I was going to post this photo yesterday since a NH foliage hike I am hosting in October got announced for @womenwhohike. It filled up so fast I didn’t have time to take a break from work to write a caption trying to persuade you all to sign up. So instead I am posting today with a sappy caption about this community.
I got the attendee list for the upcoming hike last night and was running through the names. I got weirdly emotional running through the list featuring a mix of familiar and unknown names. I felt humbled, excited, and joyous about the opportunity to connect with these women on the trail. The unknown names on the list mean I get to connect with someone new. The familiar names mean I get to catch up about all the adventures I have seeing them post about since the last time we met. When I meet or see again the faces that belong to those names I know I will be doing so in one of my favorite places during my favorite time of year. I know they will see the side of me that I love most.
There are endless possibilities in these unknown names. Once unknown names have turned into incredible friendships and adventures. Next weekend I am hiking the Pemi Loop in just 2 days with a woman I have met just once. I am in group chats with members talking about goals, trips, & plans. My October is filled with hiking plans with WWH friends. One of the more powerful examples is a story from this summer when one of my worst nightmares happened - I got stuck in a flash flood in AZ. I posted a story about it on instagram once I was safe. >50 women from the community - some I had met, others I just connect with over social media - reached out to me. They wanted to make sure I was safe. They offered rides, places to stay, or anything they could to make the situation a bit easier. I don’t have words to express how grateful I felt to receive such love & support during a traumatic time.
I know these women get me because they get it. What is “it” you ask? “It” is hard to define because it is more of a feeling - a feeling of belonging on the trail, a feeling of empowerment through this community, a feeling of inspiration from people's adventures. Kind of feels like home.