Adventures For Over $100

Bucket List Adventures that cost over $100

Rootn’, Tootn’ Gun Shootn’ Good Time

Rootn’, Tootn’ Gun Shootn’ Good Time
Empower Your Estrogen Adventure

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Calling all Ladies! Beat the winter blues by joining the Empower Your Estrogen girls for a wintertime girlfriend adventure right here in Nebraska!

We are calling this one “A Rootn’, Tootn’ Gun Shootn’ Good Time” with a weekend of shooting, yes real guns, and snowshoeing, sledding and more!! We are going to have a rootn’, tootn’ gun shootn’ good time and we want you to join us!

Where:

Ashland, NE at Mahoney State Park where we have rented a adorable cabin complete with a cozy fireplace, and guess what, you don’t even have to pee in the woods on this adventure!

When:

January 29-30-31, 2016
We will meet at the cabin at 6:00 pm Friday January 29 to kick off the event and Check out is 11:00 am Sunday January 31st.

What:
How does this sound? We have a full weekend scheduled to ensure it’s full of fun, laughter, adventure and getting you out of your comfort zone! The list of activities includes: yoga, snowshoeing, sledding, gun shooting, games, and all the Empower Your Estrogen fun you can handle! On Saturday we will participate in an instructor led full day NRA Ladies Handgun class!

Cost:
The cost of the adventure is $275 per person and includes all activities, gun and snowshoe gear rental and instruction, food, beverages, and lodging. (Note: the cabin sleeps 8 but we will be bunking together in some rooms, you can bring a cot if you like) You just need to handle travel expense to get there!

What to bring:

Warm winter clothes for outdoor hikes, snowshoeing and sledding, toiletries and your favorite book to share with others. We will have the snowshoes and sleds for you. Guns, ammo and shooting instruction will be provided at the gun range. Bring your bright smile and a great attitude willing to try new things, make new friends and renew old friendships, we will handle all the rest!

For Fun: Bring the funkiest hat you can find for our funky hat snowshoeing group picture and a cowboy hat for the group gun shooting picture!

Sign up today and reserve your place! Spots are limited so don’t set this aside to think about it. Give yourself the gift of this weekend and come home refreshed and recharged!

Registration is only open from today through December 15 and is on a first come first served bases. We need payment in full at the time of registration, if you live in the Omaha area please give Vicki a check or cash. Because of our upfront costs on this one your registration is not accepted and a spot held for you until payment is received. If for some reason we don’t get enough registrations to fill this event we will cancel and offer a refund on Dec. 15 but we fully expect to fill up and to fill up quickly! Space is really limited so register as soon as you get this!!!!

If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call. Jackie can be reached at 720-260-1660 or Vicki at 402-980-0262.

This is going to be so fun!!!!

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Empower Your Estrogen Moab, Utah Rock Climbing, Rappelling and More 2015!

Ladies! For Your Eyes ONLY

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Attention all ladies! Close your eyes and picture this! It’s midmorning, the sky is bright and sunny with not a cloud in the sky and yet you are about to make a surprise entrance intro a crowd of unsuspecting people in a way worthy of the introduction scene to a Mission Impossible movie! Imagine the feeling of rappelling off a 120-foot sheer rock down into a crowd of unsuspecting onlookers taking the easy way on a hike from the parking lot. As the crowd looks up with amazement suddenly a badass team of comrade’s rappel in, showing the rest of the world it’s a hell of a lot of fun to the take the unconventional route!

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Now, imagine that priceless feeling you only get when you have just really pushed yourself outside the normal limits of life and done something so amazing, exciting, daring and bold that even your mother would be impressed? On second thought, maybe you shouldn’t tell your mom! That’s the kind of feeling the girls who put these weekends together love! Our goal is to arrange the most adventure packed, giggle fest of a girls weekend that you have ever had and while we do that we are going to see new places, do new things and tap into our inner wild child just because most of us have long lost touch with that part of ourselves. Can you see the look of astonishment on the faces around you as you nonchalantly smile to the amazed strangers and give them that “ya, we just did that kind of satisfied rock rappeller look?”

