December 30, 2013

Yummy Snacks for Your Next Big Adventure

Adventure Bars for on-the-go snacking

A big adventure needs fuel and The League of Adventurous Women test kitchen has a tasty treat for the next time you head out the door for fishing, cycling, skydiving or even a road trip.  These Adventure Bars are packed with protein and carbs for energy.

Adventure Bars

1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
¾ cup reduced fat peanut butter

4 cups Grape-nuts cereal
1 ½ cups dry roasted peanuts
1 ½ cups whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped*
1 cup Oatmeal (optional)
½ cup Coconut (optional)
1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, etc.)

Line 13x9 pan or jelly roll pan with parchment allowing parchment to go up the sides of the pan (or use foil and spray lightly with no-stick cooking spray).
Combine cereal, nuts, oatmeal and fruit in large bowl. Set aside.
Microwave corn syrup, sugar and peanut butter in large microwavable bowl on HIGH for 2-1/2 minutes or just until mixture boils, stirring every minute (time will vary depending on the strength of your microwave).
Add cereal mixture to peanut butter mixture. Stir to coat well. Press firmly into lined pan (you may have to press with a little piece of parchment to keep the mixture from coating your hands). Cool.  When mixture has cooled completely, pull entire rectangle out of pan by pulling on parchment. Cut into bars. Wrap bars separately for travel or store in an air-tight container.

* toast whole almonds at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. Let cool and chop into large pieces.

December 13, 2013

Want to Explore the Milkyway?

Fun Citizen Scientist News from the Zooniverse Team:

The original Milky Way Project (MWP), which asks citizen scientists like YOU to help measure and map our galaxy, launched three years ago. Since then more than 50,000 individuals have contributed millions of drawings of objects in our galaxy. The new MWP is being launched to map data from different regions of the galaxy in a new infrared wavelength combination. It’s very exciting! There are tens of thousands of images from the Spitzer Space Telescope to look through. After a bit of training, volunteers record what they see in this infrared data and Zooniverse scientists can better understand how stars form.

Get involved now at

In other awesome news: The Zooniverse has been named as one of six Google Global Impact Awardees for 2013. This award will allow for a platform that can support hundreds or maybe even thousands of new and exciting citizen science projects!

November 4, 2013

Adventure of a Lifetime: Author Michelle Pugh talks about completing the Appalachian Trail

Author/Hiker Michelle Pugh

The Appalachian Trail (the AT for short) stretches across 2,184 miles of mountain, meadow, and occasionally asphalt from Georgia to Maine. Some intrepid adventurers begin at one end, usually Georgia, and hike every inch of the AT in one trip, until they summit Mt. Katahdin in Maine. These people are known as thru-hikers and only 10% of the people who attempt the trail this way are successful. Other hikers, called section hikers, do the trail a piece at a time. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy says the number of thru-hikers has grown steadily from the early days. Only 5 people completed the journey during the first three years the trail was open, 1936-1939. Compare that to 2010-2013 when 2,203 hikers made the trek -- about 25% of those adventurous souls were women.

Michelle Pugh not only hiked the entire AT, she met and fell in love with her (then) hiking partner, Souleman, and captured her story in her memoir Love at First Hike: A Memoir About Love & Triumph on the Appalachian Trail.

I met Michelle, an energetic and bubbly woman, following an AT Conservancy membership drive in Washington, D.C. She was kind enough to share some of her incredible story through a Q & A. Naturally, my first question was…

AWB: Why?
MP: I heard about the trail when I was about 12 years old. My summer camp group was on a backpacking trip and we met a man who started telling us about the Appalachian Trail. The more he told us about the trail, the more I wanted to do it. I thought about it for years but didn’t start making plans until I was a sophomore in college. My junior year I finalized my plan and then I spent my senior year reading, researching gear, and getting serious.

