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The Havasupai

By: Kate Nolan


What began as a fascinating story as a child – this mythical tale of a Native American Tribe living deep inside the Grand Canyon – intrigued me my entire life. There was a draw to learn more, to meet the people of the blue-green water, the Havasupai. As a child, I wanted to drink from their springs, swim in their waters, run wild along the trails following the creek and waterfalls, climbing the cliffs and exploring the caves. My father was part Cherokee; he would always share stories of strong Indian chiefs, powerful Indian braves, and beautiful princesses. Of course, I wanted to be a strong female Indian brave.

In February of 2016, I decided to make this dream trip a reality. It was time for me to meet the longest residents of the Grand Canyon, the Havasupai, and to explore their enchanted home. My wife, Danielle and I sat down and put together a plan. Danielle began calling for the permits, and thankfully we were able to get them. We put together a gear list, I ordered a map, watched videos and did lots of reading to prepare for our adventure, and the 10-mile hike in and out of the Grand Canyon. In two weeks, we were on our way.

We arrived at the trailhead campground late on Tuesday, the sun was setting and we were literally parked at the end of the road. There was nothing around for about 70 miles, we set up camp right on the rim and watched the sun set beyond the canyon walls. We were elated and honored to be there to share this experience. We finished our dinner, watched the night sky fill with stars and even wished on a few shooting stars. Once we laid down in our tent, the winds began to pick up and you could hear the sand and rocks crashing against the rain fly. Mother nature was showing us how beautiful and powerful she can be.

We woke up at 5 o’clock the next morning, boiled some water for tea and prepared some blueberry granola. We watched the sunrise, the vibrant colors on the canyon walls coming to life, and mentally prepared for our exciting new journey. We broke camp and did a final overview of what we would need. We knew we had some steep switchbacks, no water for 8 to 10 miles and some heat to deal with once we hit the canyon floor. We did some yoga and stretching, and after a few trips to the car eliminating what we could from our packs, we were on our way.

We hit the Havalupai Trail at 6am, we were filled with excitement, and ready to see the falls, the mythical creek, and more of the canyon. When we reached the end of the switchbacks, we were greeted by a wild mustang. We stood still along the inside of the trail as she slowly passed. Once we turned the final corner, we met the rest of the herd. They were grazing and scattered along both sides of the trail. We had never in all our wildest dreams expected this. We continued along the trail, the canyon was ever changing, the colors and the geology alone were astounding. As we continued towards the Supai village, and made our final turn on the trail, we began to see more green, more trees and finally we reached the creek. We will never forget the first time we laid eyes on the Havasu Creek, it was clear and the most beautiful shade of blue-green.
We reached the Supai Village around lunch time, we had stopped for lots of photos on the way down and had traveled 8 miles to reach the village. The people we met in the small camp store and walk-up cafe were very friendly. They had some wiener dogs and we named one Spike because of his spiked leather collar. We celebrated over lunch. Danielle and I had pinto bean burritos, wrapped in homemade tortillas, and they were delicious. The village was small, about 500 residents, lots of horses, mules and donkeys. There are no cars in the canyon and the Havasupai depend on tourism. They had a K-8 school, an inn, and another cafe. After lunch, we walked slowly through town and winded our way down towards the campgrounds.

Our first waterfall beyond the village was Navajo Falls. The turquoise cascading water was stunning, we nearly fell over when we saw it. It was soon followed by Fifty Foot Falls. We crossed bridges over the turquoise creek until we found ourselves at the top of Havasu Falls. At this point, we were so excited and exhausted. We had made it, the entrance to the camping area was just beyond the fall. We hiked into the campgrounds, following the creek until we found the perfect spot. We set up camp on our very own island that we accessed via the natives’ foot bridges. The beautiful blue-green waters of the Havasu Creek flowed all around us and we were in heaven.

I started putting up the tent, Danielle began filtering water with our gravity bag, and before you we knew it we were both soaking in the creek. The spring fed water was cool and refreshing. We made a close line with paracord and also hung a solar lantern to a paracord over our picnic table. Danielle found this awesome compatible self-inflating solar light online, and she had clipped to her backpack to charge in the sun along our hike. They do not allow fires below the rim of the Grand Canyon since it’s such a fragile environment. It takes plant life years and years for vegetation to grow there. We always practice Leave No Trace ethics; Danielle and I are both LNT trainers. We set up our backcountry stove and started preparing some mountain chili. That night, we slept like babies under the stars.