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Picture you and a dozen of your 30ish-40ish-50ish suburban PTA soccer mom comrades on the adventure trip of a lifetime because you are part of the next Empower Your Estrogen Adventure! Spots are very limited and fill up very quickly so if you have made the New Year resolution to kick it up a notch in your life this is the opportunity of a lifetime and just what you have been waiting for.

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Empower Your Estrogen founders Jackie (Bucketlistblogger.com) and sister Vicki (IronGirl) have partnered with the worlds best and hunkiest guides at Front Range Climbing Co to offer this once in life time opportunity. The adventure will begin Thursday morning April 24 and continue through Sunday April 27. We will backcountry camp in the stunning Moab, Utah desert under the brightest starry nights you can imagine. We are going to Moab for a four day weekend of badasery big time, full of rappelling off Moab’s spectacular 120 foot arches, rock climbing the stunning bluffs, hiking, camping, bonding, and celebrating our womanhood while we recharge our batteries and make new life long friendships! Nightly campfire chats while we sip a celebratory glass of wine and indulge in a little chocolate treat while we crown the Tough Tiara winner of the day have proven to be one of the many highlights. It’s like a girls retreat and an adrenaline charged slumber party all wrapped up in one!

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Our guides at Front Range Climbing Co will take care of everything from transportation from Colorado Springs to Moab, Utah, provide all our food, and make all the special arrangements. We will be with professional guides every step of the way and they will provide all the climbing gear, ropes, and instruction that we need to make sure everyone on this adventure can participate in creating life long memories.

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Front Range Climbing Co will customize the trip to our exact needs and offer us adventures that everyone can participate in. You need no special knowledge or prior climbing experience to participate. On our own custom Tough Girl scale this adventure would come in at rating of a 6-7 so you have plenty of time to dust off your old hiking boots and get your spring zig back into your zag!

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The Empower Your Estrogen Moab, Utah Rock Climbing and Rappelling Adventure 2015 is offered at the staggeringly great deal of $379, includes transportation from Colorado Springs to and from Moab, Utah and all food, technical gear and instruction. You will need to provide your own basic backcountry gear such as a backpack, sleeping bag, small 2 man tent, hiking boots and comfortable outdoor clothing. That’s it! We make it really easy!

All you have to do is say “HELL Yeah and call today to register!”

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Call 719-632-5822 Front Range Climbing Co today to register! Remember, there are only 10 available spots on this trip offered at the blow out price of only $379 all-inclusive per person. I guarantee you because this is the coolest trip of a lifetime spots will fill up quickly and only the first 10 to register will get to attend!

As an added incentive if you register and pay in full before February 24, 2015 you get the discounted early bird price of $339! That’s a savings of $40!!!

If you register and pay in full before March 8, 2015 you get a discounted price of $359! That’s a savings of $20!

If you register and pay in full before March 8, 2015 you get a discounted price of $359! That’s a savings of $20!

DEADLINE to REGISTER MARCH 8, 2015!

What are you waiting for!!!!!! CALL Right now! 719-632-5822 and say these magic words “Hell Yea!”

Cancellation Policy:
Full refund available with no penalty prior to March 24. After March 24, 80% refund unless we can fill your spot.

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Lean Mean Fighting Machine

Kickboxing is an interesting sport, one I have never paid an ounce of attention to until now. I signed up for Ferrell’s Extreme Body Shaping Classes because I knew it was time to get off the couch and get back into they gym in some sort of fashion. I signed up because I liked the concept of 6 one hour classes per week combining cardio and strength training along with quality instruction and lots of motivation, the kickboxing part just came along with the package. I signed up to try something new and to help me meet my goal for the new year of leaning down, waaaaaayyyy down.