AWB: Did you go on this grand adventure alone or with a bunch of friends?
MP: I had planned to go by myself and I went to Georgia on my own. , But I had met other thru-hiker hopefuls on one of the Internet sites where people talk about gear. Six of us agreed to meet in Georgia and at least start the first day together. We had no commitments past day one. When you start in Georgia, you register at Amicalola Falls State Park as an attempted thru-hiker and the rangers take your picture for the record book. The seven of us started on March 15 and we called our group The Ides of March.  While we all started together, we traveled at different paces and didn’t stay together very long.  In the end, I only hiked with one other person. He was actually from that starting group. Our relationship grew beyond hiking partners – at least for a while – but you have to read my book to get the full story!

AWB: Was the AT what you expected? Did anything surprise you?
MP: I’m a very type-A person. I spent a lot of time preparing and doing research because I didn’t want too many surprises. After all of my preparations, I was pleased with my gear choices and didn’t encounter the gear problems of some other hikers. Some of the hike was what I’d expected --I had imagined summiting mountains, walking though beautiful areas, and bonding with other hikers. But I hadn’t thought about the time spent in little towns and that was a wonderful part of the experience. Hikers bonded in Laundromats, eating in small restaurants, and staying in crowded hotels.  I also loved meeting locals and being able to patronize small town businesses. We went through so many charming little towns that I might not have ever seen otherwise in my life.

AWB: Was there anything you wish you wished for while you were on the trail?
MP: One thing I ended up adding to my supplies was duct tape.  I wrapped it around my hiking poles to use for random things. I had blisters and found it was the only thing that actually stuck to my feet.

If anything, I got rid of stuff. My pack was much lighter at the end of the trail than it was at the beginning. One thing that surprised me was that I thought I would carry a book. I’m an avid reader, but I had no interest in reading on the trail.  In retrospect, I think that’s partly because the first half of the trail I had mono (which I didn’t know until later), and was too tired to do anything but go to bed after hiking all day.

AWB: I can’t imagine that! How could you hike through mono?
MP: I was exhausted but I didn’t tell anyone because I thought everyone was that tired. After all, I was hiking 10 to 20 miles a day up mountains while carrying 40 pounds on my back. I just thought being exhausted was part of it. I’ve never been a great sleeper, and I was amazed that I could barely lie down before falling asleep each night. In the mornings it was all I could do to wake up -- and that was after sleeping 10 or more hours.  But since I thought everyone felt this way, I just kept going.

AWB: So how did you realize you had mono?
MP: It is a really long story. I had been hiking with serious pain in my feet for hundreds of miles. This was pain to the point that I could barely stand up in the mornings, and I often cried for the first couple of miles of hiking. I went to an ER on the trail because I had a UTI and needed antibiotics. While I was there I asked the doctor to look at my feet. He diagnosed me with a bilateral case of severe plantar fasciitis, which affects the thick tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from your toes to your heel. Carrying extra weight and walking long distances was aggravating it.  The doctor suggested I quit hiking so I could heal. I wouldn’t accept that, so I returned to the trail. After another 100 miles, conveniently exactly at the half way point of the AT, I realized I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore.

With many tears, I stopped hiking and returned to my parents’ house in Massachusetts to tend to my feet. I did physical therapy, wore night casts, and stayed off of my feet as much as possible. I was in a lot of pain and I missed hiking. But, strangely, even without the physical strain of hiking large mileage, I was incomprehensibly tired. I eventually went to a doctor who did blood work. A few days later the doctor called and told me I had mono.  When I went in for my follow up appointment, the doctor came into the exam room and said he’d heard I’d hiked 11 miles recently. I said, “no” and he said he thought that had sounded like a lot. Then I told him I hadn’t hiked 11 miles; I’d hiked 11-hundred miles. He was speechless for a bit. Then he told me that mono causes your spleen to be inflamed and that I was lucky I hadn’t died with all of that physical exertion. I was ordered to be on bed rest – which was particularly miserable when I was used to hiking outside all day, every day.

