Day 2: Becoming an Outdoors Woman 2013

I was awake at 5:30 on Saturday morning, but after getting dressed I laid back down for awhile. They brought coffee to the camp at 6:15, so I got down and dirty with some caffeine and Aleve to give myself a little extra pain protection.

My first class was GPS for beginners. Even though Jon and I geocache, we use our phones to find the coordinates. I was curious about the actual GPS handhelds and how they differed from what we used and from our auto GPS. We walked around and played with the devices for a bit. I really liked it and am hoping to get one soon. I’ll probably start out cheap and move up later. For now, I’m good with something basic.

Need to get me one of these bad boys...
Need to get me one of these bad boys…

After lunch, my afternoon class was nature journaling. The class talked a little about what it was and what we were hoping to get out of it. Most of the others wanted something physical to keep. I wanted to know how I could do a better job at conveying my outdoors experiences online.

To put the whole nature journaling thing into practice, we went to one of the picnic areas to observe and take notes for awhile. We had tools to draw or collect things, but I took pictures and wrote, and the note taking ended up being mostly a free writing experience. The exercise was really relaxing, almost meditative. Even if I don’t start doing it on a regular basis, I’ll definitely be posting a journal blog from that session.

This little stream was one of my favorite journaling spots. So relaxing...
This little stream was one of my favorite journaling spots. So relaxing…

I chilled at the dining hall lounge for a little bit, using the Wi-Fi to do some updates and visiting with another attendee of both the weekend event and the nature journaling class. I’d been going back and forth about doing the mini Race for the Cure that BOW was holding to support the Susan G. Komen foundation. I was going to support it with a donation, but I couldn’t decide if I was up for the walk yet. It was 1.25 miles, which isn’t a lot, but more than I’ve done all at once in several years.

I finally decided to do it, figuring I’d be late for dinner, probably, but really wanting to push myself. So I committed. Jami, the BOW coordinator, offered to walk with me. I warned her we might miss dinner but she came anyway. I’m glad she did. The company and motivation were great. I don’t know if I would have given up if she hasn’t been there. Maybe, but maybe not.

The walk was hard, mostly because of the hills I think. But each hill was a small accomplishment inside the big accomplishment of the walk itself.  In the last stretch, two sisters, older women who’d finished their walk, joined us to finish the lap. The support and friendliness was overwhelming and totally worth the hills.  We made it right as dinner was starting. As we got closer to the end, I warned the others I was going to collapse on a bench the minute we got back. But when we got there, I stayed upright. Here’s the thing…once the walk itself was over, my recovery was really quick. Yeah, I was fatigued and hot, but I don’t think it even took 30 seconds for my breathing and heart rate to go back to normal, and I was nowhere near as exhausted as I’d expected to be.

After dinner, I went to another mini session. This one was about photo editing in Picasa. I’ve had Picasa for awhile now, but haven’t done anything with it, so it was nice to see some of the nifty little things I could do.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to the campfire. By that time I was exhausted and a little unsure about walking that long stretch to the fire and then back to cabin in the dark. However, some of the volunteers gave me a ride to the fire, and Jami gave me a ride to the cabin later. I got to experience the campfire and even had a s’more.

The second night’s shower was much better thanks to the learning curve. I was in bed a little later than the night before, but I slept through the night and actually ended up sleeping in on Sunday morning.


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