The next morning, we got an early start, watched the sunrise, prepared our tea, and huevos rancheros. We had an awesome day ahead of us, we planned to hike down an additional 3 miles to see all the falls. We took along a pack, towels, steripen to filter our water bottles, stove, and lunch. Our first waterfall was Mooney, we started at the top, after a switchback or two, we were making our way through some caves, rappelling down chains and ladders and eventually standing below a waterfall taller than Niagara Falls. We took photos and continued down the canyon. We did a little climbing along the creek and found ourselves on a private beach. We swam and jumped from the falls. There was a warm tributary fall that joined the Havasu, we used it to warm up. As we continued, our hearts were so full, we followed the trail, crossing the creek, foot bridges, scrambling over the rocks and ladders until we arrived at Beaver Falls. It was most impressive with beautiful cliffs, picnic areas, swimming pools and layers and layers of waterfall. We waded, climbed and eventually sat down to filter water and find the perfect place for lunch. We licked the plates clean and reflected on our experiences before heading back.

After we arrived back at camp, we cleaned up, changed clothes, and began preparing our final dinner on the Havasu. We watched the sun set and we knew the next morning, we would have to begin our journey out of the canyon. The moon was crescent that Thursday night and reminded me of my mother, she always told me that moon was pouring happiness on the earth when it was crescent. My heart was so grateful and full to be in this sacred, native land.

We rose before the sun on Friday, prepared our water bottles, packed up our gear, and after breakfast we began our hike out with headlamps. We were met at the gate by a ranger from South Bend, Indiana. He had married a Havasupai woman, and moved to the reservation. He was worried about us girls from Indy making him homesick. We watched the sunrise as we approached Havasu Falls. We stopped, removed a layer and continued towards the village. Along the way, we passed a strong Havasupai woman. She was running with her dog and listening to tribal music – that was a moment of empowerment, a moment of strength and I felt the spirit of the Havasupai. We made it out of the canyon in under 5 hours, fulfilled, happy and grateful to have lived amongst the Havasupai – and already planning our next trip back!

I wrote this poem, I had a dream about this our first night on the Havasupai reservation.

 

Havasupai

I move along the trails, following the rocks, over and under like the water of the Havasu
My heart beats softly and freely like the natives, I am her people
My pulse beats with the music of the winds, the birds and her water
My heart is as full as the waterfalls that I follow, it’s pure like the crystal clear water of the Havasu
My skin is like the earth, changing like a chameleon, I live amongst the red rocks and sand, I am her people
Her blue-green waters cleanse me, heal me and make me whole again
Her people as warm as the desert sun, as proud and strong as mustangs, they are privileged in
ways most will never understand
The Havasu will follow me along my path forever, she will always have a place in my heart

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Children’s Mountain Bike Clinics Flat Fork Creek Park Fishers, Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Danielle Wolter Nolan
DNK Presents
317-296-4440
www.dnkpresents.com

Children’s Mountain Bike Clinics at Flat Fork Creek Park Fishers, IN

Indianapolis based adventure company, DNK Presents, will be offering mountain bike skills clinics for youth (ages 7-15) starting Aug. 3rd at the new Flat Fork Creek Park in Fishers, Indiana. This will be the first time mountain bike clinics will be offered at a park in Fishers.

Flat Fork Creek Park has a total of 60 acres with 15 of that being forested and containing mountain bike trails. They have 1.5 miles of mountain bike trails with features including, skinnies, teeter-totters, berms, and more. The Hoosier Mountain Bike Association (HMBA) and the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) were partners in assisting to develop the trail system. The trails are maintained by the City’s Department of Public Works, and HMBA volunteers.

Kate Nolan of DNK Presents explained, “It’s great to see a new local park that includes mountain bike trails, and some super fun features to play on! Flat Fork Creek Park is a great place to learn and hone your mountain bike skills. We are excited to offer these clinics to get more kids riding confidently on the trails.”

For more information on the mountain bike clinics visit https://dnkpresents.com/fishers-mt-bike-clinics/.

Fishers Parks and Recreation Mission Statement:
To deliver outstanding programs and services to the residents of Fishers in order to enhance quality of life, build the sense of community, and provide opportunities for play and discovery.

Danielle and Kate of DNK Presents have their mountain bike teaching certification through the Professional Mountain Bike Instructors Association (PMBIA) http://www.pmbia.org/. They also are Leave No Trace trainers and will teach and abide by the outdoor ethics that Leave No Trace practices (LNT.org).

