In a departure from my normal topic, running, I’d like to spend the next few days telling you a bit about a lovely weekend I spent in the Whites with the Appalachian Mountain Club.
I participated in an AMC Women’s Adventure Weekend – on the docket was 48 hours of kayaking and hiking near Pinkham Notch with like-minded women.
Part Five: The People
One of the main reasons I tend to travel alone is because I don’t have the patience to try scheduling things with my friends. In the past, when I waited for my friends to figure out their schedules, I often ended up missing out on activities I wanted to do. As a result, I now do the majority of my traveling and adventures alone.
The AMC Women’s Adventure Weekend was the perfect opportunity for me to get a fix for the outdoors that I’ve been craving, give kayaking a try, and go hiking somewhere I wouldn’t feel comfortable hiking alone (safety first!). This program also meant that I would meet new people who enjoy the same things I do.
I was kind of nervous about meeting a group of new people – I like meeting new people, but sometimes new environments and groups of new people can be overstimulating for me. It can be completely draining, which makes me awkward and somewhat anti-social. But I told myself this was a laid-back weekend in the woods, so I knew I’d be in for a good time no matter what.
What I didn’t know, though, was how much I would genuinely like the women in this group.
I had previously blogged about a yoga retreat I went on in April of this year, and while I enjoyed the experience and liked all of the women (and one man) on the trip, I felt that group had a tendency to break off into cliques. I hate to say it, but I did observe some very clear smaller groups that formed from the larger group.
The AMC group didn’t do that – we did our best to enjoy meals together (some people were slower in the mornings, and some wanted to relax in the evenings around dinner time), we enjoyed each other’s company during our activities, and we still wanted to socialize with each other after our activities.
We rescued each other from the shallows while kayaking. We offered to lend each other things like hats, and passed around bottles of lotion for everyone to use. We listened to each other’s stories about hiking, work, kids, and life in general. We cheered each other on. We waited for each other on the trails to check-in and make sure everyone was okay. We talked about past adventures, and adventures we could do together.
We couldn’t have been a more diverse group when it came to our lives, careers, and experiences with the outdoors. It made the weekend so much more interesting!
Our guide, Emily, was definitely a part of our group. She was quiet, but she was very sweet and so knowledgeable about the area. I learned about edible plants, geology of the area, and history of Pinkham Notch from her. I got to chat with her a bit one-on-one during our kayaking day, as well as hiking down Mount Washington, and she’s just one of those people I’d ask to be my friend if we lived closer to each other. I’m sure part of that is because she’s living the life I would love to live, so I’d live vicariously through her. But some of it is that she’s the type of genuine, nice person that I’ve been gravitating toward over the last year.
Another shout-out goes to Nate, our kayaking guide from Great Glen Trails. He was funny, and a lot of fun to kayak with. I’m not sure he entirely understood, or perhaps just didn’t appreciate, my reference to Beyonce when he was showing us “the box” with regards to proper form for efficient paddling (I swear, it looked like the Single Ladies video).
GIF Credit: Giphy.com
If you found this post while looking into your options for an AMC adventure and you’re on the fence, I highly encourage you to sign up. You won’t regret it!
I’m sad that the weekend is over – I would’ve liked for it to be a bit longer. But I’ll be able to think about all of the different things that I loved about it, and that will keep me going until the next adventure.
“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning.”
― Louis L’Amour