Friday, September 19, 2008


There are times when we must reevaluate our purpose and goals in what we do in life. SokerGrrl is one of those aspects of my life that has needed some reordering. I am so thrilled with the success that I have experienced with SokerGrrl, however I have strayed from my original path and such have let SokerGrrl fall to the wayside.

While exploring this path I have discovered that there is a new, more focused direction I would like to head in. On that note, SokerGrrl will be transitioning into is the embodiment of what I would like to achieve, connecting women with nature.

I will be moving my, and your, favorite posts onto Also, Suniechick will be the place to go as a woman in the outdoors to find the information that we all are searching for. Regardless if you're looking for how to's, recipes, environmental updates, or to hear about my adventures, you'll find it there.

Thank you for your support and well wishes. I hope to see you all on

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hot Springs Guy Featured on Idaho Green Living

The Hot Springs Guy is more than just a source of information on Idaho's hundreds of hot springs, he is a steward of the land. He was recently featured on Idaho's News Channel 6, Idaho Green Living segment for being just that. Kudos to you, Hot Springs Guy! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and helping to educate everyone about the importance of our environment.

Monday, June 30, 2008

And still more Photos!



Adventure Continues

The last couple of weeks have been very busy, with over 50 girls coming in and out of camp. I've been having a wonderful time, and have completely exhausted myself. It is all worth it though. I'm adding some pictures to share with you all, and when I return I will go into more detail about my time at camp.

There is only one week left, and I know it will be a great one. The weather has turned HOT, but is still bearable (no I haven't seen any bears). I have seen several snakes, and the sheep have graced my presence again. There has been a lone doe visiting camp over the last week. She is not very shy, and allowed me to get a couple of photos of her.

Hello to all my friends and family. I'll be home soon!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Quick Update

Another week has gone by, and another set of girls have graced my presence. They were a great group, and very different from the week prior. This week we learned Leave No Trace, practiced yoga, went horseback riding, and did lots of outdoor cooking.

I rode for the first time in years, on my buddy Stripes. He's a bit ornery, but we came to an understanding. I had a blast!

I took a side trip up FR 30 to sit by the river for awhile. I was fortunate enough to see a herd of wild Big Horn Sheep (or Rams, I've been told both names). I also saw a snake, a bull snake, I think. It frightened me a little since I almost stepped on it!

The weather has finally turned into summer, and the grounds are drying out. The big puddles in front of the dining hall are still around, but shrinking. However, snow dusted the grounds early last week. Snow in June, absolutely beautiful!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Not Quite Under the Weather

There is a saying "If you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes." That has been more than true over the last two weeks. Deep in the mountains of the Salmon-Challis National Forest, rain has been an almost constant companion. Occasionally the sun has peeked it's head out, and then Mother Nature has thrown hail our way.

Despite all of the wet weather, not a single girl's spirits were dampened. I can't necessarily say the same for the staff, but we have survived. Today was mostly sunny, and practically warm. I will enjoy it for now, because in just a short time I'll be wishing for the rain!

New Adventure

Just over two weeks ago I embarked on a grand adventure. Not the typical type of adventure with world travels, but an adventure nonetheless. I have taken on the role of Camp Director for a Girl Scout camp in central Idaho.

Over the past couple of weeks I have learned that the title "Camp Director", is a title of many faces. I am an administrator, organizer, event planner, mentor, big sister, and resident mom, to name a few. I have become teacher, fire builder, expert marshmallow roaster, and yoga instructor.

I have had the good fortune to have a wonderful staff by my side. The senior staff and counselors are amazing individuals, all bringing something personally special to the board. Each person has begun to take on a role of their own with pride and enthusiasm.

I have witnessed the timid camper grow, and begin to shed her shell. I have seen the overbearing girl learn to respect herself, as well as others around her. I have also born witness to the counselors beginning to come into their own.

I have had to rush my maintenance man to the emergency room (an hour away) to put staples in his head. One camper stubbed her piggy toe so badly it swelled up to the size of her big toe, and yesterday, one girl had a disagreement about which direction to go with her mountain bike. Although there were some bumps and bruises, overall this week is deemed entirely successful!

What an amazing feeling it is to be part of this world. Out here there are no cell phones, no Internet, and the only electricity comes from a propane powered generator. This is definitely the life.

As my Internet capabilities are somewhat hindered by the beautiful mountains (I would have it no other way), my blog will be sporadically updated with my adventures.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


This past Saturday I spent the morning digging in the dirt, turning the earth. As a part of my environmental studies class, I am to take part in a service learning project. The agency I am working with is called Boise Urban Garden School (BUGS).