DNK Presents organizes and leads empowering adventure experiences for individuals, groups, and businesses. They focus on getting people to step outside their comfort zones, try something for the first time, and in turn gain confidence through experiential learning.

 

Sign up and SAVE $20 for each clinic by July 21, 2016! Use the code EarlyBird16

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NetWalking with DNK Presents and Deseri Garcia

NetWalking is just what is sounds like, networking while walking outside. We will be facilitating conversations, walking through and along different trails and areas in Indianapolis. No use of technology, no distractions that occur in a usual networking setting in a bar or restaurant, but meeting and having conversations with people face to face in and surrounded by nature.

RSVP by visiting this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/netwalking-with-deseri-garcia-tickets-24964588757

DNK Presents organizes and leads empowering adventure experiences for individuals, groups, and businesses. They know that challenging outdoor experiences and reconnecting with nature have transformed them both, personally and professionally. And, they have made it their mission to facilitate the same for others. Danielle and Kate customize adventure packages according to their clients’ goals and expected outcomes. They particularly enjoy working with women’s groups in leadership development and empowerment activities. DNK Presents is a fully insured adventure business. Danielle and Kate are Wilderness First Aid and CPR certified, Leave No Trace trainers, have their Level I Mountain Bike Instructors certification, are in the American Mountain Guide Apprenticeship program for Single Pitch Instructors, and have their lead climbing certification.

Deseri gets to the heart of the matter. She’ll look you in the eye while listening to your words – and the spaces between your words. She’ll respond with a question that will help you achieve amazing clarity – or she’ll make a simple, decisively constructed suggestion that will lead you to a life-changing “aha moment.”

A passionate coach, facilitator and speaker with nearly 20 years in Corporate America, Deseri implements creative, experiential and personalized programs that challenge, motivate and transform clients. Her tireless pursuit of possibility gets results – tangible, solid, proof-of-purchase outcomes.

Whether it’s through a half-day workshop, one-on-one session, or an extended training designed to your business’ specific goals, Deseri will lead you and your team on an adventure of a lifetime. Uncovering individual potential – your truth – isn’t that what the journey is all about?

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Indiana Humanities Trek and Talk

By: JACQUELINE CROMLEIGH, Communications & Community Relations Manager Indiana Humanities

Our Next Indiana Campfires program is connecting us to some fantastic Hoosiers, including Danielle and Kate Nolan of DNK Presents. Learn a little more about these passionate and inspiring ladies below.

Meet Danielle and Kate Nolan of DNK Presents!

You can join the duo on an overnight camping and hiking adventure through Morgan-Monroe State Forest on July 8-9. New to camping? No worries! They’ll be teaching you everything you need to know about outdoor adventures including what to pack, how to set up a campfire and more.

Tell us a little more about DNK Presents. How did it start? 

Danielle & Kate: We started DNK Presents because of our love of the great outdoors and adventure. We truly live our lives adventurously, and found that others were noticing and wanted to join the fun. We wanted to bridge the gap for people to try something for the first time, disconnect from technology and reconnect with themselves through outdoor experiences. We also realized that we excelled in our professional and personal lives because of our connection with nature and the challenges we had overcome in the outdoors. Outdoor adventures improve quality of life, reduce stress, help build relationships, improve sleep patterns, reduce anxiety, and provide endless physical, mental and spiritual benefits. Our goal is to provide a well-cultured, active and adventurous community and lifestyle.

What sparked your love for the outdoors?

Danielle: Our love for the outdoors definitely started at a young age for both of us. It was not uncommon to have my mom flickering the lights to signal it was time to come inside and have dinner since it had turned dark.

What drew you to Next Indiana Campfires?

Danielle & Kate: Next Indiana Campfires is an awesome program to get people enjoying the great outdoors in Indiana. We have so much to offer here but sometimes you do have to seek it out. Next Indiana Campfires is making it easy to get outside, meet new people and learn about the history of our great state as well.

You’ve adventured to the Grand Canyon, “netwalked” along the Cultural Trail and even enjoy some rock climbing. Can you describe a few of your adventures? What makes our Next Indiana Campfires adventure special?

Danielle & Kate: With DNK Presents Adventures we focus on getting people to step outside their comfort zone and try something for the first time. We lead backpacking, hiking, mountain bike clinics, indoor to outdoor rock climbing programs and paddle trips, consisting of day, overnight and week long excursions. Our adventure with Next Indiana Campfires is so exciting because we get to partner with an awesome nonprofit like Indiana Humanities, we get to learn ourselves from the exciting scholar they have selected for our backpack adventure, and we get to do all this and expose people to one of Indiana’s best backcountry trails!

