A Message From CaseyBlog March 15, 2016
I put out a query to the West Branch Pond Camp group asking if anyone would be interested and willing to write her own synopsis of the weekend and what it meant to her. I thought you all would like to hear a different voice and a different perspective than mine. Casey quickly volunteered and following are her thoughts on our weekend away.
Now, here’s Casey:
I moved to southern Maine from Colorado a year and a half ago. Being from Denver, you can probably imagine that the Rocky Mountains were a big part of my life. Trail running, hiking, and climbing 14ers were a regular part of life for me out West. When I arrived in Maine, so happy to have a constant source of moving water at my feet (Willard Beach YAY!!), I didn’t think much about not being so close to the hills. Until I realized getting to the mountains of Maine isn’t a simple 20-minute drive west. It takes a decent amount of effort to get to the mountains when you live in South Portland. Enter the Ladies Adventure Club.
I have never been a “joiner” by nature, but my sister, Shea, encouraged me to join the Club as a way to meet new friends and exploring the great outdoors of Maine. That night at Gillian’s house when we all gathered and filled her window with colorful Post-It notes filled with adventures great and small – I felt like this was definitely the club for me. When the opportunity for our first annual winter adventure came around, I pounced. I knew zero about where we were going, who would be there, or what the conditions would be like. All I knew was I had to go.
West Branch Pond Camps was my first big adventure in the state of Maine. And it did not disappoint. The cabins were cozy, the food was delicious (delicious, I say), the scenery was beautiful, the snow was plentiful enough, and the company was entirely entertaining. And the food was delicious. Each woman on the trip brought some unique part of herself along – I feel so lucky to have been surrounded by such a diverse, warm, intelligent, witty group of women. Among us were bee keepers, a fungus expert, mothers and daughters and sisters and childhood friends, an ER doctor, a chef, book makers, tragicmom.com, cancer survivors, runners, story tellers, world travelers, even a former ski patrol-er! Needless to say, there was never a dull moment.
The Big Hike on Saturday was a memorable one. Climbing practically straight up the side of a mountain in snowshoes, through thick brush, over creeks, under limbs, and across a frozen lake was not just a much-needed physical challenge, but for me, it was a mental and emotional challenge. I don’t think any one among us could have anticipated the amount of times a group of grown-*ss, adult women would ask “are we there yet?” I think I could write a few chapters on the different parts of that journey, but I won’t go into great detail here. What I will say is that teamwork, support, and lots of laughter made for a memorable adventure, one I am so grateful to have been a part of. I remember one point on the hike I thought (maybe out loud?) “This is living.”
If you have yet to make it on a day-trip adventure outdoors – I highly encourage you to join. Fast or slow, young or old, experienced or beginner, there is a place for us all. There’s no judgement, no leaving anyone behind. There is only a feeling of belonging and pushing through the comfort zone: learning something new about yourself and those around you.
Thank you, Gillian, for organizing and for keeping us going.