Born to be Wild

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A celebration of Life is an understatement on this unforgettable journey to a remote corner of Nevada beneath endless skies with 23 incredible women and over 500 wild Mustang horses roaming free in the distance.

It was a full on LoveFest.  Well… not right away!  The Magic of Mustang Monument, a long 2 and 1/2 hour drive in our comfy stretch hummer, a far cry from our predecessors who came on horseback and covered wagon, from Salt Lake City was an acquired taste from the moment we arrived on this untamed frontier as we

became more and more comfortable on our “home on the range”.  Yes, it was out of the box for all of us especially when we heard we would have no cell or internet service. We were off the grid and I must say it was very refreshing.  A perfect STAT scenario.  Everyone was present without the need to check our devices.  The resort (yes i would call it that) is intimate and like no other for sure. It is owned and operated by animal activist and philanthropist Madeleine Pickens who sadly couldn’t be there to greet us but as i heard later that may have been a blessing in disguise. IMG_0450Evidently, she doesn’t like guests getting crazy and dancing on tables. Hmmm…not us. We did have our prerequisite cowboys Tommy and Tucker and our token navy seal Niks on hand to make sure we didn’t get “out of hand”. Our days began and ended appropriately at the saloon where in the mornings it was turned into a yoga studio where we practiced our asanas that opened our hearts.

During the evenings…it was a different story.   But the biggest out of the box experience for most of us was sleeping in these hand-painted perfectly appointed Tepees without electricity and a short walk to the bathroom. After all, this was the Wild West! And our Nancy B was born to be Wild.  And so the adventure was off and running.  Our first full day was surreal from watching Clay who could easily be a movie star playing a real life cowboy, saddle up 23 wild horses for our ride up to Spruce Mountain.  You would have thought we were all experienced riders.  An up-hill ride with stunning landscape through derelict gold mining shafts and abandoned pioneer towns only to arrive and be greeted by a sumptuous gourmet lunch complete with NB’s afternoon libation!  Leaving the horses to roam, we hiked back to the ranch in preparation for our opening ceremony.  It was a first for some and certainly a first for me sitting in a beautiful sacred Tepee surrounded by 22 powerful women celebrating a 60th birthday and honoring themselves by sharing intentions for living.  It was a humanizing and bonding experience.  Our second day hiking with Niks

was a hot one with challenging desert-like temps in the high 80’s  in the middle of the day so we opted to get back early for some competitive archery. It definitely brought back the camp days for all of us as we got in the spirit big time.  Ali managed to get a bull’s-eye while no one was looking…really? It was the fun line and the laughs were unstoppable rolling right into the evening festivities of toasting and roasting our Nancy B to the tune of “look at me I’m Sandra D”. Hysterical!  This was when the urge to dance on tables were irresistible well into the wee hours of the night.  Blurred Lines was the song of the night when the DJ’s were agreeable.  Again, the cowboys and our Navy Seal kept us in line as much as possible but morning yoga was not pretty. Our last day together on the ranch  was the absolute clincher.  Not only did we play canasta and other board games which never happens on a STAT trip but who knew Joan would be in her element driving like Evel Knievel as we

piled into the ATV’s on property for a late afternoon spin up to boulder valley for our last incredible vista. Beyond fun!  Completely dusty and dirty, we cleaned up nicely for our last evening meal together in a cozy candle-lit tepee. The food as usual was absolutely fresh and delicious as it was every feeding. Kudos to Chef Dave.  After all is said and done, a STAT trip is nothing without the magnificent women in attendance.  Everyone brought their best selves and we continued to shine.

This journey was a group effort as we came together collectively and created some unforgettable memories that we will be able to draw upon in our life whenever we need the strength to smile amidst adversity.   My mission is to take women out of their comfort zone away from busy lives into another world to experience nature, cultivate gratitude, contribute to local philanthropic projects, and most importantly to a place we can laugh, cry, and bond.  This particular trip was a testament to our birthday girl.  Some have been in her life for a long time and some are relatively new soul mates. But her ability to manifest everyone’s place in her heart is a gift and we all felt it. I’m honored to have been chosen to lead such a courageous group of women. We created a bond that will be remembered forever.

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7 thoughts on “Born to be Wild

  1. Jody Post says:

    WOW, YOU sure capture EVERY emotion…moment.
    Best writer, waiting for the novel, you sure have enough scoops on all of us…
    Much love and appreciation for ALLLLLL YOU DO!!! XO

  2. Alison says:

    “We’re in Nevada with Cowboys and Straw”, all for Nancy B and thanks to my friend E!
    What a memorable 4 days at the Mustang Monument Ranch, with all of you beautiful ladies. I so enjoyed getting to know some of you and others even better!
    As I said in the circle it was quite a tribute to Nancy to have 22 girls gather in the Wild West for a birthday celebration…
    I loved our horseback rides, the delicious food, the ride on the ATV and the beautiful hike that folllowed~ and of course my BULLS EYE…boy was I a happy camper!
    “If you have two friends in your life you’re lucky. If you have one good friend, you’re more than lucky.”
    What does 22 make Nancy??
    Cheers to Erin and Nancy B!

  3. Susan says:

    Wow, wow, wow! What an adventure…Mustangs, Cowboys and 23 amazing women, thanks to Erin’s adventure planning and Nancy’s adoring friendship circle! Thanks to all the women who made this Birthday getaway for Nancy the most special and memorable desert experience…riding with the wild mustangs, dancing on the tables in the saloon, dinner in the teepee, sleeping in a teepee and ATVing up a mountain…all firsts for me! Nancy B, I love you and your big heart! I will always remember and treasure your celebration of life, love and friendship and meeting all the great women at Mustang Monument! Great pics Erin!!! Great memories too! All my relations, Sxoxo

  4. Shannon Cogan says:

    What an amazing trip …tons of adventure and also soul-filling. Erin – you created magical memories. You are a gifted yoga teacher and an amazing creator of positive energy. I consider us so lucky to be brought together by our much loved Nancy …and to have Erin plan such a memorable vacation. Shannon

  5. Marian Lansburgh says:

    Erin,
    You summarized the trip perfectly. It was a 4 days to remember forever for Nancy B’s birthday. I loved it and you made us move out of our little boundaries. Great to get to know all the girls on the trip and with 23 of them that is not an easy thing to do. Thank you! Great job Erin!
    Love,
    Marian

  6. Rita Adler says:

    What an incredible time we had – we will never forget Nancy B’s 60th! Erin, your blog is a beautiful summary of our four eventful days. I have never laughed so much! Highlights for me were the ATV’s, the horseback ride up the mountain and our picnic lunch awaiting us, and the cozy dinner the last night. Most significantly, I truly enjoyed spending time with so many wonderful women!
    Thank you Erin!
    xo
    Rita

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