Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2014 Women's AT Hike--Northern Virginia

I've got most of the details worked out. If you are interested in participating, check out the info below.

Spring 2014 Women's Appalachian Trail Section Hike – Northern Virginia
Do you enjoy challenging yourself?  Do you love being in the outdoors?  Have you ever wanted to hike on the Appalachian Trail? A group of adventurous mature women will be hiking the Appalachian Trail or AT, as it crosses West Virginia into Virginia this summer. Join us as we explore the flora, fauna and history of this area of the country.
The Challenge: We will be backpacking 53 miles on the Appalachian Trail from the Front Royal, VA to Harpers Ferry, WV.  This is a physically demanding journey.  We will each have to carry approx 30 lbs of gear and provisions covering 5 to 12 miles a day over the course of 7 days.
When: Sept 4-13, 2014. 
Where:  Meet-up in Harper's Ferry, WV, Thursday Sept 4th. The next morning, Friday Sept 5, we will shuttle to the Front Royal, Virginia to begin our hike. We will hike from Front Royal to Harper's Ferry.
Cost: $350. This will cover: food along the trail, camping fees, shuttle fees, AT window decal and three nights accommodations (dbl occupancy) in Harper's Ferry.  You are responsible for costs involved in transport to  to Harper's Ferry, meals in Harper's Ferry and purchase of any personal gear, equipment and souvenirs.
Gear:  You will need to provide your own backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent, trekking poles, clothes, rain gear, boots, mess kit (cup, plate, silverware), toiletries, personal items, flashlight and hydration system. I will send you sample gear lists and recommendations for packing. Your base weight (excluding food and water) should not exceed 20 lbs.  Please leave approx. 25% of your pack free to assist in carrying food and shared camping items. I will provide: maps, guidebooks, food, cooking utensils, stoves, rope, bear bags, first aid kit, trowel and TP, water filtration and purification system.
Recommended preparation:  Begin a physical training program now.  Focus on strengthening your legs and core, along with aerobic fitness. I suggest training with a Couch-to-5K program, adding squats, core work and distance hiking.  Research your gear and make purchases. Buy good hiking boots and start day hiking on weekends now. Plan a few two-to-three day backpacking trips in your area before Labor Day this year to prepare you for the trail. The rewards of being in good physical shape beforehand cannot be over emphasized.
Some details will accompany this flyer and others will be emailed as they develop.  There are numerous resources for information online. The best:

Sign-up: A quick "I'm in!" saves you a space until July 1, at which time, a deposit of $150 is due. Balance due at time of hike. This trip is limited to 8 women. Make checks payable to Denise Beno Anderson.

I'm super excited that you want to join us!  I'm already enjoying every delicious moment of this trip.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A week on the trail

We conquered it! All 42 miles of the Appalachian Trail in the state of Maryland has been hiked by some very brave women. The beginning was probably the worst for our little group. The rocks near the head of the trail, just outside of Pen-Mar Park, MD weren't your everyday rocks. These gave a new meaning to the word "rocks".  Actually, the term "boulder field scramble" most accurately described the challenge we faced right out of the gate.

Trail to High Rock

And of course, it was all uphill.

The second day in, we had rain. And boy did it rain! Tropical Storm Andrea was passing thru on the East coast and we hiked through it, for almost two days. We stayed in shelters two nights to prevent things from becoming wetter.  We did manage to dry out, take hot showers and have a great meal at an historic inn along with way.  We saw lots of historic areas and some interesting wildlife too.

Luna Moth

Snapping turtle

The views were amazing!!

White Rock Clifff

Weverton Cliffs

Wolfman and Grey Cloud, AT Thru Hikers
We met some great people, hiked through an historic area of the country, learned a lot and challenged our fortitude in going the distance. 

We did learn some things about hiking on the trail. So next time, we will do things a little differently. Definitely lighten the load.  I'm looking into using a sleeping hammock instead of tent for my sleeping arrangement. I will also take less food, we were not big eaters along the way. And add duct tape to the packing list.

I am falling in love with the Appalachian Trail. The more I hike it, the more I want to hike. I have plans to hike about 50 miles from Southern Virginia into Tennessee this fall with my partner, Alan. After returning home and one week of rest, I have continued to train for my second hike.  I am determined to hike more miles a day and keep up better with Alan on this upcoming hike.

I'm planning on hiking the whole AT, one section at a time, over the next several years.  I will be looking for hiking partners, organizing future groups and family hikes. Are you interested in hiking a section?  Do you have a group that is interested?  Let me know. I can assist you in your planning needs.  Or come along with me as I hike my next section. :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

White Blaze, here we come!

I've been getting really excited about my upcoming AT hike through Maryland with a couple of my good friends.  I've got all my gear, all my clothes and am working today on detailing the menu.  I have last night's Lentils with Onions and Ajwain drying in the dehydrator to take with us this weekend on our practice hike at Mohican State Forest.  Yesterday, I took the Katadyn water purifier apart to familiarize myself with it again and cleaned the filter. I also took at 2.5 mile walk in the neighborhood with Alan in my hiking boots. Tomorrow I'm doing more shopping for trail food.

Two yeas ago, in June of 2011, Alan and I hiked 40 some miles through the Southern Virginia Highlands.  It was beautiful country, but the hike was difficult.  My boots were all wrong, I didn't bring a sleeping bag and we were not as conditioned as we should have been for that hike. I hurt for days afterward. Alan and I spent a couple days on the trail grouching at each other too, as we learned to hike and camp together. I swore I would never hike with him again!  We have talked and worked things out since then and have decided to hike on the AT again this year in August or Sept, picking up where we left off.

So, in 2013, I have TWO section hikes planned!  W00t!  Now I've added another goal to my Bucket List--to hike the whole Appalachian Trail, a section at a time. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The D.Lab

Hi!  Welcome to my new professional blog.  My list of interests grows almost daily. This blog reflects my experiences with all the things I enjoy doing for work and play. 

I have a strong agricultural background.  I grew up on a small farm in North Central Indiana were we raised much of our own food. We butchered chickens in the summer, hogs and lambs in the fall.  I owned a few horses as a teen and participated in FFA and 4-H.

I have an AS in Recreation and Leisure Services. I served as Activities Director for the Warsaw Parks and Recreation Dept in Warsaw, Indiana for several years.  At this position, I gained experience with public relations, fund raising, staff supervision, event planning and organizing, community development, budgeting and business administration. 

I owned and operated a small organic farm in Central Ohio for several years. We sold eggs and meat in the Greater Columbus area. We participated in several farmer's markets. Even though I've had thousands of chickens in my life, I still enjoy being around chickens and a tasty chicken dinner!

I have done many other work in my life too, most of which I truly enjoyed.  I have been a camp counselor, a food server and service trainer, a spiritual workshop facilitator, a trail ride guide, a restaurant manager, office manager, and have held a few other interesting positions.

Life is great! I am looking for enjoyable employment, preferably in the leisure or agritourism field, which combines my strengths and knowledge in the areas of agriculture and event planning.