AWB: How long did you have to wait before you could hike again?
MP: I spent almost a year getting to the point that I could walk normally again. During that time, my hiking partner and I got engaged, planned a wedding, got married (on the AT), and almost exactly one year after leaving the trail, we went back to finish the trail for our honeymoon! So technically I completed the trail in two 1,100 mile segments. I’m sad that I didn’t make it in one season, but I know it was out of my control. In a weird way, having injured feet may have saved my life, since hiking with mono could have killed me.

AWB: Were you ever really afraid?
MP: Only once having to do with other people. We ran into a man who gave me the feeling something wasn’t right. He was wearing denim overalls but carrying a children’s backpack with a blanket tied to the bottom. He was leaning on a tree watching us. He said he spent a lot of time in the woods and asked where we were going. I gave him a very vague answer. I tried to keep walking and he asked if I knew how to get to Angel’s Rest, a place just a mile up the trail, even though he claimed to know the woods well.  We hiked faster and faster away from him, looking back often. We ended up hiking more than five extra miles and camping in the middle of the trail and spent the night watching for him. We found out a few days later that he was arrested for harassing hikers.

Other than that, I’d say some of the extremes were more extreme than I anticipated. I had the clothes, the gear and the knowledge. But there were times when I had to remind myself that I chose this. No one was making me do this. I was scared when we had to walk across a bald in the middle of a lightning storm, and then there was the time I had hypothermia in Tennessee and I had to be helped off the trail. The other hikers got me to a hotel and warmed me up. It wasn’t until later that I realized how serious the situation had been. I had many of the symptoms of severe hypothermia, including confusion, clumsiness, lack of coordination, and decreased energy. It took me a good four days to recover my energy, but I was out of danger in a few hours.

AWB: You clearly went through some big challenges, what was the best part for you?
MP: The obvious answer is being in love while being on an adventure like that—it was a non-stop endorphin high. It was the happiest I can remember being. A shared experience is different – sometimes better, sometimes harder, but always different.

A less obvious answer was seeing myself overcome a lot of challenges successfully. It proved my determination and strength to me. Another of the highlights was the ability to see so much of the natural world. People say the wilderness is disappearing but not along the AT.

AWB: You must have met some interesting people out there. Who was the most fascinating person you met?
MP: I met a couple in their mid 70s who were thru-hiking for the second time. They had retired and become permanent nomads. Their whole marriage they had saved money to go from dream to dream and now they were living their dreams. After the AT they were going to Utah to a skydiving school and then to Canada for ice fishing. I still get Christmas cards from them every year and I enjoy seeing what they’ve been up to.

AWB: What was the weirdest part of your experience?
MP: The inherent trust in strangers. Getting in a stranger’s car, sleeping in the house of someone I just met. You just do it. I think back now and I’d probably do it again on the trail, but I don’t live like that in real life. I work as an EMT and I see some of the bad decisions people make and the way they lie and hurt each other. I’m glad I had the trail experience early in my adult life, because I think it helps me balance giving people a chance to be trusted and being weary.

AWB: Is there anything you’d like to say to the women who are reading this interview?
MP: I want women to know that they can be feminine and tough at the same time. They don’t have to choose.  I am delicate and strong. I am equal parts skirts and jewelry and hiking clothes.  I wear pink and play in the mud. I’d also tell women they shouldn’t put off an outdoor ambition because someone else doesn’t understand it.

Michelle has a BA in philosophy and currently works as an emergency medical technician (EMT). You can find her Appalachian Trail memoir, Love at First Hike, on 

Her next long distance hike will be the 215-mile John Muir Trail in California’s High Sierra next summer. She has a different (and surprising) hiking partner this time. She hopes you will read her second book (which is already in the works) to learn about that adventure!

October 25, 2013

Adventure in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Are you a science buff looking for a VERY cool (but free) space adventure? Do you love looking at those incredible shots from the Hubble Space Telescope? This, Ms. Citizen Scientist, is for you!

