Backpacking on the Perry Lake Trail

Join us for a new adventure on the Perry Lake Trail.  We will enjoy a new experience on the Perry Lake Trail by backpacking approximately 10-12 miles. We will load up our packs and explore the trail from a different vantage point than in the past by taking everything we need on our backs!  Although this is a beginning backpacking adventure, the trail is rated as moderately difficult and strenuous due to several steep inclines and declines as well as rough uneven terrain.  This will be a challenging adventure but a good experience for future backpacking adventures.

This adventure begins on Friday April 23rd at 1pm and should end Saturday April 24th mid to late afternoon.

We will talk about different packing and loading techniques for your pack, share some of the gear we love and hopefully demonstrate some HAMMOCK CAMPING – weather permitting. We are fair weather hammock campers!

When:  Friday April 23rd – Saturday April 24th

Check in time:  Friday April 23rd, 1:30pm

Estimated completion time: Saturday April 24th, mid-afternoon

What are you paying for?  We’ve done all the planning, made reservations, made contact with USACE and have a plan if an emergency arises. We’ve also pre-hiked and chosen a campground.  We’ll ensure that we have filtered drinking and cooking water, firewood and s’mores for dessert!  In addition, we’ll provide you with a gear list, clothing suggestions and a pack weigh in prior to the event.  Two experienced Dirty Girl Guides will be with you every step of the way!

Journey to the Sandhill Cranes

Journey to the Sandhill Cranes
We have long wanted to experience the magic of the Sandhill Crane migration and this is the year that we will do it!  Join us for an amazing journey to see one of the great migration stories of the world. Over the last several months, we have developed contacts in Nebraska, spoken to local guides and worked to design a unique adventure weekend.  Pricing includes lodging and multiple tours, as well as the ease of knowing that you will be with friends and that DGA is taking care of all the details.   This will be an excellent adventure.
Check out this video about the  Sandhill Crane Migration
 
Here are the details: 
When:  March 26th -28th, 2021
Where:  North Platte, Nebraska
What:  You will travel on Friday (carpooling encouraged) to arrive in North Platte before bed.  We’re hoping that you arrive before dinner so that we can spend the evening together.  The drive from Topeka area is about 6 hours.
Saturday 3/27/2021
Before sunrise we have arranged bus service to transport us to a river blind where we will have the opportunity to observe the Sandhill Cranes wake up on the river and fly into the fields – this experience has been described as deeply moving and beautiful.  A roost is never completely quiet. In the morning as you arrive at the blind in the full dark, the cooing and murmuring of the Cranes will have continued unabated from the night before. As the dawn approaches, the noise and activity on the roost will rise to a crescendo. A few small groups will take wing until finally the air will reverberate with thousands of flapping wings as the entire roost rises to greet the day.
1:30pm Gather to load the guided tour bus which will take us to several locations to observe the Sandhill Cranes.  The 2+ hour tour will take you through the meadows and crop fields of rural Lincoln County where the Sandhill Cranes spend the bulk of their day. Here they will feed on waste grain and insects, but most of all they will dance! Scientists believe the dancing triggers hormones that will insure a successful nesting season and it strengthens the pair bonds. The bus provides an excellent elevated viewing platform, and your Guide will stop wherever large flocks of Cranes have congregated. The tour also includes educational information about the Sandhill Cranes, their time in the North Platte area and the migration.
After an early-ish dinner we will re-board the bus and travel back to a river blind to watch the Sandhill Cranes return to their sandbar for the night.  This is their safe haven through the night and is an awesome sight to see.  There is nothing quite like watching the sunset in a blind on the river next to a roost with thousands of Sandhill Cranes. They will leave their feeding and loafing grounds in the late afternoon, then as sunset nears, will make their way to the safety of the river to spend the night. As the sun sets their loud raucous calls will quiet to cooing and murmuring, with the occasional loud honk.
In between these planned adventures, we will have some flex time.  You can choose to relax at the hotel (pool and hot tub available), join us for a hike on the North Platte trail system or explore shopping in the area.
Sunday 3/28/2021
Before sunrise we will hop on the tour bus for a ride to a private location where we will have the opportunity to see the Greater Prairie Chickens.  These birds are now rare and are listed on the Vulnerable population list of species.  In the spring the hearts of the Nebraska Greater Prairie Chickens turn toward love. To successfully attract a female mate, the male Prairie Chickens must impress them with their dancing prowess. Males will gather in large numbers on dancing grounds knowns as leks. They will cackle, jump and stomp their feet, sometimes scuffling with a rival. Then they will scrunch down and inflate their bright orange neck sacks and emit an eerie booming sound.
After this adventure, we will likely have some lunch, maybe stop into a couple of shops then head home to Kansas with our hearts and minds full of memories and a desire to sleep a little late on Monday.
COST: 
$350 per person for Club Members
$400 for non-members
This includes the following:
2 nights in LaQuinta
     (rooms are available for double occupancy – find a roommate!)
Breakfast both days
4 guided viewing events some on private land
Transportation to all viewings and tours
This doesn’t include lunches/dinners
BRING:
Personal belongings
Warm clothing, sturdy shoes
Binoculars
Camera
Pocket money for incidentals
NO REFUNDS AVAILABLE 30 DAYS BEFORE THE TRIP
Covid -19 Considerations
Buses will allow for us to be spaced out and masked – if maximum participants sign up we will have 2 busses.
We will work to follow all social distancing, masking and sanitation guidelines to ensure safety throughout this adventure.  Our tour guide service is dedicated to this as well.

