The Wilderwoman blog became the Wilderwomen you know today when two women joined forces. One woman opened up the dream of encouraging women to build confidence in the outdoors; the other injected the idea of building a community of women who make time in nature a core value. We declared this community—this movement—with an all-women’s camping retreat in the month of June. We were inspired by the women who set aside intentional time to get outdoors, make new friends, and take care of each other, and thus, Wilderwomen took flight. We celebrate that moment each year with an annual retreat in the month of June to spark deep connections in nature to one another.
This year, we celebrated with an adventure to the beautiful Lake Chelan for the Summer Solstice. We selected the location for many reasons. Chelan is a beautiful location inclusive of a lake for swimming and paddleboarding, mountains for hiking and sight-seeing, fertile grounds for nourishment and wine tasting, and ample sunlight to support spending time outdoors. The lake is also a frequent host to family gatherings and bachelorette parties. We sought to take the best of both worlds—the bonds of family gatherings and the girl time of bachelorette parties—and flip the script to make this event full of healthy outdoor adventure and self-care.
The women arrived on a Friday afternoon to our lakeside house and a welcome wine reception at our house nestled in the hillside on the water. Many carpooled over with fellow retreaters to share the road and start the bonding process early. We spent the first evening together, taking in the lake, sipping wine on the dock, and delighting in the delicious food catered throughout the weekend by Shauna of Entropy Cooks. When the sun dropped behind the horizon and the moon came out, we settled into cozy clothes and greeted the moon with a restorative yoga practice on the dock before bed.
Saturday morning greeted us with sunshine and clear skies. After a delicious breakfast and some sacred quiet time at the house, we rallied the troops and drove to the south end of the lake for our morning paddleboard session. We launched from Don Morse Memorial Park and paddled north up the lake. Some were new to paddleboarding while others owned their own paddleboards, and together we laughed and splashed and built our confidence on the water. About an hour of paddling in, we created a flotilla to chat and take in the views of the hills and wineries, then paddled back to the park.
We arrived at the house lunch greeting us—a much needed poke bowl to refuel for the afternoon—and took some downtime before our wine tasting excursion. Our limo arrived in the late afternoon to pick us up and take us to local wineries at Chelan with views of the lake. We bopped around as a crew trying different wines, playing lawn games, and gabbing the afternoon away. Our limo driver adopted us for the afternoon and took the time to make a few stops for photos and playing tour guide (we love you Rick!).
After wine tasting, we arrived home to a luxurious salmon dinner, more wine, and sunset on the dock. We dug our fingers into some truly heartfelt conversations where hugs and tears of emotional release and mutual understanding were exchanged. We took those connections into our evening lunar circle yoga session, where women showed up to receive and nourish themselves before settling into bed for the evening.
In the spirit of self care, half of the crew woke the next morning for a hike up and around Chelan Butte, while the other half stayed at the house to take in quality time and sunshine on the dock. For those that went on the hike, we shared many laughs and shenanigans while traipsing around the bluff. We saw beautiful wildflowers, small creatures, fellow hikers, and epic views. For those that stayed at the house, they shared a laid-back morning and girl chats by the lake while reading through astrology books and digging into the wisdom of the cosmos.
We rejoined forces in the late morning sun to eat, bond, and giggle on the dock together. While we as the retreat leads expected our retreaters to take off around lunch, all the women remained up until the very end of the retreat. Our incredible group wasn’t ready to leave until they had to and that’s exactly the kind of magic we seek to create with Mother Nature as our grand host.