Last year Zooniverse (the amazing citizen science organization) launched the Andromeda Project and asked the public to help locate star clusters in our nearest neighbouring galaxy: Andromeda (M31). The project was a phenomenal success and in less than three weeks volunteers had classified more than a million images. This week Zooniverse wants to try and do it again! They just released a whole new batch of data into the Andromeda Project and they're calling this Round 2.

The data you'll see are amazingly detailed images from the Hubble Space Telescope, which has peered deep into Andromeda as part of the PHAT survey. The aim of the Andromeda Project is to the locate all the star clusters and background galaxies found in PHAT and to build up the most complete map of any spiral galaxy anywhere. This is amazing science that can only be done with the help of citizen scientists.To join the Andromeda Project visit 

Image from Dreamstime

October 10, 2013

Win a League of Adventurous Women T-Shirt!

T-Shirt Give Away! Just like us on Facebook by midnight on October 31 and you might be sporting our caped adventurous women logo in November.

Three winners will be chosen at random to receive a stylishly-purple League of Adventurous Women T-shirt. Our must-have fashion accessory features The League logo on the front and Helen Keller's famous quotation on the back, "Life is either a great adventure or nothing."

You'll be the hottest cool chick in town!

(P.S. You can also like us by visiting our web site,

September 23, 2013

League of Adventurous Women Launches Web Site!

It's official! The League of Adventurous Women web site is online and ready for visitors.

The new easy-to-use site will help you find a women's adventure group in your area or get tips on starting a group of your own.  The site helps organizations as well by connecting potential new members with groups and increasing an organization's exposure in the community. There's a snazzy League widget that organizations can add to their own web sites (see the FAQ page).

The League of Adventurous Women network includes educational organizations like Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, groups focused on a single activity like fishing, sailing or cycling; as well as "bucket-list" organizations that offer a wide variety of opportunities.

The League doesn't cater to women of a particular age, income level or ability, The League helps all women leave their comfort zones, break their routines and pursue their dreams.

Drop by the new site an give it a test drive:

September 20, 2013

Maryland Lighthouse Challenge Sept 21 & 22

Sandy Point Lighthouse, MD
Are you looking for an enlightening experience this weekend? Well look no further, the Maryland Lighthouse Challenge has everything you need. This two-day event offers lighthouse enthusiasts a chance to visit 9 lighthouses and 1 lightship while collecting complimentary souvenirs and enjoying some history. You can see the lights in any order but you have to visit all 10 to complete the challenge and claim your special prize.

But that's not all! This year's challenge offers three bonus lighthouses (including one in Virginia) and a cruise. A list of lighthouses, driving directions, fees and schedules can be found here.

All the fun is sponsored by the Chesapeake Chapter of the United States Lighthouse Society and is intended to remind us all that lighthouses are an important part of our maritime heritage and remain treasured keepsakes of a by-gone era.

If you aren't in the Chesapeake Bay area and want to know more about lighthouses in your local waters, click here.

September 6, 2013

Celebrate National Yoga Month with FREE Online Classes

September is National Yoga Month and Athleta has three online classes that will let you try yoga for free. What have you got to lose? Click here for your (very calm) online adventure.

September 4, 2013

Inspiring Words from Diana Nyad

On Monday, 64-year-old Diana Nyad accomplished her 36-year old dream: to swim the 110 miles between Havana, Cuba and Key West, Florida without a shark cage. This was her fifth attempt and will remain in the history books as one of the most amazing moments in endurance sports.  Diana has done numerous interviews and has shared some inspirational messages with her listeners.

To the crowd on Smathers Beach in Key West,
"We should never, ever give up...You're never too old to chase your dreams."

In an interview with Diane Sawyer:
DS: Let me say for Baby Boomers everywhere, 'You rocked it'!
DN: Well, let me say back to all my fellow Baby Boomers, 'You can all rock it'! ...The clock is ticking fast and 60s is not too late to grasp on to even charished dreams. Dig down into that potential. I can't tell you how alive it makes you feel!

