My answer would have been, Heck NO before this happened.  I have been a Hike Like A Woman Ambassador for a year now and have met some very cool women.  A few of us chat regular on Skype and Messanger.  How well do you really know someone though chatting online?  That is the question I asked myself as I drove towards Kentucky to pick up Annie from Annie’s Adventures.

As I slowly rolled the car down her street, I spotted her.  She was on her porch and looked as anxious about this road trip as me. I rolled down my window and threw my hands in the air.  She laughed.  All apprehension was gone.  We loaded up her gear and headed out for Colorado.

We talked, laughed, sang and drank mochas!  We just clicked like cousins.  Let’s be real…sisters never really get along, do they?  I don’t know for sure…I had two brothers.  Now, I was fixing to be meeting up with a whole group of women to camp and celebrate what an amazing year we all had as Hike Like A Woman Ambassadors and to meet each other in person in contrast to all of our coordination online.  Were all these women going to be as real as they seemed online?  Annie was…so I hoped so.

We made it to Denver about midnight, crashed for the night and after a good breakfast in the morning with a Denver family member, we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park.  We both was in awe.  We ran out of words to explain how beautiful and spacious this amazing area was.  We hiked to Adam Falls.  The altitude difference hit us even on this short trail.  We both was able to laugh, regardless.  We captured the beauty of the falls and headed back out to make it to the HLAW Retreat on time.

We drove over 3 more hours to get there. We drove until I was tired of driving.  I just wanted out of the car.  I wanted to teleport but my powers failed me.  We laughed at every junction that we turned…another hour…another 25 minutes…another 12 minutes…the last mile and half – well it went by fast!

We was met by Rebecca, the founder and mastermind behind HLAW.  We also found our partner in Shenanigans, Jill from The Lollygaggers.  There was hugs and tears of joy.  Each woman we met was a cool as they seemed online.  Some even impressed me more before the weekend was over than I had realized from them online.  Kindness and laughter filled our camping area.  I am truly blessed to know these women and be a part of this amazing HLAW online community.  We had an amazing retreat filled with fun.  The weekend ended too fast and found us on the road again.

We jaunted over to Colorado Springs for the night.  Another 3 plus hour ride.  We had Kate with us for the ride and the chatter was endless.  We even named my car…Harvey.  Mostly because he handled the mountain curves like Kevin Harvick…in like a lion and out like a lion…VROOM.  Early the next morning we caught the 8 a.m. cog train up to Pike’s Peak.  Seeing the variations in the landscape as we slowly climbed the track to the peak was incredible.  Spotting wildlife kept us busy too.  When we arrived at the top and walked around, we was simply amazed.  We was above the clouds.  Snow flurries were falling.  It was breathtaking.

Our plan after the train ride was to visit the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, but it was raining.  We decided to drive around the Garden of Gods instead.  We must have drove some loops 5 times, at least.   The rain finally broke and we jumped out and finally got to hike around the are some.  We laughed and carried on, glad to be freed from the car.  We was determined not to let the rain ruin our adventures.

The next morning we made our way over to Manitou Cliff Dwellings to explore that before hitting the long road to home.  We was impressed by the dwellings, the history and culture.  We wished there was more to explore there.

As we drove towards home, I couldn’t help but thank Annie.  She had truly been the best road tripping adventurist I could have asked for!  She did all the navigating.  She pointed, I steered.  We agreed on everything, even to divide Kansas up into two states because it is way to long of a drive through it on Hwy 70.

If I ever question whether to step out on a limb and take an adventure with a stranger again, I say…are you crazy?  What’s the odds of meeting someone that cool ever again?  There will never be another Annie!

TeamHLAW is a Force of Nature!


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