When the Adventurous Babes Society (ABS) began a year ago, the only thing we knew for certain was that we wanted to host an annual destination adventure where Adventurous Babes from across the country could meet and have fun! For our first go around, we hoped to have between 12 and 20 women. Eighteen wonderful women believed in us! We converged on Manitou Springs in Colorado, sporting our purple ABS T-Shirts, right along with the mud and rock slides. Fortunately for the town, we were made less of a mess!
No one knew everyone and a few of us knew no one. That, in itself, was a step out of the comfort zone in true ABS fashion! We started things off with hors d’ oeuvres and drinks on the veranda of the Cliff House, a charming hotel in the heart of Manitou. The next day we traveled to our first adventure in the Browns Canyon for a day of whitewater rafting. We were greeted with a fajita lunch buffet and then divided into three rafts and set afloat in the freezing, mountain waters. That didn’t stop us from the endless water fights between the rafts! Three of us went swimming… unexpectedly. About ¬æ of the way through, we climbed out of our rafts to scramble up a huge rock and jump into the frigid water. We are Adventurous Babes, after all!
On Saturday, a group of us went zip-lining where we ran, jumped (or crawled) over the edge of the cliffs, and let our spirits soar, some upside down! Another group trekked through caves with only a candle-lit lantern to show us the way, and finished off the morning by setting our fears aside to frolic upon an obstacle course that hovered over a 600 foot canyon! The afternoon was designated for free-time, so we explored the quaint mountain town of Manitou Springs ate frozen custard, got our palms read, or just relaxed. That evening, we met for dinner at the Crystal Park Cantina, enjoying our time with our new friends!
A few of us returned home on Sunday, but 11 stayed on to climb Pikes Peak, America’s most famous mountain! Our professional guides, Bill, Sandi, and Tom, of Pikes Peak Ascenders, suggested we begin our 13 mile hike at 2:00 a.m., one hour earlier than originally planned, to avoid the storms that were headed toward the mountain. So with headlamps glowing brightly, fresh with 30 minutes to 3 hours of sleep, we strapped on our packs filled with water and PB&J sandwiches, and began our trek to the top of that 14,000 foot mountain. Altitude got the best of four of us. When that happens, the only way to alleviate the headache, stomach ache, exhaustion, and dizziness, is to head to lower elevation. Kim made that turn back only two miles from the top, turning her 13 mile trek into 22, winning the prize for the furthest distance travelled that day! Fortunately, the mountain will remain there, waiting for anyone who wishes to try to conquer it again!
Exhaused but excited that we had beaten the storms, we looked forward to summiting and taking pictures of the views from the top of the world! Seven weary hikers reached the top of the mountain, just as the clouds engulfed it, leaving us with a visibility of about 20 feet in 20 degree temperatures. Fortunately, our guides had a nice, warm, 12 passenger van to bring us down the mountain and deposit us at our hotels where we promptly took long, hot showers and some, long, well-deserved naps.
We’re already thinking about our 2014 convention. We hope to double the number of attendees and will begin planning shortly! Some of the suggestions for next year’s convention are a trip to the Oregon area to climb Mt. St. Helens and enjoy everything the Pacific Coast has to offer; a cycling trip through New England stopping at bed and breakfasts along the way; a cruise with terrific excursions; hiking the Grand Canyon; and a visit to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania (think shooting academy, off roads driving school, ropes course, bike trails, and more, complete with first rate spa and 5-star accommodations!). We’d love to get your thoughts and suggestions for our next convention and hope you will join us! Until then, Happy Adventures!
We want to thank the wonderful organizations who believed in us and wanted to be a part of our first convention. Thank you to Coleman, GoRun Wichita, Brooks Running Shoes, ThumpBlu, Newton Running Shoes, The Bicycle Peddler, Running Buddies, Backwoods, Sam’s Club, Target, Lara Bars, Fit Chic’s Headbands, and Sephora for all the wonderful donations you made. A special thanks goes to Dr. Greg Holmberg of Holmberg Wellness Center for sponsoring our awesome convention T-Shirts! You have all helped to make our 1st Annual Convention a success!
Watch our convention video on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgaXCf8sBCk