In an interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America
"I really do believe that endurance grows and we can never discount, in any sport, the mental. How many athletes do you know, John McEnroe is one for sure, who say that they wish they could have played at the world-class level in their 50s and their 60s? Because the powers of concentration and the perspective of what it all means and what you're capable of are infinitely higher at this age than when you're a young twenty-something..."

"...You know, I decided this year to use a mantra and I think a lot of people can relate to this in their own lives, whatever they're pushing through...the phrase I decided to use was, 'find a way.' If something is important to you, and it looks impossible and you're up against it, just step back for a minute and say, 'really, do I have the resolve to think of every nth degree to get through this?'  And most times we do. People give up too quickly--and I said that on the beach when I came out. I didn't have much energy for talking too long but the first thing I said, I looked around 'cuz those people weren't from the world of swimming, they didn't care about the world record, it wasn't an athletic event, it was a moment of human spirit and I said to people, 'never, ever give up.'"

August 16, 2013

7th Annual Women's Fish Camp to be held in Northern WI

WI Women Fish will be holding their 7th annual Fish Camp September 13-15, in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.  Attendees can participate in a variety of classes and clinics: from musky fishing to fly casting. Cleaning and smoking fish, boating basics and all about crank baits are some of the classes to be offered.

In addition to the classes, Fish Campers will be able to get on the water and fish the Moen Chain, a class A musky lake in Northern WI.  This year's special guest is mystery writer, Victory Houston, whose stories are set in the North woods of Wisconsin against a background of fishing – fly fishing as well as fishing for musky, bass, bluegill and walleyes.

Whether you are a beginner angler or a tournament participant, you are welcome to join the group. We have several classes for new anglers so don’t feel like you need to be an expert angler to attend. We welcome all skill levels. All supplies for the classes are provided and included with the Fish Camp Fee. More information can be found at

August 10, 2013

Pedaling to Portland: Grand Finale!

Julie and teammates celebrate by dipping their front tires in the Pacific
Julie and a group of young adults have been biking from Baltimore, MD to Portland, OR to benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. The team has covered 4,400 miles in 10 weeks. This is Julie's final report.

Note: When the team left Baltimore, they began their journey by dipping their bikes' rear tires in the Atlantic waters.

Two days ago we arrived on the Pacific coast! We dipped our bikes [front tires] in the water at Cannon Beach and celebrated our accomplishment of making it across the country.

Today, we arrived in Portland! It's hard to believe that it's already been 70 days! I remember day one like it was yesterday.  I got to the [overnight] host really late that day and it was what felt like the hardest day ever. But when I got to the host, my teammates welcomed me with smiling faces and applause. That was the moment that I realized that with a super awesome and supportive team like mine, I would be able to make it! Now that we're in Portland and we've all gone our separate ways, it feels weird to not have my 4K [that's miles not kilometers] family with me. I will miss them all and I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to have spent my summer with. Summer of 2013 is definitely one to remember!

Well done Julie and team!  Congratulations on a tremendous accomplishment!

Julie is in the front row, 4th from the left,  just above the 4K

August 2, 2013

Backcountry Adventure Opportunity in Vermont

Vermont Outdoors Woman Fall Doe Campers

Vermont Outdoors Woman is holding a three-day educational retreat with an impressive variety of classes. Situated in Caanan, Vermont -- moose country -- the Fall Doe Camp offers 35 courses ranging from Marksmanship, Mountain Biking, and Maple Sugaring to Kayaking, Birding, Self Defense, Wilderness Survival, Hunters Ed, Pickling and Panning for Gold.

Fall Doe Camp is September 26-29, 2013. For more information about classes, lodging, and pricing, visit

The event is sponsored in part by Jackson’s Lodge, Vermont Fish & Wildlife, and the Vermont Outdoor Guide Association.

Did I mention the Moose BBQ on Saturday evening?

July 30, 2013

Pedaling to Portland: Day 57

Julie and a group of young adults are biking from Baltimore, MD to Portland, OR to benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. The team will cover 4,400 miles in 10 weeks. This is Julie's report for

Day 57:

We went to Yellowstone on our rest day in Wyoming. Now, we are in Idaho and there's not much to report. Last state before Oregon!!

