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!

Spring Hike!

Join us on Saturday April 17th for an afternoon at the KU Field Station Trails.  We will explore 5 miles of trail through the 1800 acre Field Station which has been used for research by staff and students from KU for over 50 years.  The area is beautiful and takes us through native prairie and an old growth Kansas forrest.  The trail includes steep inclines/declines and a variety of native species.  This area is gorgeous and the highest point affords us with a great view of the city of Lawrence, including KU’s campus.

YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER TO ATTEND

Detailed directions and suggestions will be emailed by Thursday 15th. This allows us to watch the weather and monitor conditions prior to final instructions. 

When: Saturday April 17th, 2021

Check-in:  12:30 p.m. — specific location TBD.

What: Hike 5 miles

Price: 

Regular: $35

Club member: $25

What are you paying for?

Dirty Girl Adventures, LLC will provide a guide, support on the trail and docent information throughout the event. We will also monitor the weather and conditions to ensure that our event and participants are safe.  Our knowledgeable and informed guide service includes a leading guide and a sweep guide during the hike. Trail support including first aid, knowledge of the environment and locale, safety monitoring, pacing, interpretive information on the environment and location.

In case you are wondering about our refund policy – refunds are given up to one week before the date of the event no questions asked. After that, refunds are not given unless there are exceptional circumstances, during this time, we consider any health concerns a valid reason for a refund. If you feel sick, or have any symptom possibly related to Covid-19 stay home, we’ll send you a refund. Dirty Girl Adventures may cancel an event due to weather or conditions. Everyone will receive a refund if that is the reason for the cancellation. We will paddle and hike in cool, rainy or snowy conditions. Cancellation only occurs in severe weather or other dangerous conditions.

Hike the Konza

Join us to enjoy spring on the Konza Prairie in the gorgeous Flint Hills of Kansas!  We will share information about the history, geology and all of the grasses and plants along the hike. “Tallgrass prairie once covered more than 170 million acres, from Canada through Texas and as far as Ohio in the east.  Rich prairie soils made the region prime for agricultural development. Most of the tallgrass prairie was converted to cropland within just a couple of decades, making this once expansive landscape North America’s most altered ecosystem in terms of acres lost.  Of the roughly 4 percent that remains today, most (about two-thirds) survives in the Flint Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma.”

Located in the Flint Hills of northeastern Kansas, Konza Prairie Biological Station is a native tallgrass prairie preserve primarily owned by The Nature Conservancy and operated by Kansas State University and managed as a field research station by the K-State Division of Biology.

WHAT ARE WE DOING?
We plan to hike 2 of the 3 trail options – we will all hike the first 1.3 miles together then split as our trails separate. This means we will end at  different times – when you sign up choose your distance.  The 2.6 mile Nature trail is estimated to take approximately 2.5 hours and the 6.2 mile Godwin Hill Loop can take up to 4 hours BOTH have some steep inclines/declines.  

  • For this hike there are No dogs allowed which is a rule at the Konza all the time.
  • We suggest that you wear closed-toes shoes that are comfortable for hiking relatively rough terrain – much of this is rocky and gravelly with some steep inclines/declines.

Dirty Girls, Dudes and teenagers are welcome at this event.

We will send an email with some additional specific instructions prior to the event.  Please be aware that events can change due to weather and conditions, please check your email the day before the event. 

What are you paying for?

Dirty Girl Adventures, LLC will provide a guide, support on the trail and docent information throughout the event. We will also monitor the weather and conditions to ensure that our event and participants are safe.  Our knowledgeable and informed guide service includes a leading guide and a sweep guide during the hike. Trail support including first aid, knowledge of the environment and locale, safety monitoring, pacing, interpretive information on the environment and location.

In case you are wondering about our refund policy – refunds are given up to one week before the date of the event no questions asked. After that, refunds are not given unless there are exceptional circumstances, during this time, we consider any health concerns a valid reason for a refund. If you feel sick, or have any symptom possibly related to Covid-19 stay home, we’ll send you a refund. Dirty Girl Adventures may cancel an event due to weather or conditions. Everyone will receive a refund if that is the reason for the cancellation. We will paddle and hike in cool, rainy or snowy conditions. Cancellation only occurs in severe weather or other dangerous conditions.

Compass Point YOGA

Join us for the return of Compass Point Urban Yoga on the Courtyard with RYT Jennifer Sieben EVERY THURSDAY from 5:45 – 6:45pm

Walk in yogi’s can purchase a pass for $7 day of class or purchase a Yoga Punch Card for $25  good for 5 sessions over 8 weeks.

