MEEKER I A Meeker wife, mother, grandmother, dutiful daughter-in-law, dental assistant, receptionist and entrepreneur has been chosen to be an ambassador for the international Hike Like a Woman (HLAW) organization.
Jill Norcross Dunbar announced on Facebook on Aug. 1 that she has been selected to “be a part of this amazing group of women from around the world.”
Dunbar wrote that she and the other HLAW ambassadors “will be reviewing gear and products, writing stories of inspiration, giving trip reports, hiking hacks, sharing recipes, participating in discussions and inspiring other women to go outdoors and enjoy the gifts of nature we have been blessed with.”
No matter one’s expertise, no matter one’s age, no matter one’s physical ability, Dunbar urges hikers and hikers-to-be to take advantage of the benefits from the group by hooking up with and “liking” the outfit’s website, www.hikelikeawoman.net, and joining an adventure they’ll “never, ever forget.”
HLAW was started a couple years ago by Rebecca Walsh of Laramie, Wyo. She and her husband are retired Army officers, both having been deployed to Iraq.
The two of them also have a small business called Just Trails, writing and selling trail guides for southeastern Wyoming and northern Colorado.
Walsh writes about the outdoors, is a wife and mother who also has a part-time job other than the trail guide business, occasionally coaches a biathlon team and leads a local hiking group.
Part of hiking, she says, is time to relax and decompress, clearing her mind and gaining inspiration. She is described by some as a “crazy hiking mom.”
Walsh says of the HLAW website that she wanted to “turn a small piece of the Internet into a place full of friendship, kindness and motivation for outdoor women.”
Pages of the site offer product and book reviews, trip reports, misadventures (mistakes made in the outdoors), trail thoughts, writings from inspiring women, pro-tips on clothing and other hiking gear, and ideas on hiking snacks.
Further, the site encourages women hikers to share their experiences and hiking photos. Essay blogs on the site include titles like “How to teach a child to love the outdoors,” “What a tragic death taught me about risk in the outdoors,” and “What’s my contribution to the world?”
The site includes photographs and bio-sketches of each of the ambassadors.
Dunbar’s photo shows her kissing a relatively large brown trout. In her bio, she says she loves “hiking and backpacking—it gives me a chance to shed all the negativity in my life and it recharges my batteries. I love living the simple life and having to depend on my skills for survival.
“I’m really excited and humbled by my addition to the HLAW ambassador group. Through the Facebook page, I’ve already met a kindred spirit whom I can’t wait to meet in person! I cannot wait to interact and meet everyone else. I feel we all have something to contribute and that we can learn from each other.”
HLAW has nearly 30 ambassadors who reside in the United States. Ten of these are from the West, three from the Midwest, and 14 from the East.
Walsh said, “Every conceivable level of outdoorsy women is represented, beginners as well as bad ass ninja-hikers. Each ambassador was carefully selected to represent a wide variety of skill levels, geographic areas and expertise in this unique experiment in blogging.”
Diana Jones, owner of Meeker Drugs, a partner with Dunbar in establishing Smoking River Studio Arts on Main Street, and a co-adventurer on many outdoor weekends, said the HLAW folks “could not have picked a better ambassador than Jill. She has so much to offer this group of amazing women.”