Welcome! We are a fun and welcoming group of energetic ladies looking to meet other women in the area who share similar interests. Please take a moment to read this group description. Though it is a lot of blah-blah-blah, it will avoid a lot of confusion later on.
Women only: sorry boys, it's just not safe for us to meet men we don't know and take them out to the wilderness.
Carpooling: our meetup location is typically Berry Hill in Oregon City. We tend to carpool from the area unless you'd rather be solo. If you are unable to drive, please let us know beforehand so that you can claim a spot in another driver's vehicle. If you are unable to carpool, we may be able to meet you at the trail head, but, coordinating can be very challenging.
Release of liability: by joining this group you agree to hold the other group members harmless from unintentional accidents and will take all personal responsibility to ensure that you are safe. You need to take all proper precautions about keeping yourself safe: make sure your family/friends know where you are going, bring proper hiking gear (look up the ten essentials), don't wear clothing that will soak up water (cotton, jeans), etc.
Fees: there is no fee to join the group, but the site does cost $200/year to maintain, and you're welcome to pitch in some money to help me pay for it by using the "chip in" button on the page. In addition, if you do not plan on driving, please pay what you can to your driver and plan on pitching in for parking fees. However, if you're unable to pay, please don't let that detour you. Just come out and enjoy some lady company!
Dogs: unless the hike description says that the hike is for dogs, we need to leave our pups at home. We often go places with cliffs and Fido gets so excited at all the people and other dogs that s/he can easily push any of us off a ledge... Conversely leashes can get us all tangled up like a spider's web. This is a bummer for most of us, as almost all of us have dogs, but its just better if they stay home.
Pictures: we take lots of pictures - and videos! Everyone is worried that they look awful, and I've never met a woman where this is true. But please know that pictures are posted here, and on various promotional items to try to entice more members. If you have any objections please speak up.
Children: at this time we don't have any hikes that are organized with munchkins in mind. Many of our locations are too challenging for them or to carry them. However, if treks with kids in mind is of interest to you, you could consider becoming a hike organizer (see below).
Hike leaders: we've expanded the hike leaders of the group in order to accommodate more interests and fitness levels. This is offered to women that are known to the group.
Safety: as mentioned above, you need to take proper precautions and wear appropriate gear in going out to the wilderness. Hike leaders are most definitely not experts, and it helps to have everyone read and/or print out their own versions of the trail descriptions (the trail descriptions vary depending on the source, and it will help to have multiple interpretations). Remind the hike leaders to take head counts and sign-ins (things can get hectic, and it is easy to forget!).
Pace: both slow-as-a-snail and crazy fast speed-racer paces are discouraged. However, it is very natural that paces will vary considerably within a group, regardless of fitness level, and should be expected.
Group counts: this is one of the the boring parts. But, hiking can be a somewhat dangerous. Rocks can fall and knock people unconscious. People fall off cliffs regularly, especially in the gorge. This isn't said to scare you, but to highlight the importance of verifying that everyone is counted for. We need to keep a periodic count of the group, so that no one has fallen off the trail unnoticed. This means we either need to: stay to together as a group, or, if a group breaks off in front of the rest of the group, they will need to do a regular group count and check in with the hike leader via cell phone, walkie talkie, or waiting for the rest of the group until they catch up if either of the other communication methods fail.
Hike intersections: as mentioned above in the importance on group counts, we need to verify everyone is accounted for. If a group that has broken off in front with the group in the rear, you need to check in with the hike leader via cell or walkie talkie to verify which way you went, and give a head count. If you are unable to do that, the group rule is that you will wait at a trail junction. This stands even if it is clear which way to turn - some of us ladies could have been out too late the night before and easily make a mistake on which trail to take. It will be a giant bummer if we realize a half hour later that we've taken different routes!
Group sign-in: boring again. But, please sign in at the beginning of the hike, unless the group is small enough to remember everyone. This is done simply to ensure that if someone does fall off a cliff - or been abducted by Bigfoot - and we realize that someone is missing, we'll know who to tell authorities to look for.
Thank you for reading! We're excited that you want to come out with us and can't wait to meet you!