After January's Women Wednesday event, DW teamed up again with GirlVentures for a Women Wednesday on May 4th, attempting to fundraise for this hike. For every flight of Tres Sabores wine sold that evening, one dollar went to the non-profit. Thank you to Julie Johnson for doing such a wonderful job that evening and for Brice and her team representing GirlVentures.
I climbed the Berkeley hills just to drive past two ladies holding a white board. U-turn! I missed my turn. Thank goodness for the live directional signage. Good call, GirlVentures. I also now know my way to the carousel in this park. I have heard of it but have never sought it out. I was early and parked hoping to get a 20-minute power nap. It was a busy week. I could not fall asleep. The sprinkles that landed on my windshield and the swaying of branches told me that I will be cold on this hike. I put on my The NorthFace jacket before heading up to check in, check our their raffles and have a snack.
I checked in and Brice immediately recognized me and thanked me for coming. I wish I was able to recruit my staff and hiking friends but I was proud of myself for making it. The bed was nice and warm and cozy that morning; unlike the at-the-time conditions. As I know from being a host to countless events, I didn't want to take up too much of her time and I walked off to check out the pre-festivities.
The table of raffle prizes were manned by two young angels, literally in wings. Prizes included notebooks, a Patagonia jacket or vest, spa treatments and restaurant gift certificates to Oro and Beretta in San Francisco. I purchased $20 worth of raffle tickets and put equal amounts in to dine at another restaurant other than DW. I have so much of the city to explore and I would much prefer not to pay full price.
The food spread by Blackrock was full of pastries, bagels, cream cheese, jelly, assorted fruits and a table of juice, tea and coffee. I can't remember the last time I had a half of a bagel with cream cheese.
The rain began to fall a bit harder and speeches began. I took cover under the branches of a tree and held my green tea cup with both hands for warmth. Introductions were made and a speech by a young GirlVentures participant said some words before a hike she has done time before and before she moves cross country to begin college. Her story was one that needed to be told. She was going thru a transition. She didn't know how to deal with the emotions with having a crush on another girl. GirlVentures gave her someone to talk to. She has found out who she is. Being a teenager is tough as it is. Kudos to her for gaining the confidence and embracing who she is.
The 3-mile hike began and I started to follow the crowd. There were groups of people that knew each other and dogs eager to hike the path. After a few minutes, a blonde gal with glasses was quick in her step and said the least scariest thing to say to a stranger. She said hello. She was walking by herself and I later found out that her mother was near the back. She didn't like being back there so she went ahead and we began to chat about the charity, where she's grown up and even what she wants to do when she grows up. Her name was Lina.
Some parts of the trail were slippery and mud was unavoidable. Mud gathered under my shoes to create what felt like an extra 5 pounds going up inclines. Every now and then I would have to pause to attempt to take off inches of mud by brushing my foot sideways on patches of greens. It was like I finally added extra weight to my workout. Lisa from BodyRock.tv always wears her 6-pound vest to intensify her workouts. I was doing high knees up this hill with mud I couldn't escape. I was also soaking wet, therefore more weight. But the scenery was beautiful.
It was a fun hike and it was nice to meet some young ladies that have and have had GirlVentures to help them come out of their shells and make a difference in this world. The organization brought gals from Alameda, Cupertino and even Southern California to this event. There were supportive men there too! After all, James Brown did say that "it's a man's world, but it would be nothing without a woman or a girl." Here it is sung by a woman, Ms. Juliet Simms.
I have personally been looking for an organization to volunteer at. I think I found one! I look forward to being more involved with GirlVentures. Even in the mud and rain!Stay tuned!