This 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!
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!
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!
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.