Recap: Colorado Riding + Writing
I swear ya’ll, every time we run a tour it gets better and better.
Our 2018 Riding + Writing tour ran with seven women total: one from Houston, two from New York, two from Tucson and two from the Denver area.
My favorite thing about Damesly tours is watching how women with different backgrounds, different ages and different personalities all work together. As the organizer I always start a tour thinking, “Will the all get along?” and by the end of every trip I feel like we’re family. This trip was no exception.
Day 1: Arrival + Writing Workshop #1
After arriving to the Denver area, we made our way to our gorgeous Victorian mansion in Cheesman Park area.
Where we stay on Damesly tours depends a lot on the theme and goal for each trip. In this case, as writing is such an intimate and vulnerable experience, I knew staying together in a beautiful home would be the best way to get closer. Turns out, I was right.
We started our writing workshop, led by the amazing Lindsay King-Miller, that evening around our large dining room table. The theme was “Be Brave—Write Badly.” We followed her lead on writing prompts and then shared what we had written—we cried, we laughed, we supported each other—by the end of that workshop, the foundation for life-long friendship was laid.
Day 2: Horseback Riding + Stanley Hotel + Food truck park
After cooking a gorgeous breakfast and enjoying it outside on our patio, we set off for the area of Estes Park, where we had an afternoon horseback ride through the Rocky Mountains.
We decided to take the scenic route and stopped in Boulder for a view of the flatlands and an afternoon writing prompt around a picnic table.
Favorite thing about Damesly #2: since we build them ourselves, we always have the option of adding in impromptu activities that are always so much fun.
After our horseback ride in Estes Park, we went for an afternoon cocktail at the Stanley Hotel, famous as the exterior was used in filming The Shining. Eek!
When we returned to Denver that evening we went to a local food truck/ beer park where everyone had the option of choosing something that sounded good to them. There were lots of laughs as for whatever reason, Denver hates Diet Coke (ahem).
By this point, we had all become very close friends. We laughed often, we felt free and flexible to be able to choose our own adventures, so to speak, and we supported each other when times got tough for us individually.
Day 3: White Water Rafting + Writing
During breakfast on Day 3, one of our ladies was visibly upset. In the late evening the night before, she received devastating news about the passing of a close friend. Naturally, we rallied around her.
As an organizer, this is where I spring into action mode. Since we were going white water rafting later that day, I called ahead and arranged for us to be able to send flowers down the river in a private and short ceremony that allowed us to once again show her support.
When we got on the raft, another round of hilarious things happened and we spent the entire two hours laughing almost hysterically as we rafted (sometimes backwards) through a series of small rapids. It was a great bonding activity that forced us to work together and once again, support one another.
That evening we went to Linger, a restaurant which serves food inspired by different countries around the world, for a final meal and recap. We went around the table and talked about the experience and how thankful we were for one another.
After that dinner we had one final writing workshop at home. And as writing workshops tend to do, it left us all with insights we didn’t have previously.
Day 4: Departures
After a group breakfast at our lovely home, we set off for the airport. It was hard to say goodbye to these ladies, but I know we’ll stay in touch and travel together again soon.
This is the power of a women’s tour, and what makes this project so special to me.
I hope you’ll consider joining us and our growing family by coming on an adventure soon!