By: Kate Nolan
What an exciting year it’s been! My heart is full of gratitude. Earlier this year, my wife, Danielle and I put together an amazing contest for women, the DNK Presents Women’s Adventure Contest. Four women were selected from out of 60 nominations and were taken on an epic four day adventure. A big thank you is owed to Trek Bikes and The Bike Line Indianapolis, who were excited to support this adventure. Their sponsorships made sure our winners had great bikes. Trek Lush full suspension to be exact, and Bontrager mountain bike kits and helmets. An outpouring of support came from many local companies, like Rusted Moon Outfitters, Big Woods Brewery, Central Restaurant Products, Enviro-Max, and Upland Brewing, just to name a few, along with big name, Athleta; our winners were outfitted with great gear. We filmed the adventure, sharing our winners’ stories through a documentary, Live Adventurously.
Shortly after the contest, I found out I was nominated to be a Trek Women’s Advocate by Charlie Revard of The Bike Line and Colin Kuchy of Trek Bicycles. What an amazing honor! I cried when Charlie told me, remembering my first mountain bike, a Trek 920. That bike gave me a new sense of freedom and of self. It came at a time when I was overcoming the loss of my mother to breast cancer. It opened up a community of great people, fun races and awesome social events. It gave me new adventures, new opportunities and hope.
Then, I discovered I had to apply and that they were only going to select 55 women, so I crossed all my fingers and toes and sat down to complete the application. When Amanda called from Trek, I was so excited and so nervous, I think I called her Amber. Lucky for me, she laughed it off and I was still selected as one of the 55 Trek Women’s Advocates out of over 250 applicants. Of course, I cried again; what a complete honor to be a member of the Trek team.
We were all invited to Trek Headquarters in Waterloo, for the Trek Women’s Summit. No big deal, only press from 7 countries, dinner at John Burke’s home and drinks, dinner and riding with Gary Fisher, the founder of the modern day mountain bike and mountain biking pioneer. I don’t think there was a moment that I wasn’t smiling. Seriously, smiling in my sleep, I am sure of it.
Trek selected and brought together some of the most amazing women I have ever met… Candace Shadley – founder of the Trek Dirt Series and all around badass, Sally Marchand Collins – fellow Hoosier and a personal inspiration and mentor, and so many others like fellow mountain bike instructors and guides, Erin Blackiston Wells from Muddy Pedals in Baltimore and Dee Turner – PMBIA Instructor and guide in Alberta, Canada.
Amanda Schulze, Trek Women’s Business Manager, put together an amazing week which made us all feel like part of the Trek family from the moment we arrived: Special gift bags filled with the latest from Bontrager, the cocktail reception with Gary Fisher and being greeted by John Burke in the entrance of his home. I felt like part of something so much greater. Before dinner, John addressed us from the top of his coffee table and discussed how important it is to do the right thing and he’s made that his commitment and the Trek commitment – even when it’s not the most economically expedient path. Trek has lead the way in the bike industry and knows that women want a competitive edge, as well as a bike that looks good, fits and performs. Look at what they’ve done for women’s mountain bike racing and developing role models, like Trek racers Rachel Atherton, Emily Batty and Katie Compton. I’m so honored, proud and thankful to be part of Trek’s first ever women’s advocate program.
My plan for 2016-2017 is to build a women’s biking community in Indianapolis. I’m going to have monthly rides the first Tuesday of each month as well as four clinics and of course one big event. We’ve already kicked things off with a Trek Women’s Ride at the Brown County Epic, a Trek Women’s Halloween Ride on Nebo Trail in Story, Indiana and Trek Women’s Night Ride at Fort Harrison State Park. Please check out my upcoming events and join me for some of these rad events and rides.
By: Lexi Hall
Perseverance: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. What does it mean to persevere to you? To me this word, like many other words, means something unique to each individual. There are countless outdoor activities that aid us in learning how to push forward and stay dedicated to what we are a part of. One of the major outdoor recreation activities that does this for me is rock climbing. Each time I step up to to the wall, I peer up to the 50-foot beast, envisioning myself reaching the anchor bolts at the top of the route. As I observe the path ahead of me, I imagine how I would maneuver my body to reach the top. Before I even get on the wall, I tell myself, “You can do this.” Now, I would not say that this kind of visualization is all you need to achieve your goals but using visualization as your foundation does help you to see that success for yourself and make you recognize your own potential before you even begin your journey.