The first night of class we were all taught how to wrap our wrists, the idea being we would need extra support to protect our wrists when punching. I was pretty sure this was unnecessary since I have the upper body strength of a slug. It seemed the risk of real injury was fairly remote, at least in my mind.

Next, we put on our HUGE boxing gloves, suddenly I felt more like Mickey Mouse than Muhammad Ali, but if nothing else I am game to try something new so I too put on my massively over-sized gloves and stood alert waiting for my next set of instructions.

Our very fit instructor turned on loud music with a driving beat and started warming us up with a series of jabs, hooks and kicks. Within 30 seconds I felt like I was going to die. Hell, just holding my gigantic gloves up by my face seemed like a workout to me; within moments each glove started feeling heavier and heavier by the second.

In telling this little story, to describe my efforts as, awkward, is really being kind. I was taught to be a “little lady” and growing up with only a younger sister the need to defend myself from someone pulling rapid punches at my face was just not ever a problem.

I would start out ok, hands up, jabbing away, only to realize soon my tired arms had dropped and I had left my entire face exposed to the nearest bad guy willing to throw a punch. Then, talk about coordination, you are supposed to keep your feet moving constantly so you are not an easy target. Don’t you remember Muhammed Ali’s old saying “fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee?” Picture him or Mike Tyson bouncing back and forth on their feet, dancing away from his opponent all the while holding his gloves up to his face, always protecting and waiting for his opportunity to jab and cross, striking before his opponent even saw it coming.

Now that you have that image in mind, transpose this one, me dressed in my dusty workout pants and baggy t shirt standing in a gym with 40 other people, trying desperately to be invisible in the back of the room, and still peer out periodically around my associates to try and follow my deft moving instructor. Alternatively, I would forget to keep my hands up or forget to move my feet. My stance appeared more like a tree trunk rooted in soil than a dancing butterfly and my jab about as harmful as a wet noodle. Now, picture me breathing rapidly, sweating profusely and averaging 4 steps behind the group at any given point in time. Ya, I looked good.

Sensing I might be a natural at this sport, I continued my efforts to keep up.

Next the instructor had us move huge punching bags out into the center of the room. I realized what I was really up against when I pushed with all my might and it merely laughed at me. Seriously, I watched as my peers pushed, tilted and rolled their pads into the middle of the room. Trying again, I threw my entire weight against it hoping to knock it over and instead it bounced back at me like Bozo the Clown, nearly knocking me out on the rebound. At this point, a buff looking female classmate had mercy on me and quickly maneuvered the punching bag into proper position. Well, ok, time to move on.

Our instructor resumed his stance and proceeded to demonstrate a series of sidekicks and alternating punches. He outlined what he expected. Gloves up, I danced in place nodding my head that I was ready to go for it.

I threw my punch with all I had, danced back on my heels and brought my knee up for a menacing sidekick designed to disarm and disorient. The bag didn’t even move. Really, not even a tiny bit. I looked around the room, people were waylaying into their bags, loud smacks could be heard and bags teetered back and forth from the force of the kicks. Mine stood still staring back at me. Daring me to try it again.

After several exhausting minutes of this our instructor paired us with a partner. The plan was to have us stand on opposite side of the bags, alternating our punching and kicking. My partner was a stout man who had done this before. He nodded I could go first like a gentleman, so I grinned and threw the first of my punches, I hit with all I had, jab, jab, hook, upper cut, jab, side kick, side kick. I think I looked like I was having a seizure. The bag didn’t even twitch. Gasping for air I stepped back, impressed with my furry. I waited for my partner to go at it. Nothing happened. Finally, after a few seconds my partner peered around the bag, looked at me and said, “oh I guess you went already”. Then he proceeded to beat the living hell out of our bag and I soon found myself defending my face and head for fear the bag would fall over onto me, certain to kill me instantly. Seriously, he hadn’t even realized I had gone, what the hell!