Walk-in: $7

Punch Card: $25

Yoga cards purchased but not used due to COVID -19 will be honored.

Since this is an outside class, please watch the weather – check our FACEBOOK to see if there are changes in class due to inclement weather.

Please consider bringing your own yoga supplies or you can use ours – arrive masked and keep your mask on until you are seated on your mat on the courtyard.  Respect social distancing and help all those in attendance feel as comfortable as possible.

Patio Yoga Classes at Compass Point
Compass Point Urban Yoga on the Courtyard

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.

2020 Solstice Hike

The Winter Solstice is traditionally a time to celebrate the return of the sun and to contemplate the coming season.  The shortest day of the year and the longest night of the year it’s a perfect time to gather outside to mark the shift of seasons.

This night hike will celebrate the longest night of the year with glow sticks and headlamps!

What to expect:  We will hike a loop from our fire/parking spot.  The hike will include uneven terrain, steep inclines/declines and rocky areas. Dirty Girl Adventures recommends use of hiking poles for use on uneven terrain.

What to wear/bring: Headlamp/flashlight, dress in layers with a layer of synthetic fabric closest to your body to wick sweat away and dry quickly. Consider the weather and be prepared with hat, gloves, bandana, good shoes and socks.

Post Hike: We will socialize around the fire.  Bring your lawn chair, dinner and beverages for post-hike fire time.

DGA COVID-19 Guidelines:  In preparing to join us, please note that we will adhere to all suggested COVID-19 prevention guidelines including social distancing recommendations.  Face masks are required at check-in and at any time you are unable to maintain social distance.   While hiking, you may remove your mask.  When we stop to rest/snack/drink please distance yourselves and wear your mask when close together.   If you feel sick, have been sick or are awaiting the results of a covid test or any of the other standard covid questions please stay home.  We expect that you will be respectful and supportive of these practices.

LOCATION TBD! CHECK-IN AT 4:30 P.M.

YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER TO ATTEND 

  • Regular ticket $30
  • Club member ticket $24

What are you paying for?

Dirty Girl Adventures, LLC will provide a guide, support on the trail and docent information throughout the event. We will also monitor the weather and conditions to ensure that our event and participants are safe.  Our knowledgeable and informed guide service includes a leading guide and a sweep guide during the hike. Trail support including: first aid, knowledge of the environment and locale, safety monitoring, pacing, interpretive information on the environment and location.

In case you are wondering about our refund policy – refunds are given up to one week before the date of the event no questions asked. After that, refunds are not given unless there are exceptional circumstances – during the current Covid-19 Pandemic, refunds will be given for any illness related absence. Dirty Girl Adventures may cancel an event due to weather or conditions. Everyone will receive a refund if that is the reason for the cancellation. We will paddle and hike in cool, rainy or snowy conditions. Cancellation only occurs in severe weather or other dangerous conditions

Weekend Backpacking Checklist- Part 3

This time around, we’re going over an important part of your packing that is probably the easiest area to overpack- toiletries. This is also one of those areas you’ll be surprised how little you can get by with.

The first thing you’ll need is some sort of small bag for your toiletry items. We’ve got a couple of great items in the shop that make for great backpacking toiletry bags. Check it out!

Disclaimer: Throughout this blog, you’ll notice that some links go to our online Compass Point shop, and some go to Amazon. Our goal at Compass Point is to have all things backpacking and hiking gear in our store. While we work on getting more items in our shop, we’ve set up an Amazon Affiliate account so you can still support us by shopping through those links. As time goes on and we get more items in our shop, this blog will be updated with links to our online Compass Point shop. If you do choose to purchase something through the online Compass Point shop, please know that you must pick up in person- we do not ship items (and we want to see your face). Thank you for supporting our small business- we are excited to equip you with the knowledge and gear you need to have memorable and safe adventures in the great outdoors.

Osprey Dry Sacks

The Osprey Dry sacks are designed to keep the contents of your pack organized and bone dry. They are made with a roll-top waterproof closure with waterproof coated fabric/seams. The sacks also come in a variety of colors, so you could have your first aid in “electric lime” and your toiletries in “shadow gray” for color-coded organization in your pack.

Cotopaxi Del Dia Dopp Kit

The Dopp Kit is a home-away-from-home for your toothbrush and other grooming accessories while on the trail (or anywhere, really). The spacious main compartment is complemented by two internal side sleeves, and a large loop of webbing doubles as a carry handle and hang loop.