July 14, 2013

Pedaling to Portland: Day 40-42

Julie and a group of young adults are biking from Baltimore, MD to Portland, OR to benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. The team will cover 4,400 miles in 10 weeks. This is Julie's report for

Julie Crosses the Continental Divide: elev. 11.990 ft.
Day 40-42:

Colorado: Day 40 was our first day in the Rocky Mountains. The Rockies and I have a love/hate relationship because I love how beautiful they are but the climbing is a killer. We ended up taking the harder route from Boulder to Idaho Springs but it was worth it when we had about 8 miles of downhill and didn't have to pedal at all at the end of the day. During that downhill stretch, I reached a maximum speed of 45 mph!

Day 41, we got up at 4:30am so that we could set out early. We climbed Loveland Pass and at the top was the Continental Divide. It was the highest point of the entire trip at 11,990 feet! We were hit with some bad weather in the afternoon and after climbing the first mountain I was beat so I was vanned to our overnight host location.

Saturday (day 42), was a fairly easy route that was mostly downhill. We went through Glenwood Canyon on a trail that was awesome! Tomorrow we should be back to climbing so wish me luck!
Glenwood Canyon, CO

July 7, 2013

Pedaling to Portland: Day 33-35

Julie and a group of young adults are biking from Baltimore, MD to Portland, OR to benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. They will cover 4,400 miles in 10 weeks. This is Julie's report for

Day 33-35:

For the Fourth of July, we were in Arapaho, NE. We had really good BBQ and watched fireworks. The next day was a rest day and we went shooting at a local gun range. We shot pistols, rifles and trap. The trap shooting was really cool because I had never shot at moving clay pigeons before. This morning, we left Arapaho at 6am and rode 103 miles. We finished in Imperial, NE at around 2:40 and I am exhausted.

Note: The team is heading into Colorado now and their route will take them through Yuma, Ft. Morgan, Boulder, Idaho Springs, Vail, Carbondale, Hotchkiss & Fruita.  If you're in the area, be sure to  give them a cheer.

July 3, 2013

Pedaling to Portland: Day 28 - 32

Julie and a bunch of young adults are biking from Baltimore, MD to Portland, OR to benefit the Ulman Cancer fund for Young Adults. They will cover 4,400 miles in 10 weeks. This is Julie's report for

Day 28 - 32:

Over the weekend, days 28 and 29 of the trip, we were in Omaha, Nebraska, which was really fun. I think Omaha has been one of my favorite stops of the trip so far. We had our first home stay, which means that we all stayed in houses of people who live in the area. I was with three other girls from the team. The house that we went to had a mom and dad (Robin and Curtis), three boys (Mike and John are twins and James is younger), and a dog (Murphy). It was so nice being in a home because I really did feel right at home. The boys felt like brothers and the parents felt like parents. This was good for me
The boys and dad
because I had kind of been missing home. The first night in Omaha we went to a restaurant and we all got steaks for dinner, which was awesome! After dinner we went back to the house with Mike and John for cookies that Mike made and ice cream that John had to go get. Our host mom made all her sons give up their beds so that we had somewhere to sleep and they took the air mattresses.  I had the best night's sleep there for the entire trip so far.  In the morning we got up and had french toast made by our host mom. After breakfast, the family went to church and dropped us off in The Old Market [an arts & entertainment district] where we went on slides and went into the shops. That night, there was a cookout-pool party at our host's house that was a lot of fun! Leaving the next morning was hard because it was almost like leaving my real family at the beginning of the summer.

Today, day 32, was a century -- 100 miles or more -- but I didn't ride the entire thing because at mile 25 I blew my tire and needed a new one. The water van had to drive me to the water stop at about mile 40 where the food van with the extra tires met us and gave me my replacement. I changed [my tire] and finished the day in Franklin, NE. Tomorrow is the fourth and we should have a pretty easy day ahead of us!
The girls with their host "mom"