What is it about Alaskan women that makes us different? Is it the fact that we are just as comfortable in Bunny Boots as we are in high heels? Just like the land, we have a little wild in us that is hard to, or never can be, tamed. We hear the call of adventure and throw caution to the wind, jumping in with both feet. I believe it is this and more. Ever since the beginning of time, women have banded together in a sisterhood that is deeper than blood. The fact of the matter is, that while we love the men in our lives, sometimes we just need a little girl time.
I have found myself in desperate need of this girl time often on my many snowmachine adventures in a male-dominated sport. This doesn’t mean that I can’t hold my own in a conversation about track length or paddle height, enclosed or open trailers, this manufacturer versus that manufacturer.
It is just that sometimes these discussions seem like a broken record. Men seem to be able to have them over and over and never get tired of the same topics. I was once having lunch at Yentna Station with my husband and our riding companion. The riding companion had made it his mission to inform me of every detail regarding the rebuilding of a carburetor on a 20-year-old machine. No kidding, even down to mapping it out on a napkin. My husband ignored me as I silently plead with my eyes to change the topic or to get me out of a conversation where I was trapped with no escape.
It was around this time, that I began searching for female friends who had the same interest that I did in snowmachining. If there had been a match.com for women seeking women sled friends I would have been the first to sign up. It wasn’t long before I had the chance to ride with a few ladies who had the same passion that I did in regard to sledding. Sled sisters are like kindred spirits, willing to stand on the edge of adventure, grab your hand and jump with you.
Riding with other women has increased my riding skills dramatically. Sometimes it is just watching them that I am able to pick up a skill, or the competitor in me that says if they can do it, so can I. We compare riding gear and recipes, raising kids and relationships. Blending all the things we love into conversations and friendships and most of all laugh out loud fun.
If you haven’t had the chance to ride with other women and become part of the sledding sisterhood there’s no time like the present. Alaska Ladies Ride 2016 is just around the corner. If you are looking to make some lasting memories join us.
According to Jen Adams, Alaska Ladies Ride founder, this ride is a way to focus on empowering women.
“We want the ladies to feel comfortable and confident in the backcountry. We want them to gain the skills needed to get them where they want to go safely. Being out on a ladies-only ride really helps to hone in some of those skills in an encouraging environment that doesn’t necessarily have the pressures of ‘keeping up with the boys.’ It’s great to be challenged and supported by ladies. It seems to have a greater impact in a positive manner.”
Alaska Ladies Ride supporter Missy Timberlake says: “Riding with other women is empowering. It is a great feeling to depend on your female riding partners to help you out of sticky situations.”
As Alaskan women, we bring to the table a variety of traits including determination, experience, encouragement and the ability to look a challenge in the eye and wink. If alone we are strong and able, together we are unstoppable.
The Alaska Ladies Ride 2016 will begin at the Kroto parking lot in Trapper Creek, at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 26. It will finish at Kenny Creek Lodge. The ride is dedicated to raising money for Providence Cancer Center with 100 percent of donations going to support cancer patients in Alaska. All experience levels are invited to participate in what is sure to be the highlight of this riding season.
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