For the final installment of One Crazy Trip, Hike Like A Woman’s Chief Adventure Officer Annie tells us about the time she spent at the Hike Like A Woman Retreat and what makes Hike Like A Woman so special. Spoiler alert: it the women behind it.

The final leg of the trip started by meeting fellow Ambassador Marianne in Boulder! She had flown all the way in from Ecuador for the retreat and I was her ride to Wyoming. A friend dropped her off, we grabbed some coffee and managed to shove Marianne’s huge suitcase into my already packed Rav4 before we hit the road.

A couple hours later, after beating Rebecca to the lodge and making a run into town for supplies, the second ever Hike Like A Woman Ambassador Retreat was on! Women from across the globe began converging on the lodge. Jessica from Iowa, Christina from Maryland, Lori from Canada, Mara from Arkansas, April from Utah, Michelle from Tennessee, Sarah from Oregon, Jana, Mickey, & Rebecca from Wyoming, Amanda & Jill from Colorado and more!

The lodge was rustic, but all that us wild women needed. Heck this time we had running water, a full kitchen and bathrooms, it seemed like a luxury compared to camping on the White River the previous year and I can’t say I was disappointed either!

Now I could go into the details of our Ambassador Retreat, about how we put on skits and performed them to the roaring laughter and cheers of our fellow Ambassadors. How we used Sharpies to draw on coffee mugs, or how Jessica captured a hummingbird that found its way into our lodge and about the majestic beauty of the Snowy Range Mountains but I want to tell you something more important.

I want to tell you about how year after year, working with this site, how I’m continually awe struck by the women who comprise Hike Like A Woman and how the bonds that are built are ones to endure time. How these everyday women are nothing more than themselves and I couldn’t love them anymore for it.

This year was just our second ever Ambassador Retreat and so the first retreat where two different classes of Ambassadors came together. You might expect some kind of competition between classes of Ambassadors and as usual with Hike Like A Woman the only competition was to see who could feel like more of a fool while performing our Ambassador skits. There was no one trying to one up each other, no my class is better than your class or anyone making another feel they belonged any less for being with the site for less time. No high school attitudes or games, just what I come to love from Hike Like A Woman.

The new class was no different from the Alumni, they had represented themselves truthfully on Social Media, which a huge breath of fresh air in this modern age of hiding behind an online persona. Surprises about someone were restricted to them being shorter or taller than you thought from pictures you had seen online.

One thing that never ceases to truly touch my heart with each new woman I meet through Hike Like A Woman is how amazing they are and how different we are while sharing so much at the same time. I’ve always been a “people person”, I love meeting new people from different places and walks of life so it’s no different here other than I feel so much more kinship with my wild sisters. Sitting down and talking with each one of them, learning about them, the hardships they’ve endured and how those helped to form who they are. Many of the life lessons these women learned may not have come from the same hardship or heartache as another but the life lesson is still learned, nonetheless.

Something I’ve noticed with all of us who actively contribute to Hike Like A Woman, Staff or Ambassadors is the hardships and heartaches they live through is turned into personal growth. Does not seem to matter what the hardship is or the condition of the heartache, we all suffer through it but come out the other side a better person for it. Not a single Staff Member or Ambassador I have met in person is one to wallow in self pity, at least not for very long as we are all human but everyone of them will pick themselves right back up, dust themselves off and trudge right along, taking new life lessons with them as they go.

Wyoming is a beautiful state, if you ever have a chance, go check it out, but the most beautiful thing in Wyoming as far at the Hike Like A Woman Ambassador Retreat is concerned, is the women. Strong, reliable, dependable, amazingly beautiful wild women, inside & out.

Truth is, the same qualities I find in our Staff & Ambassadors are the same qualities that are evident in our community and following. I see it in the comments on our social media pages, the posts our community makes to our page and in our locals groups. That’s why when I struggle for motivation to keep going or to write an article, I simply scroll through and find my inspiration again. While we sit behind the scenes working to generate content, gear reviews, events, bring inspiration, education, & encouragement to you, little do you know, you offer us the same.

Stay beautiful ladies

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