtain of snow. Snow piles like ice cream overloading a cone on branches and tall stumps. We comment that we would not want to get hit with a falling pile–the weight alone could cause a concussion! We switch places often. The leader gets hot and breathless, while those in back get cold from moving slowly. Switching often keeps us all more comfortable. We decide to head back to town and turn and begin our cruise back on the broken trail. WooHoo! Echoes down canyon as we slide through spruce and fir. Upon return, we take a quick selfie then hop into the car to warm up on the ride home.
My life philosophy is to say ‘YES’ to adventure requests. ‘Yes’ always wins out over ‘no’ unless there is a darn good reason. Thanks to ‘yes’ I have found a cadre of adventure women. We share outdoor adventures and laughs and hugs and we give voice to being grateful for each day that we can play in the outdoors. Some of my adventure buddies live in other states, but we have rendezvoused in crazy out of the way places barely marked on the map, surprised that we’ve actually found each other. We have skied and hiked and biked and kayaked. We’ve toasted sunsets; we’ve greeted the dawn. We’ve struggled under heavy packs; we’ve navigated rivers and lakes. We’ve laughed and cried and hooted and hollered. We’ve sat quietly, contemplating stillness and beauty. We’ve talked long into the night nursing drinks. We’ve teased each other and supported each other. I value these friendships beyond words.
I celebrate my women adventure buddies. Our lives are enriched by our friendships. Our shared experiences create permanent memories that I will cherish until the end.
“It’s my women friends that keep starch in my spine and without them, I don’t know where I would be. We have to just hang together and help each other.” Jane Fonda