Back at the end of 2016, I made a goal to get outside more. Whether it's taking the dog for a walk around the neighborhood or tramping into the woods to hunt with Wes, being outside has always been my favorite place to be. But somehow in 2016, I let life, business, and general laziness get in the way of that. I wasn't spending nearly enough time out in the elements to make my heart happy, so I knew that 2017 had to be different. I wasn't sure exactly what that would look like, but I knew that I needed to make it a priority.
Just a little while after I set that goal for myself, I saw a post by my friend Jessica of Jessica Ryan Photography. Jessica was always outside doing the things I wish I was doing. She and her now husband were always hiking and exploring and taking their adorable dogs along on their adventures. Every time she posted pictures of their outings, it pushed me a little harder to make the time for those things myself. When Jessica posted about the group she was putting together, Her Hike Collective, I knew this was the universe at work, pushing me to meet my goal.
Jessica created Her Hike Collective for a number of reasons that she explains best on her website. But one of the reasons was to introduce other ladies to the great outdoors. There are so many of us that wish we could do something and we just need that little extra push. We need that hand to hold to show us the way and make us realize it doesn't have to be overwhelming or scary. That's exactly what Her Hike Collective was for me.
This year, I was able to go on a total of three hikes with the group. Definitely not as many as I'd hoped, but way more than I made time for in the past. I hiked over 20 miles, climbed rocks I never would have pushed myself to attempt before, spent time with old friends, and made a surprising number of new friends that I didn't realize I needed.
Here are some of my favorite pictures that Jessica took on each hike and a little information about each one. I can't wait for the next one. I'm also sharing my hiking bucket list below!