Where’s your favorite place to spend time outdoors in Indiana? Have you discovered a hidden gem that more Hoosiers should know about?

Danielle & Kate: There are SO many awesome places to go in Indiana but one of our favorite spots has to be camping on the Peninsula Trail in Deam Wilderness which is part of Hoosier National Forest. It is Indiana’s only accredited wilderness and is named after Indiana naturalist and scholar himself Charles C. Deam.

Is there a piece of environmental literature you think everyone should read?

Danielle & Kate: John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Charles C Deam and Ralph Waldo Emerson all have written so many beautiful books.

What’s on your Bicentennial bucket list?

Danielle:  I think it would have to include the waterfall tour! We’ve been seeing these maps popping up in our newsfeed on Facebook, I’m not sure who started it but we would love to do a tour of the waterfalls in Indiana, how fun!

Kate: This year’s Hoosier Mountain Bike Association’s Brown County Epic Ride. We’ve been volunteering to build new trails at Crooked Creek in Yellowwood State Forest but haven’t had the opportunity to ride them. The trails will be part of this year’s Epic Ride. I’m very excited to cover 100 miles of Indiana single track!

Curious about DNK Presents adventures? Learn more here.

—————————————————-

Next Indiana Campfires is a unique way to connect nature, literature and Indiana’s Bicentennial. The program is supported by the Efroymson Family Fund, the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires. Indiana Humanities is supported in part by Lilly Endowment Inc. and the National Endowment of the Humanities. 

This post is part of the weekly blog series devoted to the initiative. Check back every Tuesday to learn more about Indiana’s great environmental literature, find out interesting facts about Hoosier stewardship, get all the latest program details and more

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“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it’s lethal.” – Paulo Coelho

Join us for your next adventure!

 

NetWalking Adventure Hike with RepuCare

When: June 15th 5:30-7pm

Where: Monon Center, Central Park in Carmel, IN

Sign up here!

 

June Backpack Trip Backpacking

When: June 24-26

Where: Morgan Monre State Forest

Sign up here!

 

Indiana Humanities Indiana Campfires IN Campfires

When: July 9-10

Where: Morgan Monroe State Forest

Sign up here!

 

We (Danielle and Kate) just completed and received our Professional Mountain Bike (PMBIA) Level 1 Certification! Interested in a clinic? Let us know!

Mountain Bike Instructors

PMBIA

See us at the Midwest Women’s Mountain Bike Clinic June 10-12 Brown County, IN

Women's Adventure Contest

Awesome shot of our women’s adventure contest winners! We had an amazing weekend in the woods with these women. Stay tuned to hear about their experience.

Pictured (left to right) Sally Marchand Collins, Candice Baggett, Ali Lemberg, Kate Nolan, Danielle Wolter Nolan, Michele Lorbieski Anderson, Kelsey Steuer

You can still support the Women’s Adventure Contest Documentary by donating on our website here!

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Congratulations Blake and Jen Weishaar for winning our adventure backpack trip for 2 in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Adventure prize package. We will see them both in June for their first backpack trip in Indiana!

Did you see us on Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick?

Watch the full clip on their website!

Gerry Dick IIB

Inside Indiana Business

Interested in learning more about corporate adventure retreats, health and wellness or on boarding programs? Contact us to learn more!

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DNK Presents on Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick

Click the link below to see our interview on Inside Indiana Business, hosted by Gerry Dick!

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 2.10.57 PM

 

Sign up to NetWalk with us Wednesday May 18th!

• May 18th 11am meet at City Market at the restaurant Say Cheese inside
• NetWalk on the Cultural Trail and then have lunch together in City Market
• Cost includes lunch
• Sign up here!

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Check out the photos below from our recent adventure trips!

• Indoor to Outdoor Rock Climbing trip to the Red River Gorge
• Adventure Hike in Holliday Park
• Women’s Adventure clothing fitting at Athleta with our contest winners

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Are you ready to join the fun?!

Check out the links below and sign up for YOUR next adventure.  Contact us for more information on custom adventures for your group, organization or business.

Sign up to adventure with us! 