All Cotopaxi products are made in the Philippines using leftover materials from other companies’ production runs that could have gone to a landfill.

The awesome thing about Cotopaxi’s Del Dia line is that each piece is put together by Philippine employees who put together the funky color combos that make each pack distinct, giving them final creative control over every product in the Del Día family. When you pick up one of these packs, what you’re seeing is the “signature” of the employees who made it.

100% repurposed and 100% funky, each Dopp Kit is one of a kind!!

Toiletries

Your beauty routine while backpacking will be pretty limited and should focus mainly on hygiene. Depending on where you are and how long your adventure will be, you might add in a few extra items. First things first……

The MUST-HAVES

Kula Cloth– Ope, what do ya know- here we are raving about the Kula Cloth once again. Seriously, it’s the best. Made with antimicrobial cloth, its never been easier to keep your lady parts clean in the outdoors.

Sunscreen– The last thing you want while backpacking is a sunburn (well, there are some worse things…but trust us, you don’t want a sunburn). Get some water-resistant sunscreen with a higher SPF that comes in a small tube so it easily fits in your toiletry bag.

Lip balm– Not sure what’s worse, chapped lips or a sunburn. It’s so tiny there’s really no excuse to not bring some. Choose a balm with natural, organic ingredients that will keep your lips hydrated and protected We’re pretty loyal to Burt’s Bees.

Toothbrush & Toothpaste- Make sure you go with travel-size to save you lots of space.

Poop Kit- Your Kula Cloths’ partner in crime, the poop kit! In order to comply with the Leave No Trace Principles, you should follow these steps to dispose of waste properly. This is a durable, affordable and practical trowel for your poop kit. Toilet paper/wet wipes and a zip lock back are the other components you’ll need.

Wet wipes- These really have so many uses on the trail. First reason for the above topic^^ (toilet paper works too), but also wiping yourself down for a little refresher after a long day of hiking. Be sure to pack a zip-lock bag to dispose of your wet wipes/toilet paper and other trash.

Hand sanitizer- an obvious must-have before eating and after going to the bathroom!

Optional Additional Items

Deodorant- Believe us, you can live without it. You’ll be stinky, but that’s part of it. However, if you are going on a short backpacking trip with not a whole lot of weight in your pack, you can totally get away with throwing in a travel sized deodorant.

Gold Bond powder- Depending on who you are, you might argue this as a must-have item. If it’s humid and hot where you’re hiking, you may be prone to chafing and this stuff will be your saving grace.

Hair brush- If you absolutely can’t stand your hair being a ratty mess, you can throw in a small hair brush if your pack isn’t too heavy. But really, it’s okay if you end up looking like Hagrid off Harry Potter.

Witch hazel & cotton rounds- This is a great add-in for shorter trips where you aren’t trying to spare as much weight as possible. Get a travel-sized spray bottle and fill it with witch hazel. Spray a cotton round with the witch hazel at the end of a long day on the trail and boom, you have a clean face!

Be sure to adjust based on your own personal and specific needs and always research location specifics before you go!

Photo from the Backpacking Sanctuary

Elk River Trail Backpacking Adventure

Located in Crane, Kansas, the Elk River Trail is rated the #1 backpacking trail in Kansas by Backpacker Magazine. The 15-mile trail offers panoramic views of Elk City Lake from the tops of limestone bluffs and winds through narrow canyons and rock overhangs. You truly get a little bit of everything along this trail- sun, shade, wildlife, flowers, bluffs, interesting rock formations and shockingly, even some elevation change! That being said, it’s not an easy hike- it’s rugged, rocky terrain requires scrambling up steep slopes, making it a challenging hike.

Fifteen Dirty Girls set out to conquer 10 miles of this trail but finished with so much more than a completed hike. This was a unique group- hardly any of the women had ever been backpacking before. Each and every one of them had their own fears at the trailhead but walked out of the woods with huge feelings of success after the hard challenge. There is something about backpacking that really makes you get to know yourself. When you hike your own hike, you learn to conquer fears by connecting with yourself and nature.

Gathering at the trail head.

The most magical part of this adventure was Sunday morning. Everyone woke up, cooked a camp breakfast and packed their gear. Before stepping onto the trail, the group gathered in a circle and mentioned what they’d took away from the adventure up to that point. During this time sharing thoughts, everyone had moments of cheers, laughs and tears when they realized the connections they’d made with themselves and others with just one day immersed in nature on the trail.