The minute I place my hands and feet on the rock formation, I go from visualizing to doing. While the beginning of the route may seem to be going as planned, I approach the crux of the route. This is the most difficult part of the trek up the wall. When you approach this specific challenge, you never know how things might play out. Some routes have multiple hurdles that can surprise you, making you pause and reevaluate what move to make next. When I arrive to my toughest obstacle of the route, I ask for my partner to give me a take, simply allowing me to sit back into my harness and truly assess the situation I am in. How did I not see this at the bottom? Why is this so challenging? Don’t I know how to get through this? These kinds of questions race through my mind as I ponder my path. Some may tell their belayer to lower them after several failed attempts but my stubbornness makes me just want to tackle it even more. For me, and so many others, there is no surrendering to the crux. Often times you can feel the intensity of the route as people yell and even swear their way up to the top.
With every inch of my muscles burning with pain and self doubt creeping into my mind, I remember what I told myself when I began this journey, “You can do this.” Suddenly a rush of determination comes over my body. Some how, some way, I forget about the pain I am in and it aids me in clearly seeing holds that enable me to get past the crux. As I look up at the remaining 20-foot I have left, I remember what I just accomplished and trust that I can do what lies ahead of me. The sweat on my back and the blisters on my hands remind me of what I’ve achieved thus far. Just as I envisioned before the climb, my right hand finally reaches that bolt, slapping it with nothing but pure joy and relief. As I peer down to my belayer, I see where I once was and see where I am now. All of the challenges along the way were worth it because it made me stronger as a climber and made me truly fight for the success I achieved.
Each of us has our own route in life and we have the freedom to choose that route for ourselves. Almost every day we are faced with challenges and obstacles that could potentially delay our overall success. While it is easy to envision our success in the long view, all of us have learned that going from point A to point B is not always a linear process, but rather a zigzagging path full of twists and turns. When you reach the crux of your life’s journey, do not allow it to defeat you and your inner strength. You can do this. Never forget the place you started from and remember that you are stronger and wiser with each challenge you get through.
Do your fears overcome you, or do you overcome your fears?
One of the reasons Kate and I started DNK Presents was because of our love of adventure, and we know there is a direct correlation with the challenges we have faced in the in outdoors and the success we have had in our professional careers.
Fear is the unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, or may cause pain to us. As humans we fear a lot of things in our lives, objects like spiders, snakes, heights, and non-object things such as, asking for a raise, public speaking, and failure. Some people may never overcome their fears, but many times in order to move forward with our life we MUST overcome these fears to be successful and reach our goals.
Signing up for your next adventure is one of the ways you can overcome your biggest fear, and transmit that into your personal and professional life. Check out the list we put together below and start living your next adventure!
Adventure is FUN!
While you’re busy worrying about your biggest fear at home or the office you could be out living your next adventure, whether that’s taking a hike in your favorite park or white water rafting the Pacuare River in Costa Rica. Sometimes you need to step away from what is haunting you in order to see it from a different perspective.
Reconnect with NATURE
According to Everyday Health, (http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/major-depression-resource-center/how-nature-helps-depression/) spending time outdoors is a key component in the evidence based treatment called, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which encourages the human body to accept things in life that make people fearful or uncomfortable. Being in nature instills more mindfulness, and makes you more at ease with your worries and fears. So get outside, take some deep breaths, and THEN think about a new career, and take a walk on the wild side.
Not relying on TECHNOLOGY
A recent study done by Kleiner Perkins Caufield, says the average phone user checks their device every 6 minutes or around 150 times a day. Image NOT checking your phone for a day, but rather using your well powered brain to figure out your next move by following trail blazes and reading maps. Psychologists from the University of Utah and the University of Kansas conducted a study and that showed individuals scored 50% better on a creative test after spending four days in nature. http://www.zmescience.com/other/outdoor-activity-problem-solving-14122012/
This proves that those who spend time in nature are better problem solvers because of the ability they have to make conscience decisions without relying on technology.
According to the Forbes article, “Take a Risk: The Odds are Better Than you Think” by Margie Warrell, expert motivational speaker and best selling author, we as humans are innately risk adverse, it’s much easier for us to stay in our comfort zones, not speak up, or going along with change.
But if no one took risks we wouldn’t have most things that have been vital to the advancement of our economy and human race. I’m not suggesting jumping off bridges or diving into something without weighing your options. You should definitely do your research before partaking in an offer or decision that is presented to you, but remember there is sometimes a greater risk in not taking one at all.
Fear what FEAR?
Taking on an outdoor adventure for at least 48 hours will make you realize your biggest fear isn’t so big after all. Overcoming challenges in the outdoors will prepare you to take on just about anything that comes your way. For example, taking a wrong turn on your mountain bike, leading you to the black diamond portion of the trail, it was scary and you may have felt worried and fearful at times, but guaranteed you’ll never forget the experience. These experiences change the way we approach situations that occur in our daily life.
Now, you have 5 reasons to take an adventure to overcome your fears! Hopefully it will let you see your fear with a new perspective, advise you to weigh the positive and negative risks, reconnect with yourself through nature, and most importantly have fun by living life adventurously!
How have your overcome a fear in the past? We’d love to know! Let us know in the comments below or drop us an email at email@example.com.
