Does the idea of getting out and experiencing nature sound amazing and a little scary? It did to me when I first started heading out into the woods on my own. That reckless abandonment and curiosity I had as a child had been buried deep inside. As an adult I had fears of getting lost for days in the woods or being so out of shape that I couldn’t get myself back to my car. I wanted to remember what it felt like to be a kid. As a child, playing in the woods meant building a fort out of a random pile of sticks or spending an hour looking for the perfect smooth rock to skip across the creek.
I found myself with quite a bit more free time after my divorce. The first time I sat in my new little apartment alone, when the kids were at their dad’s house, it was eerily quiet. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was in my late thirties and had no real hobbies. I needed to find something to fill my time.
Shortly after my divorce I decided to take my first solo vacation. I planned a trip out to Colorado Springs. I hoped this new adventure would inspire me. I packed up my Prius and headed west. My dog Fernando, a 120 pound mastiff/lab mix, filled the passenger seat. The cute little cabin I rented was rather secluded. After turning off the highway I drove several miles into the mountains on a dirt road. The highway was the last place I had cell phone service. I spent the week relaxing in the old rocking chairs on the little wooden porch and exploring the surrounding mountains. This is where I rediscovered my love of hiking and the outdoors.
As soon as I made it back to the Midwest, I started looking for hiking trails in the area. I was out on the trails every weekend the kids weren’t with me and even sometimes a short hike on week days. Over the years since, I have hiked and backpacked all over, including some epic hiking adventures like Havasupai in Arizona and The Narrows in Zion National Park in Utah.
Before I started hiking regularly I was someone that had been overweight for years, I was depressed and I had no idea how to navigate the woods. I had no friends that hiked, so I watched a lot of Youtube videos and joined hiking Facebook groups to learn the do’s and don’ts of how to hike safely.
My new found love of the outdoors led to so many amazing changes in my life. In my first couple of years of hiking I lost almost 100 pounds, I went from going on hikes of 2-3 miles to backpacking trips that lasted days and covered 10-12 miles a day. Hiking had an equally impressive impact on my attitude. Each time I would step on the trail, I felt more confident. The hiking community is filled with incredible and supportive people. I have met some wonderful people and made some lifelong friends.
This is why I decided to create the Single Mom Adventurer blog. I want to give you the resources and confidence you need to get out there and enjoy mother nature safely and responsibly. Most people tell me they don’t know where to start or are worried they aren’t physically ready. I’m here to help calm your fears and answer your questions.