Feeling empowered and stronger after sharing their hearts, the group set out for the way back. A few miles in at a rock ledge overlooking the lake, the ladies took some power pictures.

We will be going on more backpacking and hiking adventures in the near future. If you think you might want to join us, we asked all the ladies what their favorite piece of gear and snack was on this trip. See below and get ideas for gear and snacks for your next adventure, with us or on your own!

Disclaimer: Throughout this blog, you’ll notice that some links go to our online Compass Point shop, and some go to Amazon. While we work on getting more items in our shop, we’ve set up an Amazon Affiliate account so you can still support us, as we receive a small commission from any purchases via those Amazon links. Thank you for supporting our small business- we are excited to equip you with the knowledge and gear you need to have memorable and safe adventures in the great outdoors.

Mary Putney: Gear: Osprey Backpack

Snack/food: Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Power Berries

Denise Cook: Gear: Osprey Backpack

Snack/food: Kodiak Cakes Oatmeal Power Cups

Michelle Terry: Gear: MSR Pocket Rocket Stove

Snack/food: Mountain House Chicken & Dumplings

Emily Sharp: Gear: Sleeping pad

Snack/food: beef jerkey

Catherine King: Gear: REI Backpack

Snack/food:Trader Joes Dried Mango

Lorraine Leicht-Gillgannon (Official Dirty Girl Guide): Gear: Big Agnes Tent

Snack/food: Bean and Cheese burrito

This is Gerry, a new honorary Dirty Girl member. She was found by Lorraine and joins in on adventures, often sneaking whiskey into backpacks.

Teresa Cotton: Gear: Therm-a-Rest Sleeping Pad

Snack/food: Mountain House Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Cassie Douglas: Gear: Salomon hiking tennis shoes and Injinji Toe Socks (available in-store at Compass Point)

Snack/food: Sahale Nut Blends

Dereka Pederson: Gear: Esbit Ultralight Pocket Stove

Snack/food: Werther’s Hard Candies

Robin Dixon: Gear: Lantern light

Snack/food: HOMEMADE ENERGY BALLS

Dorothy Kurtz: Gear: LEKI Trekking Poles

Snack/food: Sweet potato smothered with baked beans and cornbread muffin

Amy Schmutzler: Gear: Yodo Tent

Snack/food: Moon Cheese

Cheryl Coon: Gear: Sleepingo Sleeping Pad

Snack/food: homemade trail mix…..Cheryl’s recipe was a hit on the trail, so she shared her recipe with us!

CHERYL’S TRAIL MIX

Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews, sunflower seeds, banana chips, cranberries, tropical fruit medley, wasabi peas, black sesame rice crackers

Optional add-ins: dried cherries or blueberries, yogurt covered pretzels, Snyder’s mustard snack mix or butterscotch chips

Ali Ragan: Gear: MSR Pocket Rocket Stove

Snack/food: Mountain House Pasta Primavera

Denise Selbee-Koch: Gear: KT Tape

Snack/food: Apples and Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs

Post-hike celebratory beers and snacks!

“We shared our hearts, our thought and our lives while we backpacked together.

The solitary hike: step after step, feeling and growing as individual humans.

The connected hike: learning we are stronger together, similar yet different, supportive and accepting of each other as we are when we are a vulnerable tribe bound together.”

– Denise Selbee-Koch, Original Dirty Girl

Ali Ragan
Ali Ragan

Dirty Girl Adventures
Communications and Social Media Manager

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Shelly Liby

Today we tell the story of Shelly Liby, a Dirty Girl member since 2014! Shelly was always into participating in outdoor obstacle courses before she heard of Dirty Girl Adventures through a friend. However, like most, she wanted to take it to the next level. 

“I always had my eye out for what I like to call ‘good madness’, and an 8-mile hike sounded interesting. I’ve been hooked ever since.”

Shelly was always spending time outdoors as a child, but as it happens for most, once junior high came around, she found herself spending less and less time outdoors. Her family camped regularly, however, she didn’t find true love for the outdoors until she became a Dirty Girl.

In addition to finding true love for the outdoors, joining the club has given Shelly a deeper connection to the planet. 

“You really can’t ignore the planet when you’re outside a lot. When I hike or kayak, I see a lot of trash in the creeks and coves. I’m more attentive to how I can make the world a better place.”

