I returned from a lovely little backpacking trip in the Wind River Range with @andshesdopetoo yesterday, and I’m currently sorting through hundreds of photos, wondering how the last five days flew by so fast.
There were eight women total; four of us who have spent a lot of time in the backcountry — and four who had never done more than car camping and day hikes. There were questions about gear, pooping, food and bears, and as our feet crunched across miles of dirt and rock, we swapped stories about everything from failed relationships to major life transitions. One of our trip leaders, Amanda, served in the army for eight years, and she’s a firefighter and EMT now, and probably one of the most badass women I’ve ever met. Her sister Jacquie co-led the trip, and we experienced everything from stomach-cramping laughter to jaw-dropping mountain views that some of these women probably never dreamed they’d see by way of their own two feet.
I went on my first backpacking trip in 2015, and I had no idea about LNT, what to pack and I certainly didn’t have a community I could tag along with. I was lucky enough to find a few friends who took me out and got me stoked on sleeping in the dirt, and it made me stronger, smarter and helped me figure out what I’m really passionate about. I love inspiring others to find themselves outside, and watching them discover the same things I did just a few years ago is just as satisfying for me as it is for them. As someone who suffers from severe anxiety, I spend a lot of time by myself when I’m outdoors, and I like that. It helps me unplug and it’s one of the few places where I feel like I can truly be myself. But after linking up with likeminded people who are seeking the same things as me, I have begun to see that coming together can help us find our best selves, too. After a nutty and exhausting 2019, this trip was just what I needed, and I know the other ladies feel the same way, too.
My knees are a tad sore, but my heart is full and I couldn’t be more grateful to have spent this last week with some amazing women in the woods. I’m heading up to Montana now, but excited to share more from this trip over the next week.