• May 12-15th Women’s Adventure Contest Weekend, Yellowwood State Forest
• May 18th 11-12:30pm NetWalking downtown at City Market
• June 10-12th Women’s Midwest Mountain Bike Clinic Coaching
• June 15th 5:30-7pm NetWalking with co-host Tim Shurr
• June 21st Monumental Yoga – we have a booth!
• June 24-26th Backpacking in Morgan-Monroe State Forest 
• July 9-10th Indiana Campfires Backpacking Overnight Morgan-Monroe State Forest

Read co-founder, Danielle Wolter Nolan’s story, published in Driftless Magazine, of her first backpack trip in Hoosier National Forest.

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 2.03.35 PM

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Meet the Winners of the Women’s Adventure Contest!

Meet the winners of the Women’s Adventure Contest!

Top Row: Kelsey Steuer, Michele Lorbieski Anderson
Bottom Row: Vicky Badgley, Candice Baggett

Women's Adventure Contest Winners

 

NetWalking begins Earth Day April 22nd co-hosted with
Centric Indy!

Meet at DeveloperTown at 11am on Friday April 22nd

We’ll NetWalk on the Monon from 11-12pm with Centric Indy inspiring our NetWalking Conversations

12pm have lunch at Locally Grown Gardens

Cost: $10.00 includes lunch

Sign up here!

 

 

 

 

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Company Culture in high demand!

Check out our training backpack, hiking, running, or biking programs for your employees. Contact us for more information on corporate health and wellness adventure programs!

 

So many chances to adventure! 

• April 3rd-30th Indoor to Outdoor Rock Climbing Program
• April 22nd 11-12pm 54th meet at DeveloperTown for NetWalking co-hosted with Centric Indy $10.00 includes your lunch at Locally Grown Gardens
• May 18th 5:30-7pm NetWalking
• June 15th 5:30-7pm NetWalking with co-host Tim Shurr
• July 9-10th Indiana Campfires Backpacking Overnight Morgan-Monroe State Forest

Did you see co-founder of DNK Presents, Danielle Wolter Nolan’s first backpacking trip story is published on the online, and regular Midwest magazine Driftless! Check out all the places you can buy the Driftless magazine here!
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First Backpacking Adventure

My First Backpacking Adventure

By: Danielle Wolter Nolan

 

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

I said yes to a “weekend in the woods” not even knowing the exact difference between camping, hiking, and backpacking. I knew I loved the outdoors and I was ready to try something new, but this trip was going to be a real adventure for me. What I didn’t realize was that this experience would become the catalyst for dedicating my life to living each day as a new adventure, and discovering a whole new realm of wilderness I never knew existed, especially in Indiana.

 

The air was cool and crisp when we woke that spring morning in Charles C. Deam Wilderness*, I was with my partner, Kate. After taking a few moments to greet the day huddled in our tent, we packed our belongings to fit precisely in our packs. We built a small fire, prepared our oatmeal, and double-checked our food and supplies before heading out on the trail. It was time to get moving on our 8-mile hike to the backcountry campsite.

 

The first section of our hike was Axsom Trail; it has the most elevation gain and loss, with several switch backs leading through the forest. Axsom Trail is challenging and serene with the creek bed running through the terrain. Crossing over the rustling water, Kate and I found a rock in the shape of a heart. We took a photo, and honoring Leave No Trace ethics we left it behind to be shared with others. We worked up a sweat with the inclined hike, after shedding some layers and stopping for a quick snack, we made it through the first section of our hike feeling peacefully energized and refreshed.

Backpacking Heart Rock

 

We finally reached the top of the ridge, up ahead we could see our next turn, Grubb Ridge Trail. We were about midway, and it was the first time we had seen other hikers on the trail, but it was still very desolate. This was the perfect section to break in our fresh Keen® boots. Being a shared trail that accommodates those on horseback, and that was experiencing the spring thaw certainly made this a muddy, soppy stretch for us. Boots are made to get dirty, right? Well, we made sure of that after this portion of our hike! At one point it occurred to me how much I was enjoying not only the hike, but actual backpacking. It felt pretty liberating to know that everything I needed to survive for the weekend was on my back.

 

After a couple hours trekking through the mud we embarked upon the final stretch of our destination, the Peninsula Trail. The Peninsula trail is about 2.5 miles that leads you to the east side of breathtaking Lake Monroe. Weaving in and out along the shoreline, the trail narrowed before opening us up to a pristine pine forest. The juniper and sap smells filled the air as we wandered our way through the trees. The pine forest thinned, and as we approached a small hill the magnificent lake gleamed in front of us. We had made it! Our 4-hour hike was a stunning journey through some of Indiana’s most breathtaking backcountry.