BUGS uses organic gardening to interconnect community, students and teachers in a variety of issues. During school year and summer programs, people learn about sustainability, nutrition, ecology, health and literacy. Through actively running a summer produce stand, the students learn about local food economies. The "authentic learning environment" enables students to learn through "inquiry and problem solving". This in turn spurs critical thinking. Here, students can learn about where their food comes from. They learn to look at nature in a new light, and realize that there is an alternative to "a world of instant gratification". With the many values they learn through the BUGS program, we are one step closer to making the world a better place.

There are programs like this all over the world, even in your neighborhood. They may not necessarily be a school, but could be a community garden. Whether you live in the city or on a self sustaining farm, remember to connect with the food you eat. Food is more than just a commodity, more than simply nourishment and a way to survive. We are all connected to the world. With our fast food and processed everything, we lose sight of our roots.

The BUGS program is more than one way to find that reconnection. I encourage you to find something in your own community, or even just have a window box filled with herbs or tomatoes. There is more gratification in food that is cultivated from our own hands. And, nothing has ever tasted so delicious!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Earth Hour; One Hour No Power

On March 29th at 8pm, I have vowed to participate in one hour of no power! I encourage each and everyone of us who call this planet home to do the same. Together we can make a difference. Visit for more information and to join the fight against global warming!

Soker Grrl's in Backpacker!

Pick up the April issue of Backpacker magazine, turn to page 64, and feast your eyes on the lower left corner. A photo I took on a pack trip to Skillern Hot Springs last June has been published. With great excitement I invite you to take a peek, and keep an eye out on Backpacker's website for Soker Grrl as well.

Thank you to everyone who shares in my adventures. I look forward to many more treks in the future.

In Peace,
~Soker Grrl

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Simple Steps to Leaving a Lighter Footprint

As global warming becomes more of an issue, whether you agree that it exists or not, changes need to occur in order to preserve Mother Earth for future generations. Here are a few simple ways to make changes in your daily life that will make a difference.

*Carpool: transportation consumes about 25% of the total energy used in the United States (source)
By sharing a ride to work, extracurricular activities, or running errands you can help reduce the amount of emissions being blasted into the air

*Keep your vehicle properly maintained
A well running vehicle reduces gas use, thus reducing emissions

*Switch to environmental friendly cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice

*Bring your own shopping bags: reuse the plastic ones or there are many reusable cloth bags, many which are available for purchase at your local grocery store

*Replace just 1 roll of toilet paper cut from ancient forests with 1 roll of recycled toilet paper

*Buy organic when ever possible: this means not just food items. Studies have shown that many cotton fabrics have been treated with pesticides during the growing process.

*Sign up for paperless billing: this option is available for almost all of your bills. Also, most banks have an option for online bill pay. This not only reduces the amount of paper used, but can help avoid identity theft.

*Use a water filter for your home instead of buying bottled water.
"Bottled water costs more fossil fuels to transport than tap water, and i
t also takes 1.5 million barrels of oil each year to create enough polyethylene terephthalate plastic to make the bottles" (source)

*Create your own compost: is great for reducing the amount of organic garbage thrown out and supplies some wonderful topsoil for your garden.

*Contact your local waste removal facility, many offer curbside recycle programs that are free

*Last but not least, remember the 3 R's: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!

There are a multitude of little steps we can take to minimize our impact on this planet. I have barely scratched the surface. By performing even the simplest of these tasks we are making a difference. Leading by example will show our children, our friends, and our neighbors that one person can make a difference, and together we can transform the world.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Law of Love

When man's needs are discussed one thinks of the basics; food, water, shelter, air. Although these are our physical needs for survival, often overlooked is the need for love and connectedness. David Suzuki addresses this issue in chapter seven of his book The Sacred Balance.

Love goes beyond the affections of a man and wife or of mother to child. It expands to community and nature. Love is more than just an emotion. It is an essential need mapped into everyone's DNA. Affection during developmental years, even as early as conception, is required for children to grow into socially capable adults. Affection is needed throughout our lifetime in order for us to pass on this ability to the children. With out love we will grow up empty, not knowing how to properly function not only in society, but we lose the ability to connect with nature and grasp its importance.

Throughout our history, until recently, man was a group of hunter gatherers. We worked together in harmony with our surroundings. We realized that nature helped provide what was needed for our survival, and in turn we treated her with respect. Now in the days of concrete jungles, metropolitans, and ever growing cities, this connectedness has diminished. Is this because the adults of present time were not given enough love? Were we not taught that the actions we take today will effect our world tomorrow? In some cases, yes.

