Outdoor Adventures

For the past three weeks, 60+ women have been enjoying the outdoors! Just a glimpse of the fun we are having in the Women In The Wilderness classes!

Nature Therapy

The snow is finally melting, and my feet are touching bare ground cushioned with the pine needles of a long, wet, and cold Winter.  The smells of the forest mixed with pine scent and dank, dark earth gave me a sense of calmness.

Near the creek, I settled down on an inviting rock, dropped my backpack and got out my nature journal.   The forest was full of sound. The pygmy nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, chickadees, the soft breeze thru the trees, and loud rush of snowmelt in the creek produced a symphony of nature. I sat in awe of my surroundings.

 A couple of hours later, with some sketches laid out in my journal, a simple lunch and ginger tea long gone, I heaved up the backpack and started back. Once again, a few hours in the woods comforted my soul. Nature provided the inspiration I needed.    Happy Hiking!

Lake Como Falls
Favorite of mine!
Sagebrush Buttercup

Transformation

It is a great week! The “Women In The Wilderness”  classes have started. There are over 60 amazing women joining me in this spring adventure.  

The naturalist class is learning the basics of the Wilderness Act,  forest ecology, plants, flowers, birds, amphibians, bees/pollinators and learning how to keep a nature journal.  Listening and observing while exploring our beautiful Montana landscape can only be described as inspiring.

Our adventurous hiking classes will learn new skills in bear awareness, navigation, leave no trace principles, gear and pack essentials and wilderness survival while challenging themselves out on the trail.

One of the greater problems we are facing this Spring is finding a trail we can get to.  The snowpack, and consequential melting have left us impassable roads, closed trailheads, and muddy trails!  

The weather forecast for our first hike was rain and snow.  Lucky for us, we only had a few sprinkles. The trail was a bit wet and muddy, the forest smells intoxicating, the signs of Spring everywhere around us.  The gentle transformation from the dark days of Winter to the verdures of Spring are impressive. Don’t miss them!

Nature connects us all on such a deep level. The joys of being outside in the transformation of seasons is astonishing. We tend to put things off in life for many unknown reasons.  Take some time for yourself! I urge you to get outside and be nurtured by nature.

Your choice, your journey, get out there!


Soft Rock
First Hike
2019 Women In The Wilderness I

The Moods of Nature

Nature has its moods.  The best way to cope is to roll with them.  Yesterday, I focused on the warm sunshine that visited for the first time in a few days.  I was grateful for that.

Chickadees, spring sparrows, and robins added their beautiful harmonies as my gaze met with several deer that so easily jumped the ranch fence.

The dogs (all 8 of them) were busy doing their thing.  Exploration at any time of year is fun, but a romp in the bitter cold pond, digging for voles, and gathering sticks to be thrown was at its peak.

The naked trees are silhouetted by the bright sun,and the ground is showing signs of spring.  Beautiful green grass is starting to sprout through the brown earth. That musky smell of early spring was definitely in the air.   

I am heartened by the tiny things, the bright light that’s slowly melting away the patches of snow.  It won’t be long now.

Shadows
Fun in the pond!

A Walk In The Woods

A certain malaise came over me today.  Spring has arrived but the past couple days have been rain, sleet, slush, and snow.  After three or four days of sunshine and blue skies, it was a bit hard to take. I did the usual – cleaned house, did laundry, paid bills, tried to read a book, flipped thru some channels, but my heart just wasn’t in it.  I needed to wander in the woods.

Enough is enough. I grabbed my hiking gear and took off.  The sun never showed its face today, but mother nature provided a canopy of snowfall that was undeniably fantastic.  I caught the wonderful smell of the forest, and instantly felt the decompression start. Cares slipped away, as the sights, sounds, and smells wove their wonderful magic.  It has been a long winter. It felt good to be on the trail again.

Worm Moon

Wednesday marks the official start to spring in the Northern Hemisphere and just hours later, stargazers will be able to see something that won’t be visible again until 2020.

This full moon will be the third and final supermoon of the year with the next supermoon not set to rise until Feb. 9, 2020.

March’s full moon is always given the nickname of the Worm Moon.

The “Old Farmer’s Almanac” states: Traditionally, the moon we see in March is called the Full Worm Moon. At this time of the year, the ground begins to soften enough for earthworm casts to reappear, inviting robins and birds to feed—a true sign of spring.

It is usually considered the last Full Moon of winter. It is also called Lenten Moon, Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Chaste Moon, Sugar Moon, and Sap Moon.

Anybody up for a moonlight walk to welcome Spring? Happy Trails!

*Credit to the following website:

https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/spring-to-kick-off-with-final-supermoon-of-2019/70007723

Get A Grip

I ventured out yesterday with my hiking class.  It was a gorgeous day, warm temps, snow falling (again), and wonderful company.  We were unable to get to the trail head due to the vast amounts of snow, and the possibility of avalanche with the warmer conditions. Luckily for us, the road was plowed.

Each and everyone of us had the equipment we needed for a safe journey on the thin veneer of snow and ice.  There may have been a slight hesitation as we started out, but traction devices gave us a feeling of confidence as we traversed over ice as if it were bare ground.

As our adventure started I looked around at the variety of traction devices there were. Not that I am gear-obsessed,  but I do like the idea of having the right equipment at the right time.

Yaktrax:  I use these for shoveling the driveway – depending on the style (I’m talking roller bar), although they don’t always provide enough stability for tougher hiking situations.

Microspikes:  for me, are the way to go.  They are generally for backpacking, trail running in snow or light ice.  The spikes are usually ½” to ¼”.

Crampons: I don’t own and have never used crampons, although they do the same thing as microspikes: they provide traction.  They have LONG spikes, usually 1” in length. Their thick metal frames are usually designed for steep slopes, technical ice climbs, deep snow or rocky ground.

Snowshoes:  used for the same purpose – traction and increased foot area.  Snowshoes are mainly used for deep snow and powdery conditions.

My advice – get yourself a pair! Do some online comparisons, figure out what you will need them for and what you feel comfortable with.  Throw them by the backdoor, in your car, in your backpack.

In John Muir’s words – “The mountains are calling, and I must go!”

Happy Trails.


Traction Devices – Microspikes (Orange)
Studs (Left) Roller Bar (Right)