Mindful Monday Session 4

Join us each Monday in January to cultivate mindfulness in your daily life.  Mindfulness is a wonderful tool to support us in our daily lives.  It is a researched based practice that is shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.  

The class will consist of 4 in person sessions during which we will  discuss how to incorporate mindful practices into our daily lives.  We will discuss, practice and create something in each session.   There will be weekly “homework” assignments to support the process.  As with many Dirty Girl Adventures, a focus on mindfully connecting with nature will be emphasized.  The 5th session will be a mindful walking experience to celebrate our connection to nature.  

Monday sessions are at Compass Point 800 North Kansas Avenue from 6:15 – 8:00pm the location for the Mindful Mile will be TBD with a start time of 10:30am

Session Dates are Mondays in January – 4th, 11th, 18th and 23rd with a bonus Mindful Miles experience on January 30th starting at 10:30am.  We will walk silently on a beautiful trail and observe the Kansas River prior to breaking our silence.

Denise Selbee-Koch has been a Social Worker and Outdoor Adventurer for almost 30 years.   Her personal mindfulness practice has significantly deepened within the last 8 years and she is eager to teach and support others in the development of their own practices.  Denise’s focus is on connection with nature and nature processes to support mindful intention within her daily living.

COVID-19 Procedures:  We will follow all current guidelines for gathering including social distancing, masks and sanitizing throughout this class.

Mindful Mondays: 4 Class Sessions + 1 Mindful Mile

Join us each Monday in January to cultivate mindfulness in your daily life.  Mindfulness is a wonderful tool to support us in our daily lives.  It is a researched based practice that is shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.  

The class will consist of 4 in person sessions during which we will  discuss how to incorporate mindful practices into our daily lives.  We will discuss, practice and create something in each session.   There will be weekly “homework” assignments to support the process.  As with many Dirty Girl Adventures, a focus on mindfully connecting with nature will be emphasized.  The 5th session will be a mindful walking experience to celebrate our connection to nature.  

Monday sessions are at Compass Point 800 North Kansas Avenue from 6:15 – 8:00pm the location for the Mindful Mile will be TBD with a start time of 10:30am

Session Dates are Mondays in January – 4th, 11th, 18th and 23rd with a bonus Mindful Miles experience on January 30th starting at 10:30am.  We will walk silently on a beautiful trail and observe the Kansas River prior to breaking our silence.

Denise Selbee-Koch has been a Social Worker and Outdoor Adventurer for almost 30 years.   Her personal mindfulness practice has significantly deepened within the last 8 years and she is eager to teach and support others in the development of their own practices.  Denise’s focus is on connection with nature and nature processes to support mindful intention within her daily living.

COVID-19 Procedures:  We will follow all current guidelines for gathering including social distancing, masks and sanitizing throughout this class.

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Mary Hogan

Back in 2014 when Mary Hogan heard about Dirty Girl Adventures from a co-worker, she had no idea it would end up changing her life for the better. She went home from work that day, did some research and signed up for a kayaking event at Lake Perry later that month. 

“I’d always been a water girl. I grew up boating and had done lots of canoeing in my life,” says Mary. 

