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Meet Lisa!

by | Jun 22, 2021 | 365er Profiles, Hiking

Tell us a little about yourself:

Married with 2 grown daughters both in their 30’s.  Live in, and in love with, Arkansas.  Both the Ozarks and the Ouachita mountains offer endless hiking opportunities and waterfalls and camping.

What are you favorite ways to get miles?

I consider myself a hiker that occasionally trail runs.   I hike with family and friends but I also love solo hiking in the mornings.

What’s your favorite outdoor memory?

I spent my 60th birthday in Mesa Verde National Park.  It was on my bucket list for decades after seeing pictures in a High School textbook.  5 of my friends from our Little Rock Wild Women Wednesday Hiking group took a 5 day trip to Durango and helped me celebrate the birthday of a lifetime with 5 full days of Colorado and Utah hiking.

Do you have a disaster story?

My husband and I ran into two kayakers on the Ozarks Highlands Trail that were just pulling their Kayaks out of Richland Creek.  We asked them how the creek was and they stated “Unimpressive”.  We are both in our 60’s and an unimpressive creek is about all we want to tackle these days.  We left the white water class 4 floats behind us in our youth.  Well we found out quickly that Richland Creek in no joke.  If research in the Arkansas whitewater sites Richland is rated experienced to expert.  We encountered class 4 rapids and waterfalls spaced along some beautiful green pools of calm.  We ended the day minus a kayak (stared with 2), a paddle, no shoes, bruised, battered and maybe a little bloody.  When we reached our car at the take out point we discovered that the creek had also eaten our car keys. We had to walk 3 cold miles up out of the valley with kayak gloves on our feet, AND we encountered an Arkansas black bear along the way.  A God send of a Good Samaritan stopped (and we looked crazy at this point) and drove us to our truck parked at the put in site and we laughed all the way home.  I think just out of relief.  Lesson learned – always research before you kayak a new stream! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

What are you looking forward to?

I am looking forward to retirement.  Probably in Dec 2023.  My husband and I plan to visit as many of the continental US National Parks and National Monuments as possible.  We also enjoy visiting state parks.  We love to hike and camp and kayak and we will take on the US in our little 4WD SUV packed with our gear with kayaks stored on top.

Lisa, you seem to do a lot of group hikes.  Are they with friends and family, organized hiking groups, or a mixture of both?

I am currently a volunteer leader with Pinnacle Mountain State Park Wild Women Wednesdays.  This is a state park scheduled activity and we hike a different trail in the park every Wednesday. We also fit kayaking and canoeing into our schedule.  We have a core group of the usual ladies around 10 of us, but we always have people join in and we have had as many as 30 before.  An interpreter joins us most weeks and I have learned so much about trees, wildflowers, snakes, creepy insects, and birds.  I love this group of adventurous old ladies – all of them in good shape as there are mountains to climb in this park. This is the group that I pull from when I plan a weekend hike or camping trip.  When I am not hiking with the Wild Women I am usually solo or with my husband.

What do you like about hiking with a group?

This group of ladies come from all different backgrounds but we are all such like-minded positive ladies.  We have the best discussions and laugh so much.   Hiking with this group feeds my soul.

Are you enjoying the 365 mile Challenge?

This challenge is awesome.  It really makes me get out and helps me make sure I hike at least 7 miles each week.  The Bingo is my favorite and I took all my Wild Women friends on the scavenger hunt with my last year.  Both my husband and I look forward to seeing all the posts and pictures.  Gives us ideas of where we need to go!

You are a big source of inspiration for the group. What inspires you?

I am inspired by Mother Nature.  I can get so excited about spotting a bird or a wild flower or a bug – making my friends laugh. I work a 4 hour Wednesday, 10am to 2pm, in order to be able to Wild Women Wednesday hike.  Almost every Wednesday morning I drive to Woolly Hollow St Park with my journal at 6am.  I walk or jog around tiny Lake Bennett.  I have a favorite bench close to the parking area and I journal about everything I saw, my thoughts, my hopes, what I’m grateful for.   This is very inspiring to me and I hate to miss it.  In the rain I drive up, park facing the lake, watch the rain, journal or take some time for mindful meditation. This is my alone time to refresh and help me be a better person.  

Thank you, Lisa!

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