Women Hiking Wisconsin hike Blue Mound State Park
One of my favorite parts of hiking is finding people to hike with. There's something about a common love of strutting through nature that instantly draws me to a person. Knowing that I could say, at any moment, "want to go for a hike this weekend?" and get back an excited "yes!" is one of the best feelings.
So hiking with 29 other women was remarkable.
Thirty women (ages 11-72) and one dog gathered for Women Hiking Wisconsin's second group hike at Blue Mound State Park. After introducing ourselves, mapping out our plan, and equipped with the knowledge that we all love hiking, we took off on the Pleasure Valley Trail.
Some of us got a little lost along the way, but we were still able to have fun even in our disoriented states. We saw a prairie full of wildflowers, many lovely rocks/fossils, and stunning greenery.
I loved seeing how one woman would get excited about a stream flowing through the woods, while another would stop to smell every flower. Some shot pictures, while others preferred a technology-free walk. Each of us pushed ourselves to keep hiking, even when we got tired. Each of us used our bodies to clear our minds.
I think there's something so special and empowering about hiking with women only. I felt like I could be myself and these women would accept that. We laughed and told stories and encouraged each other to keep going. Together we hiked without judgement or pressure.
The hike, a little more than six miles for the stragglers at the end (myself included), was wonderful. I am thankful for my body being able to do the work and for the new friendships I made.
Summer and wildflowers and leaves on trees are ephemeral. But the bond I felt with these women is not. It will last.