Pine Forest Hoosier National

We turned west, following the trail along the shoreline and checked out our options for campsites. It was the first time I had ever seen backpackers use the natural surroundings to set up large limestone rocks for chairs, tables and fire pits. We picked a great spot and began to set up our camp.

 

We pitched our tent, took off our boots and relaxed for a moment on the rocky shoreline. The backcountry sites overlook the portion of the lake deemed a no-wake zone for boaters, because of it’s proximity to Deam Wilderness and Hoosier National Forest. I couldn’t believe how good it felt to finally make it to the backcountry camping area! Although, despite my newfound sense of outdoorsy accomplishment, I remember thinking, “I wish we were just beginning.” It was a feat to have reached this spot; a place unknown to us, surrounded by beautiful trees and a body of water. I didn’t want it to end.

Deam Wilderness Hoosier National Forest

 

As the sun began to sink behind the trees beyond the water, the most outstanding sunset I’d ever seen (and Indiana has some great ones) began to form over Lake Monroe. We sipped red wine from our insulated canteen and devoured a surprisingly delicious meal of freeze-dried pasta over the fire as the radiant oranges, yellows, and bright reds filled the sky. We made our way closer to the water to fully experience the vast sky’s beauty. I was completely content as the big red ball sank below the horizon and night began to take over.

sunset lake monroe

As darkness enveloped us the crickets, toads and other nocturnal forest creatures began to come alive. A whole new world of nighttime backcountry camping began to reveal itself at our campsite. Throughout the edge of the forest we were surprised to see other fires glowing in the distance. We checked our map, searching for the trails that led to those areas but were perplexed; were people camping at sites off the trails? We decided on the next trip we would explore the trails more to the west and discover the other backcountry campsites along the limestone beach.

 

Time seemed to stand still as stars emerged from the night sky. The galaxy spread over us like an immense blanket, encompassing in all directions as far as our eyes could see. It wasn’t long before we saw not one, not two, but several shooting stars streak across the sky above us. We breathed a relaxed sigh as we enjoyed one of the many magical phenomenons of the wilderness that occurred that weekend.

 

Waking up early the next morning, the sun hadn’t yet risen behind us when we heard the morning birds chirping and the occasional fish leap out of the water. We started our morning fire, brewed some hot tea, and enjoyed a bandito scramble over our Jet Boil® stoves. Settling in our limestone rock chairs, we noted how perfectly comfortable they were after sitting our cushioned sleeping pads on them.

Lake Monroe

 

After cleaning up our campsite and repacking our backpacks, we took in one last look at our accommodating but temporary outdoor home and made our way back to the trail. So much more full than an ordinary weekend, our exploration in the wilderness was a wild, surprising, marvelous adventure.

 

As we hiked out I reflected on my experience in the great outdoors. The first thing that struck me was that everything I needed to survive for the weekend including my food was on my back. It made me reevaluate all the “things” I have: the devices, apps, and the latest and greatest Apple products I “needed” for work or play. While fun and sometimes useful, they’re still just things. I learned I don’t actually require them and can be just as happy, if not more relaxed and less stressed without them.

 

The second realization was obvious, but still made an impression: hiking 8 miles to the backcountry site, everyone we encountered also arrived there by foot. No cars could drive to the point where we camped and no traffic could be heard while hiking in. Specifically, I knew that what I was experiencing could only occur when I was able to disconnect from technology and reconnect with myself in nature.

 

Lastly, I reflected on how quickly the minutes, hours, days, months and years can slip away from us. We all lead busy lives, but especially in the digital age we live in our brains are never able to completely “shut off.” “Relaxing” for me used to involve taking a few minutes to check Facebook or catch up on TV shows, with my face still connected to a screen. I noticed after unplugging from technology for just one weekend that minutes were counted by breaths, not from repeatedly checking the clock on my cell phone. I felt rejuvenated, energized, and fulfilled in a way I hadn’t in a long time.

 

Studies, such as those completed by scientist David Strayer*, have proven that taking a break from technology and immersing yourself in nature literally gives the brain a much-needed rest and reboot from everyday overstimulation that encompasses our lives. Cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin* indicates excessive and overuse of technology can cause people to be less productive, increasing stress, and anxiety, which can lead to poor health.

 

Since I discovered the natural endorphins of exploring and connecting with the wilderness, I’ve been hooked. I’m at my best when I’m able to spend time outdoors in nature, whether it’s a challenging rock climbing adventure, mountain bike race, or walking the dogs through the neighborhood. With the perspective of finding the adventure in everything, Kate and I have made it a priority to get outside and enjoy nature on a regular basis. I can say without hesitation that it has significantly increased our quality of life, and we hope to encourage others to live a life filled with adventure. I hope this story encourages you to get out and try something for the first time, and maybe we’ll see you on your next adventure.

