I went to the REI Outessa Summit in hopes of making new outdoor loving girlfriends, to learn more about the outdoor sports I already love, and to find new passions to put my time and energy into. I went to this event with many hopes in mind, but I came home with so much more than I had anticipated. I came home already counting the days until next year's summit because I will totally be planning to go EVERY year! At the end of part 1 in this two-part series, I went to bed sweaty, dirty, and extremely happy from all that I had experienced so far. I couldn't imagine how the weekend could get any better, but it totally would.
As we pulled up to the Dallas Love Field Airport, I kissed the Hippy Hubby goodbye and loaded all of my camping gear onto my back. I was ready for a weekend of summiting mountains, kayaking, camping under the stars, and most of all making friends with other badass outdoor loving chicks at the first ever REI Outessa Summit. I stumbled clumsily towards the airport check-counter with my huge load of gear and smiled at the Southwest Airlines representative, happy to relieve myself of the massive weight that all my gear was putting on my small frame. I couldn't help but speculate how my weekend would go. Even though I had been putting my schedule of classes together for months before this event, I still spent all of my travel time looking over the hundreds of classes I could take that weekend. Before I even landed in Salt Lake City, Utah, I had once again rearranged my schedule for the weekend to fit my changing moods. Continue reading “Finding My Tribe Out In The Wild – My Adventures At The First Ever REI Outessa Summit Part 1”
To the avid hiker 15 miles may not seem that far, but to a 6-year-old and his 2 parents, carrying enough for three between their two heavy packs, it can feel like crossing a continent. Our family backpacking trip was going far better than planned, but we still had 6 miles to finish our goal and reach our car. On the third morning, we awoke to the sky beginning to lighten, signaling the beginning of a new day. Once again, Syfy had slept like a baby in his sleeping bag, with no pad underneath him. Letting Syfy sleep in a little longer, I climbed out of my hammock and crawled into the tent to begin the daily ritual of making breakfast and packing up our camp. Today we would accomplish our goal as a family, and finish hiking the Butterfield Hiking Trail. Continue reading “How 15 Miles On Foot Changed Our Outlooks – Hippy Family Backpacking Trip Part 4”
Our first day on the Butterfield Hiking trail was definitely the hardest day of our backpacking trip. More than once we questioned our abilities to complete the task but found certain comforts in falling asleep together under one tent. While Syfy slept like a baby, the Hippy Hubby and I were up nearly all night long trying to find comfort on a very hard rock for our bed. I had made the mistake of not buying us sleeping pads, and we both paid for it with bruises lining our hips and dark circles under our eyes. I wouldn't make that mistake EVER again. Continue reading “Joy Comes From Hanging In The Trees – Hippy Family Backpacking Trip Part 3”
The car trip from Dallas, TX to Devil's Den State Park in Arkansas, only took us 4 1/2 hours. Even though I have been to Arkansas before for a wakeboarding trip, I had never been up in Devil's Den and was totally blown away by just how different it was. The flat plains of Texas began to turn into rolling hills, like mountains to a native Texan, but I am not a native Texan. As we entered Devil's Den State Park, Syfy and I both became very excited. With every turn around each tight corner, we drove deeper and deeper into the woods and farther away from society. Overwhelmed with happiness, I opened my window so that I could take huge breaths of the fresh air that my lungs missed while living in the city. “This is the BEST day ever!” Syfy shouted, opening his window to feel the cool forest air outside. I couldn't help but agree with him. This WAS looking like one of the best days ever. Continue reading “Coming Together Under One Magnificent Tent – Hippy Family Backpacking Trip Part 2”
I was so excited for our very first family backpacking trip, I could barely sleep the week before the trip. I had so many things to take care of; backpacks to pack, last minute shopping trips that needed to be made, and the rest of our dehydrated meals needed to be put together. So much time had been put into this trip, I was hoping that this didn't turn out to be a huge flop. I didn't want my family to decide that they absolutely hated camping and backpacking, because of a National Lampoon's style vacation. I wanted everything to be perfect, but you never can count on things going exactly as planned when you are taking your family out into the great outdoors! This perfect image in my head would have been a much less memorable vacation, than the one that we actually experienced. Continue reading “Preparing My Family For The Butterfield Hiking Trail – Hippy Family Backpacking Trip Part 1”
Raise your hand if you love to play outdoors but wish you had some outdoor-loving girlfriends that thoroughly enjoyed playing out in nature with you? I can totally understand that feeling! As a passionate lover of pretty much all outdoor sports, I am always wishing I had girlfriends that wanted to go out in the wild with me! Where are my backpacking and kayaking girls? How about my climbing and biking girls? Let's all come play together during a weekend of fun that only a group of outdoor loving ladies can appreciate! Continue reading “Let's Play Outdoors Together! Join Me At Outessa The Perfect Outdoor Retreat For Adventure Loving Women”