Day one at Ferrell’s Extreme Body Shaping had me extremely whipped.

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Ice Climbing


Why do you want to ice climb?

“Why exactly do you want to climb up a frozen waterfall?” This is the question I have been asked about two dozen times in the past couple months. My enthusiastic answer is always the same “Because it sounds so cool!” Still, I am met with puzzled faces and wrinkled brows. “Well, not me!” They reply.

That’s ok with me. I am learning how to swim against the tide and do things other people can’t imagine themselves ever doing or even wanting to do. I guess I am learning to be a bit of a rebel.

The rebel within

Calling me a rebel is pretty funny if you know me. I am as harmless as a mouse. My role has always been to encourage others to do what they are called to do. Learning how to follow my own calling , which more often than not seems to goes against the tide of mainstream, middle age, mom stuff is new to me. But I catch on pretty quickly to new stuff so it is getting easier.

Determined not to be dissuaded, I stayed the course. I called back to Front Range Climbing Co and asked if the waterfall was frozen enough to climb yet and was told YES! Acting on impulse, I booked my adventure and proudly told the world, including my husband, what I was doing.

Now, Dan is getting better about not questioning my sanity and this time he really amazed me! He is always encouraging, but sometimes he wonders why I want to do the stuff I want to do. This time he joined me and while he did not ice climb he came along and did a fantastic job taking pictures and video of my big day. He is awesome at encouraging me to do my thing and he is patient while I figure out just what my thing really is!

I did my mom thing and got Maggie up and on the bus and then we headed down to Colorado Springs to meet my guide and instructor Dan.

It’s all about the right equipment

The first order of business was to get fitted for the right gear. First we had to find the right size of climbing boot. Climbing boots are made to cinch up really tight and they have a special grove around the toe so that the crampon’s can be added later for navigating the ice safely.

I had to wear a lot of layers starting with leggings and then ski pants and a waterproof coat. A hat and then a helmet topped off my head. Next came the harness so I could be roped securely and belayed by my partner.

After all this I was already sweating but we had to have all the necessary gear with us and then hike in to the fall. The hike in was only about 1/3 of a mile but then we had to break away from the nice groomed path and work our way down to the stream below the falls and then up to the base of the falls. This was tricky but pretty exciting.

As we came up to the frozen wonder of Silver Cascade Falls my eyes widened in awe. A frozen waterfall is a sight to behold and I have only seen one other one in my life. The thought that I would be climbing up that wall of ice gave me goose bumps. Amazingly, I was not afraid, just excited and jumpy with anticipation.

Rescue Squad has arrived

I had to laugh because there at the base of the waterfall was a six-man team of the Colorado Springs Fire Dept. and Rescue Squad training on the ice! This had to be the work of God because I do think He has a pretty good sense of humor. No doubt that between my guide and instructor Dan, and the entire Fire Department I was in good hands. These guys could handle any trouble I might get myself into from a sprained ankle to a heart attack! I think God was trying to take care of me since this ice-climbing thing is a bit extreme for a middle-aged mom like me! Either that or my guide Dan had already called in for backup before he even got me on the ice. I think it was God. Touché God! Pretty funny!

Picking my way

After a few lessons in rope tying and using my crampons and my picks Dan declared I was ready. “OK, here goes nothing!” I thought as I slung my pick with determination into the ice, only to be amazed when it sang as it stuck securely waiting patiently for me to pull myself up with it. I learned quickly the trick of this is to swing your pick at an indented piece of ice with snow on it if you can find it. Test the pick to make sure it is securely in there. Swing your other pick the same way. Now you are ready to push off with your toes and step up. When you land on the next step on your toes you need to kick it straight into the ice with your heels pushed down. Try picturing climbing up on your toes and pulling up with your picks. As long as you tested your pick and kicked straight in with your toes it was pretty straightforward. Not easy, but definitely doable.