Since becoming a Dirty Girl, Shelly has changed the way she shops so that she uses less plastic. She also quit taking home snail shells when she finds them on the trail. 

Shelly started taking steps toward making the world a better place because of DGA, but DGA also made her world a better place.

“I’ve met some amazing ladies and gone to places I didn’t know I wanted to go! I’ve learned from Denise and Jen to roll with what comes your way. It’s snowing? Hike anyway!,” she says.

It was hard for Shelly to pick her favorite DGA memory, but a few of her favorites were hiking in the rain at Indian Cave State Park, the adventure course at White Memorial Camp and hiking Pikes Peak. 

“Downtime with the Dirty Girls is just as dear to me as getting dirty. I always go home with a smile on my face and usually a new place in mind I want to adventure to.”

The adventure bucket list for Dirty Girls is never ending! Shelly is itching to backpack the Lost Coast trail in Northern California. If you are interested in adding this trail to your bucket list too, check out this link.

“Dirty Girl Adventures has inspired me to staycation in Kansas too. There’s a lot here to do if you look for it.”

Some of her favorite places to adventure in Kansas include Kanopolis State Park, anywhere in the Flint Hills, Horse Thief Reservoir and any of the county lakes.

“Kansas has some pretty sweet county lakes. I’m determined to visit them all,” says Shelly. 

“DGA has reignited my sense of adventure and I have places to go. Who’s going with me?” – Shelly Liby

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Melissa Frederick

This week’s story is over Melissa Frederick and how she learned to live her life with no restrictions through Dirty Girl Adventures.

Melissa Frederick is jumping into her 4th season as a Dirty Girl. Her childhood consisted of playing outside in the country and camping with her family. “I’ve always loved the outdoors but due to the ebbs and flows of life, it wasn’t always able to be a priority,” Melissa said. Happily, in 2004, her husband and kids decided to start RV camping so she was finally able to get back outside. 

Then, in the summer of 2014, she moved to McLouth, KS, where she met Denise’s husband Marucs, who was the police chief at that time. He told Melissa about Denise’s “outdoor business” and introduced the two. She was definitely interested, but didn’t want to make any commitments because they were still figuring out what post-army life was going to look like. In 2016, a friend of Melissa’s invited her on the Eagle Hike, and she said the rest was history. 

Unfortunately, due to Melissa’s size at the time, it wasn’t easy or enjoyable for her. She had heard about backpacking through DGA but knew she could barely carry herself a few miles, let alone a 30-40 pound pack over multiple days. Yet again, there was another outdoor activity she felt she couldn’t do due to her weight. Going on DGA events made Melissa realize that she was very restricted by her size.

 “At 5’7″ and 271 lbs, I was only able to hike 4-5 miles comfortably, and always at the back of the pack. I fell in and out of my kayak instead of getting in and out; everything was an effort.”

So, in 2017, she decided to have weight loss surgery. Dirty Girl Adventures played a significant role in her decision to have the procedure. She got tired of struggling to do the things she loved.

“My Dirty Girl tribe has been incredibly supportive and I love and appreciate them so very much for that. Being back out in nature on a more regular basis, and with a great group of ladies, made me realize   how much I loved being out there. Unfortunately, due to my size, it wasn’t easy or as enjoyable as I knew it could be. Combined with gaining about 15-20 lbs per year and wondering if the scale would stop, I knew I had to do something. Since I hit my goal weight last August, my motto has been Live Life With No Restrictions.”

Nowadays, Melissa participates in all of the Dirty Girl events. She says her favorite memory was in the summer of 2017, kayaking down the Delaware river. About half way through the kayaking trip, a huge storm started rolling in and the ladies had no choice but to paddle faster. 

“Looking over my shoulder at the looming black clouds, trying to outrun the gathering storm, and having to tow my daughter who has a bad shoulder made for quite an interesting paddle.”

Her favorite non-Dirty Girl event was hiking the Grand Canyon. “We were blessed with 4 amazing, knowledgeable guides who were so kind and helpful. The non-Dirty Girl members of our tour group were lovely and it was great getting to know them. We had such a great time experiencing and learning about the Canyon in a way that most people don’t. I had such a wonderful time that I’m hoping to take my family on a 7 day trip in 2022,” said Melissa. In the future, she has aspirations to hike in lots of different places such as Southern Bavaria, Alaska, Oregon, Washington and sections of the Pacific Crest Trail that runs from Mexico to Canada. 

It is through Dirty Girl Adventures that Melissa decided to live her life with no restrictions, and she has done just that!