My wife, Kate and I own outdoor adventure company, DNK Presents. Last summer I applied for a chance to pitch our business in the Dolphin Tank at the Indiana Conference for Women. Shock, amazed, scared, were the words I was thinking when I first received the email that DNK Presents was accepted into The Dolphin Tank. At the time, I did not know that my 5 minute pitch would connect us with several large organizations interested in our services, give me the tools I needed to successfully execute our business story, and a chance to connect with other impactful women and mentors as part of the process.
The months leading up to the conference were just as important as the day of. The Dolphin Tank finalists received three optional check-in Startup Study Hall sessions conducted by The Startup Ladies, an organization that connects, identifies, educates, and connects women entrepreneurs starting up and scaling up their businesses, to assist us in our pitch for the Dolphin Tank. These sessions were incredibly valuable in the successful delivery of my pitch during the Indiana Conference for Women.
We made several connections from this experience; one of the most significant was made with $6 billion dollar technology company, Salesforce. Two of their executive team members approached Kate and I after the pitch, we met later that year, and have since scheduled an adventure outing with their Women’s Inspiration Network (WIN) group. This connection and business growth would not have occurred without the prestigious Indiana Conference for Women, and by including Springboard Enterprise’s Dolphin Tank into the conference. We could not have asked for a better experience from receiving the initial, you were accepted email, to the end of the conference. We are forever grateful to the courageous women who initiated this conference, and the amazing efforts of others to bring in influential women and businesses to this conference.
Being accepted into the Dolphin Tank at the Indiana Conference for Women not only gave DNK Presents remarkable exposure, but also confidence, and tenacity convening our message and delivering our story to a room full of strangers. The feedback and energy from the entire day left us feeling recharged and excited for our business to accelerate to the next level. The Indiana Conference for Women is an outstanding day filled with inspiration, networking, and motivation for women entrepreneurs, and women in business. We look forward to the conference this year and to the many years ahead.
Lightening soared and thunder erupted as I headed to Morgan Monroe State Forest (http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/4816.htm) to meet the women of growing organization, Purple Ink. Purple Ink is a human resources consulting firm, which offers customization and flexibility, with locations in Indianapolis and Grand Rapids, MI. I’m sure these women were a little hesitant driving down with their co-workers during the rainstorm that was making it’s way through the vast, open cornfields. Luckily their fearless leader, JoDee Curtis was confident the adventure hike would go on.
As we approached the Tecumseh trailhead the first trail blaze on the tree invited us to partake on our journey into the wilderness. The Tecumseh Trail is named after Chief Tecumseh, who often traveled the trail prior to the defeat of his warriors by General William Henry Harrison at the Battle of Tippecanoe on November 7, 1811. More information on Chief Tecumseh can be found here:
The Tecumseh Trail blaze in Indiana is marked by a white rectangle. The portion of the trail we were on coincides with the Low Gap trail, which is marked by a white diamond. When you see a double blaze together it means the trail is taking a change of direction, road crossing, or other indication of variation on the trail.
Trail blazes direct our passage through the wilderness, and guide us along the correct path. We found out through our adventure hike that day that the women of Purple Ink were blazing their own trails in their personal and professional lives. The owner of Purple Ink, JoDee Curtis, blazed her trail by starting the business 6 years ago. She told the story of hiring the first employee, who announced on the trip that day, she was pregnant!
Another employee told the story of when she started working at Purple Ink. She wanted to start working again after taking many years off to be with her family, but was nervous about being inefficient on the latest technology. She admitted, the last time she was working, email was not even around. She knew she could do the job though, but she could not have succeeded without the support and strong leadership of the entire Purple Ink team.
The clouds cleared, and the rain luckily dispersed, we quickly were all able to delayer our ponchos and rain gear. The women devoured their first backcountry meal on an MSR stove, they learned about the latest technology in filtering water with our gravity bag, and the principals of Leave No Trace (https://lnt.org/).
The women of Purple Ink definitely blazed their own trail through the backcountry that day. Their initial fear of the dark, stormy gloom quickly passed as they made their way deep into the woods. As in life, we sometimes have dark days, and go through trying times, but with the support and encouragement from our team and co-workers, we can get through most obstacles together. These women are most definitely blazing trails in their careers, in their family life, and in the community. I am excited to see where the trail leads them next.
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.
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
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Danielle Wolter Nolan
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
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?
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
Join us for your next adventure!
When: June 15th 5:30-7pm
Where: Monon Center, Central Park in Carmel, IN
Sign up here!
When: June 24-26
Where: Morgan Monre State Forest
Sign up here!
When: July 9-10
Where: Morgan Monroe State Forest
Sign up here!
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!
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!
Interested in learning more about corporate adventure retreats, health and wellness or on boarding programs? Contact us to learn more!