The dreaded screaming barfies

About now, Dan my guide, mentioned this horrible thing that I might get called the “screaming barfies” and that definitely got my attention. “What the heck is the screaming barfies?” I asked. I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person and my newbie student ears perked right up at the mention of this horrible thing.

I needed to pay close attention because I intended to do everything I could to avoid getting the screaming barfies!

Dan explained that newbie’s tend to be nervous and hold their pick too tightly. As they work their way up the wall their muscles tense up. When you add the outdoor element of the cold sometimes your hands freeze up as you are climbing. When you get to the top and warm up it feels like when your foot goes to sleep and you get that nasty tingling feeling, only multiply it by about 10, and the result is you just want to scream and/or barf!

Terrifying Visions

“Good Lord, what have I gotten myself into?” I thought as visions of me dancing around on the top of the waterfall screaming and barfing as the entire Fire Department and Rescue Squad and my instructor watched from below. Oh Dear, even worse, my loving husband would have all this on film! Resolute to avoid the screaming barfies I kicked my first toe hold into the ice and slung my pick.

Determined to maintain my dignity on this adventure I carefully worked my way up the ice wall with my pick, very cognizant not to hold it too tightly. Flashbacks to my youth made me think I was slinging my pick like Yukon Cornelius in the beloved Christmas tale “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!”

Before I knew it I was at the top of the waterfall and ready to rappel back down!

Going down takes a lot of faith in your partner and a bit of courage but once you get going it is really the fun part if you ask me! I “walked” back down the wall and high fived my instructor!

I am proud to say that in my four-hour private lesson I managed to climb to the top of the waterfall five times! Dan, my instructor told me several times that I was really doing a good job and was a natural! I never did tell him that was only because I was highly motivated! No way on earth was I going to get the screaming barfies or need rescuing by the Colorado Springs Fire Department Search and Rescue Team! No wonder I was such a good student!

All kidding aside, I had an amazing day on the ice. Dan was a patient and encouraging teacher, I had excellent gear and a beautiful Colorado day. What more could I ask for?

I do think my husband was a bit bummed I didn’t get a case of the screaming barfies! He would have loved to catch that on film!

My friends if I can do it so can you!

So I ask you my friend, “what’s next on your list?”

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Letting Go

My son is going to college, out-of-state and 12 hours away from home. This is a good thing and a bad thing. I realize I want him to go to college, I am proud of him and his high school accomplishments and I understand that keeping him locked up in the house with me is not the socially acceptable thing these days. I am just really going to miss him.

He is a really cool young man, easy going and funny, not to mention, very helpful around the house! As a mother I am very conflicted. I think he is ready I am just not sure if I am.

I think he’ll make good decisions out on his own, but I am terrified when I think back to my college days and all the crazy stuff I used to do. What if he does something stupid and gets himself hurt or arrested? How can I protect him when he is not under my watchful eyes 24/7?

My imagination goes wild whenever I start to think of all the dangers awaiting him out in the “real world” and it only gets worse as the days tick off on my calendar! Swine flu, car wrecks, drunk drivers, floods in Iowa, contaminated drinking water, meningitis, drugs, college parties, infected splinters, mean girls, broken hearts, dehydration-so many potential threats out there waiting for my unsuspecting teenage son. How can I sleep at night not knowing if he arrived home safe? These are just some of the irrational fears that run through my mind at night. What am I supposed to do?

After wrestling with this for weeks, no, really months, I finally came to the conclusion that I am just going to have to get over it and let him go the same way I let his big sister go only 3 short years before.

To console myself I decided that a midlife crisis might be distracting, so I cooked up all these nutty bucket list items and decide that if I had to let my kids go and live a dangerous life I might as well live dangerously too and have a little fun.

I boldly announce to my son that I am taking him sky diving on his last full day at home. He was a bit surprised I must admit. Having the “fun sucker” for a mom usually did not include skydiving but he knew enough not to question my sanity prior to something this exciting.

