Last summer I went on a 5-day backcountry hike with my brother (Jeff) and father (Dale) in the Canadian Rockies, and as I usually do, I put my own last minute spin on it.
We did it in a dress, and it was awesome.
I've already mentioned it in a past, but as the season is about to start again, I thought I'd toss out some of my views and updates on what has happened since last year.
My Brother and Father are All-Stars
Given my current way of life, wandering the globe over the past few years, I don't get a whole lot of face-to-face time with my family. We had been talking about and planning this hiking trip for months while I was still overseas, to one of my favorite trails in the world, the Berg Lake Trail. After I arrived back to Canada for the summer, only weeks before we were set to take off, we met for dinner. It was then that I sprang it on them that I planned on "doing it in a dress" for the One Girl campaign.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I asked them to join me. It would have been easy for them to say no, and give me a pat of the back and tell me to go for it myself. To be honest, I was riding a week-long high after attending the World Domination Summit, and thought I could do anything.
It took about 30 seconds for them to come on board and join me.
Now I will say that how comfortable they were (and I to a degree) changed with time. During the first photo shoot, Jeff was wearing long shorts under his dress, and Dale wearing a t-shirt under his. For the first hour on the trail, Dale made it his mission to make sure that everyone that saw us on the trail knew we weren't crazy, and we were wearing these dresses for charity.
By the end of the hike as we entered the Jasper townsite, they were walking into the liquor store buying beer in their dresses.
These are just two fantastic, inspiring human beings.
We Raised a Lot of Stuff
So with essentially a week before we took off, we set out a goal to raise $3000. By the time we took off for the 8hr drive to Mt Robson, we had met our goal. From then on, it was all gravy. When it was all added up in the end, we raised $7444. That's enough to pay for 31 girls to go to school for a year. Amazing.
More than 80 individuals, couples, groups, and companies donated to our campaign, with amounts ranging from $10 to $1000. One person even donated twice. Thank you all so much.
Where is that going? Here's the report from the folks at One Girl:
We also raised a pile of awareness. The three of us spoke with numerous press outlets, including TV, radio and a variety of print publications. I attended a tweetup in Saskatoon in my dress, and even got a few of my friends to go wall climbing in dresses, just for the photo opp. (Find out more on my media page)
Which brings me to my next point...
I'm Really Interested to See Where It Goes From Here
I had been looking for years to find a charitable cause to align myself with, and Do It in a Dress finally fit that bill. Bored and uninspired by the typical charitable endeavors, this was something that got people really involved and inspired.
So my friend Dave inspired me, and I inspired my Dale and Jeff. Together, we inspired 3 other hikers who joined our "Hikers Without Pants" team last year after our trek.
Just after we got off of the trail in August 2012, I saw a message from my friend Ron who I had met in Africa in 2008 on the slopes of Kilimanjaro.
Since then, Ron has taken the proverbial bull-by-the-horns and already had a handful of TV appearances from biking in a dress in Palm Springs. This summer, he'll be following in the footsteps of the gold prospectors on the of the most famous gold rush trails in the world, hiking the Chilkoot Pass in British Columbia / Alaska.
So I'm looking forward to seeing how this all spreads:
- Dave inspired me
- I inspired Dale and Jeff
- We inspired a few other hikers (and possibly others who we don't know)
- They will inspire...
What Happens This Year?
Great question. No solid plans have been made yet. Maybe another hike in the backcountry, maybe something completely different. Suggestions? Care to join?
Let me know... :)