In fact, on a family canoeing trip years prior, she had to rent a kayak because the outfitter ran out of canoe rentals. She enjoyed the kayak and decided to purchase one, but never had anyone to go with. 

After retirement, Mary was in a wired state-of-mind. She didn’t have her co-workers to talk to every day or much of a reason to leave the house. Everything worked itself out for her after joining Dirty Girl Adventures. She found an empowering clan of women who enjoyed outdoor adventure and other similar activities as she does, such as quilting. 

“Dirty Girl Adventures has opened up so many opportunities for me and has brought so many wonderful women into my life,” says Mary. 

Mary has gone on many adventures outside of DGA with other Dirty Girls. From rafting down the Buffalo River and ziplining in Arkansas, to wine tasting and kayaking in the Eminence, Missouri area, she has connected to a clan of women who are always ready for an adventure, no matter where.

When Mary signed up for the very first Ass Kicker kayak paddle in 2015, she didn’t think she could do it and she most definitely didn’t think it would become her favorite adventure memory.

“I didn’t think there was a chance I could ever kayak 20 miles. But I did. I have learned that I don’t have limitations,” she said. 

Some of Mary’s favorite places to adventure in Kansas are the hiking and biking trails in Perry, the Iliff Commons trails and Banner Lake in Holton. Although she loves to hike and kayak Kansas, she has an adventure bucket list that includes hiking the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and various places in colorful Colorado. 

Aside from adventuring and helping out at Compass Point, Mary is also a longtime Purple Martin landlord. These birds depend on humans to provide them with a nest during their migration from Brazil to Canada. The birds arrive mid-March and start laying eggs in early May. Babies begin hatching in June and usually leave by mid to late July.

“Helping the Purple Martins brings me joy and a way to do my part in nature,” said Mary.

You can catch Mary at Compass Point helping out at the shop or on an adventure. Here is a photo of Mary with a beaver skull she found on a kayaking adventure this summer. 

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Karen Stockwell-Withers

Karen is in the midst of her third season as a Dirty Girl Club Member and loving it. A few years back, she found out about Dirty Girl Adventures at a teaching conference. During this conference, she met another woman who was already involved with the club and was introduced to DGA. 

Throughout her life, she has always loved nature and the outdoors, but her love continues to grow for it as she gets older. “I think I fall more in love with the outdoors as I age because I’ve had issues with depression in the past. The outdoors provides me with so much peace and happiness. Also, the more I learn about climate change and the effect humans have on the environment, the more I see a need to protect nature.”

Since joining the club, Karen says it has provided her with a community of like minded women who all have a common love and passion for the outdoors, which has been hard for her to find.   “Before finding the Dirty Girls my only outdoor buddy was my husband, now I have a ton of people to do things with,” she says. Having a group of ladies to go exploring with is wonderful for Karen, and makes her realize that there are lots of other women that care about the outdoors as well. 

Her favorite and most memorable Dirty Girl Adventures event was during her first year of being a member. Karen and some other Dirty Girls did a weekend getaway to Camp White and hiked the Tallgrass Prairie. “I knew I found the perfect group during that weekend,” she says. 

Karen and her husband have lots of places on their adventure bucket list that they plan to check off. Currently, they are goal setting for their adventure in Iceland in three years. They are going for their ten year anniversary and plan on camping all over the country and seeing puffins while they are there. MCI started offering it as their first direct international flight, so this helped them choose Iceland as their anniversary adventure. “We watched a Discovery Channel episode on puffins and Iceland. Then, I started seeing tons of pictures of Iceland on Twitter from all of the outdoor accounts I follow. What made it a solid decision was recently on a hike in Glacier National Park. We met several people who have been to Iceland and they told us how gorgeous the country is, so we decided it would be the perfect place to go.”

They plan on taking their new puppy, Moose, on their future adventures with them. Bosco, their other dog has gone on many adventures, even kayaking. Moose will be going camping with them for the first time this summer. Pets make outdoor adventure all the more enjoyable! 

Karen is thankful for all that DGA has brought to her. She is inspired and excited for her future outdoor adventures with her fellow Dirty Girls,  her husband and puppies. 

She is also the leader of the Dirty Girl Adventures Book Club at Compass Point. Check our event calendar to join Karen in discussing some award winning stories!