Backpacking Hoosier National Forest

 

DNK Presents Overview:
Danielle and Kate Nolan founded DNK Presents in June of 2014, and began offering open signup adventures in April 2015. They know challenging, oudoor experiences, and reconnecting with nature has transformed them both, personally and professionally. They have made it their mission to facilitate the same for others. Danielle and Kate customize adventure packages according to their clients’ goals and expected outcomes. They particularly enjoy working with groups in leadership development, empowerment activities, and educational experiential learning. DNK Presents is a fully insured adventure business. Danielle and Kate are Wilderness First Aid and CPR certified, Leave No Trace trainers and have their lead climbing certification.

 

*Charles C. Deam Wilderness is part of Hoosier National Forest located in central Indiana. It is Indiana’s only accredited “wilderness” that was enacted in 1982 and includes 12,472 acres. A wilderness declares that the area is preserved in its natural state and is meant for solitude. It was named in honor of Charles C. Deam, Indiana’s first State Forester.

 

*Williams, Florence. “This is your Brain on Nature” National Geographic Online Magazine Jan. 2016

 

*Levitin, J Daniel. “Why the Modern World is Bad for your Brain” The Guardian Neuroscience The Observer Jan. 2015

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“Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

You too can join our movement, and see the premiere of the film this summer.

How much adventure can you handle?!

First 20 participants at the Yoga by Donation class at Flourish this Sunday will receive awesome swag bags, and a few lucky ones will get extra gifts for coming! At our Shop for a Cause event at Athleta Feb. 27th UGo Bars out of Bloomington will be there giving away free samples!

 

Wild Cave Tour

caving

 

 

 

 

Yoga in a cave? You can do both with us this weekend! Check out our wild cave adventure, and video from our last trip!  

 

 

 

 

Yoga By Donation

Flourish Logo New copy

 

 

Vinyasa flow yoga class
Sunday Feb. 21st 10-11:15am
Taught by owner of Flourish, Erin Smith

Suggested donation $10

 

 

 

Shop for a Cause at Athleta

athleta-logo copyShop for a Cause
Feb. 27th 12-6pm
Raise funds for the Women’s Adventure Documentary!

 

 

 

     

Monday Feb. 22nd!

We will be on Indy Style again with one of our premiere sponsors of the Women’s Adventure Contest, Athleta! They will be outfitting the contest winners, talking about Shop for a Cause, and showing off their new spring line!

 

Adventures coming up!

Wild Cave Tour – see video from our last trip
Trail Run Eagle Creek
March Madness Backpack Trip
Indoor to Outdoor Rock Climbing
NetWalking

 

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You can still nominate a woman you know who needs adventure, but nominations end soon. The winners will win a free adventure led by DNK Presents, will be outfitted by Ahtleta, outfitted with racing kits from The Bike Line and Trek with many other surprises and giveaways!

Thank you to our other corporate sponsors of the Women’s Adventure Contest and Documentary!

Central Restaurant Products
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
RL Jones Financial
Athleta
The Bike Line
Trek

You too can join our movement, and see the premiere of the film this summer.

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dnk presents, private group adventures, corporate team building adventures, adventures, indiegogo

Women’s Adventure Contest Documentary

 JOIN OUR MOVEMENT

When is the last time you did something for the first time?

Short Summary

We (Danielle & Kate Nolan – hence DNK) began DNK Presents because we want to encourage a happy, healthy community and lifestyle. We feel we live life to the fullest whether it’s mountain biking, trail running, caving, rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, or backpacking. Whatever it is, we feel that having the balance of nature and outdoor adventures in our lives has made us more successful in our own careers, brought us closer together as a couple, and so much more! We provide guided adventure retreats to individuals, groups and businesses to promote a balanced, happy, healthy lifestyle.We’ve been at this for over a year now. During that time, we’ve witnessed something truly amazing and inspiring time and again – the effect of outdoor adventures on women! Women who’ve taken adventures with us have overcome fears, regained confidence, found strength they didn’t know they had and challenged themselves to step into increased leadership roles.

Be part of the movement! 

Why are we filming a documentary?

We want to get more everyday women out of their comfort zones, experiencing new things, challenging themselves mentally and physically, and living life adventurously. When you do these things you gain confidence, over come barriers, increase problem solving skills, improve relationships, increase productivity and creativity, improve mental and physically health and many other benefits. We want to get women OUTSIDE to show them what all Indiana has to offer and/or reintroduce them to adventure in their life.