Friday morning dawned as a perfect Colorado day. Temperatures were mid 80’s, clear, baby blue skies and mountains so crisp you could feel it as you took in the mountain air.

Mile Hi Skydiving indulged my whim only after I signed my life away on their release form and watched as my son boldly signed his name without a glimmer of hesitation.

I decided to splurge and buy the video tape thinking I would only do something this stupid once in my life and I had better record it for all the nonbelievers out there who really know me!

My tandem jumping partner’s name was Eric and he resembled a mid-life rocker with his salt and pepper grey hair and his cool tattoos and live and let live attitude. So far so good.

After we put our jumpsuits on, and were properly harnessed up we loaded a flat bed truck for the short journey to the plane. Still doing well. The plane was much smaller than I expected, especially when I started adding up all of us that were boarding, 20 seemed like a lot.

Inside it looked like it did in the movies with all the jumpers geared up sitting on benches facing each other in the crowded cargo hold.  I kept waiting for the panic to envelope me. Surely if I were a good mom I’d be worried about Sam but instead I was getting caught up in the adrenaline mixed with testosterone filling the air.

Soon Eric announced to me that I needed to hold the helmet, turn around facing away from him and then sit on his lap. Well, I had not thought this through very well, because I definitely did not anticipate this development. Sitting on a strange tattooed, rocker man’s lap did not seem like the suburban motherly thing to do. In fact, it seemed outright scandalous, but after looking into his eyes I could see he was serious I decided to comply.

Next, Eric started to clip us together and then synced us together so tightly I could imagine all kinds of improper things. Well, I had not been this intimate with a man other than my husband for over 28 years and this was really strange. Trying not to over think my current situation I tried a few deep breaths.

The next words still gave me cause to wonder when Eric told me to “scooch down into his lap as much as I could” In what really felt like a little dirty dancing, grinding motion I tried to comply. This was starting to get very interesting when all of a sudden, the hatch door flew open and Eric started sliding down the bench toward the open door. Within a split second I was faced with a whole new problem, that being the fact that I was now cinched very tightly to a strange man and we were standing in the doorway of a plane flying at 18,000 feet above the ground.

“Dear God what was I thinking when I signed up for this?” I thought.

Before I had a chance to panic Eric made good on his word and threw us efficiently out of the plane, and I was falling 120 miles per hour toward the distant ground. My ears started ringing, my cheeks were flapping in the wind and it was really, really loud.

This delightful stage is called the free-fall and while it officially only lasts 45 to 60 seconds it feels like a lot longer when you are actually doing it. Amazed at my enthusiasm for this I just enjoyed the rush and gave into the feelings this evoked. This was really wild!

A strange thought occurred to me mid-free-fall. It dawned on me that this experience held a very symbolic meaning for me. If I could let go of my fears enough to jump out of a plane with a complete stranger responsible for my well being, than I had the courage in me to let go of my son. Let him go rang in my ears with the wind. Let him go. This is what life was all about, feeling it, enjoying it, testing it and living it. Let him go. Let him go.

Just as quickly as it all began it changed. It felt like a light switched flipped on me and suddenly the parachute opened and we were floating. Peace all around, peace within my heart. It was like floating on a cloud, calm, pleasant, beautiful. We drifted toward earth slowly taking in the view of the mountains, the ponds, farms and other skydivers floating in the air above us. It was like time stopped for 4 minutes and I got to feel like God looking over his creation. I think part of the peace came from the recognition that it was ok as the mom to let go and let your child experience life.

When we landed, nice and softly, I declared to Eric that this was undoubtedly the coolest thing I had ever done. Letting go was good; it was fun, exciting and more.

Nothing bad happened and I realized that nothing bad would happen if I had the courage to let go of my children. How could I deny my son this amazing of an experience all in the name of love? That would simply not be right. Let him go.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list”.

Skydiving Soft Landing

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