5 things I learned during my 2023 AdventurUs Women Bend Escape: Rachel O's Testimonial

Something magical occurs when a group of women gather in nature and have a good time. We ate, played, yoga-ed, hiked, slept, painted, climbed, and so much more.


5 things I learned during my 2023 AdventurUs Women Bend Escape

1. If you sign up for a snowshoe adventure, it’s good to pack clothes for the snow.

I checked the weather before I left. I really did! 70s and sunny was the report. Woohoo! Shorts, shirts, sandals, a lightweight sweatshirt or two. Done!

I missed the 40s in the mornings and evenings. I didn’t make mental note of the snowshoe adventure as I tossed clothes in my bag. This means I will be in snow. Ahem.

I learned it’s important to look at all (ALL) the weather you may encounter. Are you going into a cave? Yeah.. it’s going to be cold as witches’ tits in there.

Are you going to the snow? Yeah… that’s cold and wet.

Think about all the weather and pack accordingly.

AdventurUs Women snowshoeing on Tumalo Mountain in the forest

2. Pack more underwear (like 2-3 pairs per day)

It’s not that I was “messing myself” all day (and frankly, so what if I was!?!). It’s more that I was active (and sweaty, or glistening if you’re a woman of a certain age) and it just feels good to put on fresh, dry drawers. Or workout pants. Or whatever suits you.

I’m just saying… pack way more undergarments than you normally would. There’s nothing like clean underwear after a shower following a day in the dust, dirt, rocks, and river

AdventurUs Woman standing on Misery Ridge at Smith Rock State Park looking at the view.

3. Swiftwick socks are amaze-balls.

I don’t know how they work. I went snowshoeing and got a liter of snow in one boot. It melted (of course). My sock was wet but my foot was dry! I desperately want to understand the science behind these socks.

At this point, you might think my whole weekend was focused on underwear and socks (based on #2 and #3) but it really wasn’t. I simply want to share the revelation that is Swiftwick socks!

No blisters! Dry feet! No weird raisin-like feet or toes at the end of the day. True love.

AdventurUs Women sitting on a bench taking next to a trail.

4. Magic happens when you gather a group of women together in nature.

Those covens of witches that gathered in the moonlight… they were onto something. The knit-and-bitch circles… they’re onto something too. The women’s book clubs and hiking groups and what-have-you… they get it.

Something magical occurs when a group of women gather in nature and have a good time. We ate, played, yoga-ed, hiked, slept, painted, climbed, and so much more.

At the end of the weekend, I wanted to bottle up the good magic and bring it home with me. Go on an AdventurUs Women Escape and you’ll see what I mean!

5. The hardest thing wasn’t mountain biking or snowshoeing or climbing, it was leaving.

Mountain biking was hard, scary and I’d never done it before. Snowshoeing was awkward and we didn’t follow a trail which was way out of my comfort zone. Yet the hardest thing all weekend was leaving.

Putting the car in gear and starting the drive to the Bend Escape left me in tears. I spent the first hour of the drive with blurred vision due to tears. Yet deep inside I knew I wanted to do this, despite being afraid.

Once I got over “the leaving,” the rest of the risks actually felt small. Meeting new people was fun. Trying new sports was an adventure. Spending 10 minutes in a sauna and 4 minutes in a bucket of ice water was a delight. I settled in and soaked it all up.

AdventurUs Woman in blue bathing suit entering cold plunge after saunaAdventurUs Woman holding a chunk of ice in a cold plunge tub.

But then, there was another leaving. Leaving to go home. Packing all my stuff back into the car and preparing to drive home. I got misty-eyed at the closing circle. I reflected on the amazing feeling of being surrounded by other women who all left their own lives to come and do this thing together. 

What a gift we all gave ourselves and each other.

Ultimately, I did leave and come home (sigh). Yet I also took a piece of the weekend with me or more accurately inme. I don’t understand the magic of Swiftwick socks (yet). But I do understand the magic of doing things with other women in community. I know what that feels like now.

It’s a deep inner peace. A stillness inside that allows me to challenge myself outside. It’s a warm embrace. It’s joy. It’s clean underwear at the end of the day.

I now return to my normal life, but I bring those feelings with me. The new adventure is finding ways to bring the stillness, joy and delight into my everyday life.

Thank you to AdventurUs Women for helping me see the light that already exists and creating a space for women to gather and make magic. I’m excited to come back again soon – I’m hooked!