Why aren’t there more adventure films featuring women? We want to see every day women, your mom, sister, aunt, neighbor, teacher, friend experiencing life! With this film we will be able to show empowering women in Indiana living life adventurously! We are filming a documentary of this experience so we can show everyone that women belong in the wild, we are strong, confident and why trying something for the first time is so important. The film will show others that everyday women can do these activities and have access to every activity we will be doing.

How are we filming the documentary?

When we decided to do this, we knew it needed to have an authentic, local feel – and we wanted the women in the film to be special. So, we thought “contest!” We came up with the idea to take four women from anywhere in Indiana on a full-fledged, immersive weekend adventure experience, DNK Presents style. Because we specifically wanted to focus on women who NEED adventure, we opted to make the contest a “by nomination” format. Any woman who is overworked, a single parent, has overcome an obstacle, wishes she was more adventurous, or wants to try something new, or maybe all of these can be nominated.
In March of 2016 four women will be chosen to take part in this first-ever DNK Presents Women’s Adventure Contest weekend. All equipment, food, supplies will be provided during the long weekend adventure. These women will be living off the grid for a weekend, disconnecting from technology, reconnecting with themselves and the outdoors. They’ll participate in adventures such as backpacking, paddle boarding, hiking, mountain biking and other surprises along the way.

During the entire weekend, we and our film production partner, Fishers, Indiana-based 12 Stars Media will capture footage that will become our 30 to 40-minute documentary. Some footage will be shot by the 12 Stars Media crew, but a large percentage of it will be shot by us – and by our participants. We believe this hybrid approach is going to make for a very unique, experiential film.

What we Need

Our budget for the DNK Presents Women’s Adventure Contest and Documentary is $20,000. We’re hoping to raise at least $16,750 of that through IndieGoGo. Here’s a rough breakdown of this figure:

  • $13k for the production cost of the film (includes 12 Stars Media’s fees)
  • The remaining $3750 of our IndieGoGo goal will go toward some equipment needs. We own ALMOST everything we need for this weekend, but we need to rent a few things, like mountain bikes and paddleboards for our winning ladies.
  • Also, we’d like to invest in a few more GoPro cameras so we can get some great birdseye footage during the activities. And, we’re going to invest in small, clip-on mics so that the video footage we capture will have crisp, clear audio – especially during the one-on-one interviews with the women and our fireside chats.
  • Lastly, we want these women to have some great grub – and energizing snacks to keep them going. Our estimated food cost for the weekend is just about half of the $3750

What you get

Anybody who donates $100 or more will have his or her name listed in the credits at the end of the film. This benefit is for individuals only. We welcome corporate donors, especially locals. Please contact us by email before donating so we can find the level that works for you and review the benefits with you.

$50 donors will receive a ticket to the film’s premier screening in Indianapolis, a donors-only discount on additional tickets and reserved seating at the screening.

*Please note that each $50 increment gives you one ticket. If you donate $100, you’ll get two tickets, and so forth.

Your contribution to this project will help us achieve our goal of making the contest and film a truly “Indiana” experience. It was important to us when we set out on this journey to feature Indiana women, to partner with Indiana businesses for materials, equipment and film production; and to film right here in one of our beautiful Indiana forests. The last piece of the puzzle for us is to be able to say that the contest and resulting film was primarily funded by Hoosiers.

  • The project will showcase so many great things about Indiana: its people, its  entrepreneurial spirit, its abundant natural beauty, its deep sense of community, and of course….our love of adventure
  • Our film will feature Indiana women, but it will speak to women everywhere and encourage them to reap the benefits of an adventurous life
  • There is a real need for projects like ours to show all women – and even our young girls – what women CAN do. And we can’t complete this project without your support!

Other Ways You Can Help

We recognize that some of you may want to help with a financial contribution but just cannot. That’s okay. There are other ways you can help us reach our goal:

  • Spread the word – everywhere! Share on social media, send an email to your contact list
  • Nominate a woman you know or ask somebody to nominate you!
  • Use IndieGoGo’s share tools
  • Visit our website. Like our FB page. Follow us on Twitter
  • Contact us and let us know where we can go to speak about the contest and documentary. Help us identify locations where a poster about the contest, documentary and fundraiser would be a good fit.
  • Have an idea we haven’t thought of? Contact us! We’re all ears

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