New Boots and Panama Rocks!

Well, hello to another day!  My best friend, Linda has got me out hiking more by introducing me to Geocaching.  If you don’t know what that is, please look at the geocaching.com website and check it out.  It is good family fun, works your brain and gets you outside!

I met a wonderful woman on my recent Wild Woman Weekend, Shelly. She is as outdoors as you can get.  I love that she is giving me many good lessons about backpacking and hiking.  Shelly looks me in the eyes and tells me like it is!  I need a woman like her in my life!  She even told me her BEAR story!!!  I hope to never, ever meet a bear unless it is so far away it is a blob and maybe not even then.

Shelly went with me to EMS to shop for a new pair of boots.  It was very educational and no less entertaining with my friend Shelly with me.  My current boots really hurt my ankles after wearing them for just a few hours.  They are very heavy as well.  I know I need good support, I want a boot that goes over my ankle and I would like a lightweight boot. EMS had a good selection and I tried on every single pair of boots they had.  The Keen Mid WP boots were my final selection.  I wore them for a couple hours at work the next day and felt fine.  Then I wore them on a short hike around the Joe Panza trail.  Slowly breaking them in and getting my feet used to real boots.

 

Since I last wrote I have been hiking a couple different places, Letchworth State Park, Chestnut Ridge Park and other local parks mainly.  My main mission is to wear my day pack with a little weight and just put one foot in front of the other.  I really enjoyed hiking with my mom at Letchworth State Park.  We had to go off trail to find a geocache and my mom was a trooper!  She climbed a hill, slid on her butt down the hill (only about 3 feet but, STILL!) and smiled and laughed all the way through it.  My mom is 69 going on 25.  She loves nature and outdoors, but we never did anything like this together before and it was amazing.  I’m so glad we did that together.   Here is a picture of my beautiful mother on our hike!
IMG_20151012_144503304This past weekend I went to Panama, New York and visited the Panama Rocks Park with the Buffalo Outdoor Meetup Group.  What a spectacular geological rock formation!  It is so interesting to learn how the earth moved and made these HUGE rocks pile on top of each other so many years ago!  It was really amazing!  Panama Rocks has been a park since 1885.  So amazing cool treeIt was fun to climb up on the rocks for a while, until I realized I wasn’t as young as I used to be.  I didn’t want to be airlifted out of there!  It did make me think of the Appalachian Trail and I wondered if I would encounter anything like this on the Trail.

Me and my BFF Tight quarters Happy three muskateersThe Three Musketeers.

If you live nearby, you should really check it out.  We drove 90 minutes to see it and it was worth it!

Oh, and here is a picture of my new boots!IMG_20151024_134124306  Happy Hiking!

Wild Women Weekend

IMG_20151002_111836798This past weekend I enjoyed the friendship of nearly 100 women.  We all converged upon Grand Island, NY to attend the Wild Women Weekend.  The Weekend offers women the opportunity to try new activities under the watchful eye of trained leaders. Some of the workshops were ziplining, horseback riding, zentangle, archery, tapping into your intuition, embracing your feminine power, self defense, walking in nature, foraging for wild edibles, tai chi, skeet shooting and others.

My workshops were horseback riding, archery, walking in nature and foraging.  I won’t bore you or me with lack luster details of Friday, except to say I was with my girlfriends in a log cabin at a beautiful campground.  We had a campfire, drinks, laughs and just a really great time getting to know each other.

Saturday started very early with me waking at 6:30 am.  Horseback riding was first on my agenda.  Breakfast was in the opposite direction, so I gave my breakfast coupon to my friend and went straight to the stables.  There were about 15 women in our morning ride.  Lucy the white mare was assigned to carry me around the trails for 45 minutes of joy!  Well, Lucy was a follower.  Much like myself.  If the horse in front of me was trotting, so was Lucy.  If the horse in front of me stopped for a bite of grass, so did Lucy.  Luckily, that meant she didn’t wander or do anything to scare me.  She was a solid, happy girl.  I’m glad I went, but my thighs and legs are still sore!

Lucy is a good girl.
Lucy is a good girl.

My next adventure was archery.  Cabela’s sponsored this workshop and provided two people to train us ladies on how to properly shoot a crossbow and recurve bow.  I started by shooting the recurve bow.  The young man in charged patiently showed me how to hold my hands, how far to pull it back and guided my aim.  I hit the wood behind the target, the wood next to the target and finally, the TARGET!  After a few more shots I finally shot the middle of the target!  It was a lot of fun and I would love to do that again!  The crossbow was scary to me.  It seemed too powerful and dangerous.  I just wasn’t sure about it.  Then I remembered what this weekend was all about – trying new things!  The young lady in charge showed me how to prime the bow with all the strings and clips.  I’m sure I am not using the correct terms for these things.  Anyway, she encouraged me to look through the scope, aim for the target and when I was comfortable and ready to put my finger on the trigger and shoot.  Well, I hit the target, EXACTLY where I was aiming!  I was stunned how powerful I felt!  What a great experience!

IMG_20151003_105451576 (1)
Recurve Bow
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Crossbow

My last two workshops were more subdued, but thoroughly educational.  I walked in nature and learned about foraging.  While walking in nature we identified plants, flowers, trees and wildlife.  We walked on a trail into the woods and it was very peaceful.  The Naturalist was very knowledgeable and patient with all our questions.  I’ll never forget what a New England Aster looks like or a Dogwood shrub (Ruff rrrruuffff) or Buck Thorn tree.  The foraging workshop taught me the many types of plants and trees that we can eat and are easily (or not) found in the wild.  Dandelion, plantain, wood sorrel, to name just a few.  I even chewed on fir tree needles.  They gave me fresh breath!  It was like tasting Christmas!

On my nature walk. It was 50 degrees and sprinkling.
On my nature walk. It was 50 degrees and sprinkling.

The overwhelmingly best part of the entire weekend was meeting like minded women.  Women who enjoyed the outdoors, nature and adventure just as much as I do!  I met some great new friends.