Love and our connectedness to nature are an invaluable need that is too often overlooked. The pseudo-need for more things has almost overcome our primal instincts for being part of nature. We are a part of the environment, not a separate entity. Love needs to be rekindled in order for our survival. We must reconnect and realize the importance of our actions and non-actions in order to live, not simply survive.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Menstruation while backpacking: Not a problem

The snow is melting exposing dormant grasses. Trees are beginning to bud, flowers open their petals like sleeping children, and the squirrels are actively teasing my dogs again. These are all signs that spring is knocking at my door. Every morning I awake thinking and planning my next backpacking trip. While sharing my past adventures with friends, a couple questions continually arise, "What do you do when you're on your period?" and "Won't bears be attracted to the smell of blood?" While I know my preferred method, I decided to do some asking around. This was a much more common question than I thought, as I found it in multiple forums and bulletin boards. The best general consensus for dealing with your monthly visitor, and the one I agree with is:
  • Use tampons over sanitary napkins
  • Use unscented accessories
  • Pack it in, pack it out, freezer zip-loc bags and double up the bag
  • Hoist with all other food/garbage that you want to keep away from critters
  • Sanitizing hand gel, it's very important to keep as clean as possible while dealing with sensitive areas
That's it, it really is this simple!

You shouldn't bury the used accessories because animals could smell the blood and try to dig them up. Some burn their tampons. If this is something you decide to do remember that a very hot fire is needed, and a good bit of time to completely destroy them. You'll need to pack out the remains.

In the case of the myth that bears will be drawn to menstruating women, I have found this to be MYTH.

Several studies have been done and the results show that bears are NOT attracted to menstruating women any more than another person. For more information please visit

My fellow adventurous women, please go into the wild with ease knowing that our monthly friend does not have to put a damper on anything that we love to do. All we need is to be prepared for the journey.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Clandestine Soak at Kirkham Hot Springs

Climbing through the last crevice after scrambling over slick rocks, I entered a new world. Steam swirled all around obstructing my view of anything solid. Rock formations took on ethereal shapes. The river rushed by to my right, adding its own voice to the scenario. The wind briefly swept by, momentarily wiping away the steam and mist. Before me a beautiful landscape stood exposed. I basked in the beauty of Kirkham Hot springs. Snow began to fall lightly dusting my hair and jacket, melting as it met with the heated spring air. Hot water tumbled over age old boulders filling the crystal clean pool. The temperature was a bit too warm for me, almost, clocking in between 109 -106 degrees. Nevertheless, an excellent soak was still to be had. Kirkham Hot Springs is located in the Boise National Forest shortly beyond Lowman, ID. In the summer months camping spots are sometimes available. The pools are under night time closure year round due to behavior unbecoming of my fellow hot-springers. You can be seen from the road above, so swim wear is highly recommended, and required in the spring/summer months. As always, when partaking in the glories of Mother Nature, tread lightly, silently, and leave her in better shape than you found her.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Call to Action!

If there has ever been a time when we need to unite and speak up, that time is now. Idaho's roadless areas are on the chopping block once again (or still depending on how you look at it). Anyone and everyone who appreciates the wilderness, or wants it to be around for future generations, please take part and submit your comments. When we unite as one our voice may be heard!

The following is an email from the Idaho Conservation League. This decision effects not only Idaho residents, but the entire nation. I urge you to take a stand and speak out. I will be at the Boise rally on February 28. Hope to see you there!

Dear Friends (Please spread this email widely)-

The Forest Service has released a Draft Plan that threatens to allow new roads, logging, mining and other forms of harmful development in the majority of Idaho's 9.3 million acres of pristine, backcountry national forests. The proposal contradicts then-Gov. Risch's commitment to protect 95% of Idaho's roadless forests when he testified in Washington, DC in November 2006.

If you care about about ensuring that future generations of Idahoans can experience Idaho's majestic backcountry, the time is now...Let's Keep Idaho, Idaho.

We can't do it alone though, WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We are blessed in Idaho with over 9.3 million acres of backcountry national forest areas. With one of the fastest growing populations in the country, Idaho's rugged, natural areas are becoming more important for preserving opportunities for outdoor recreation, hunting, fishing and our way of life.

In 2001, protections were developed to protect all remaining national forest roadless areas around the country. That rule REMAINS THE LAW OF THE LAND.

In September 2006, then-Governor Jim Risch petitioned the Forest Service to allow for some development in Idaho's pristine forests. In November 2006, he "clarified" that he was willing to accept protections equivalent to, or stronger, than the 2001 Rule on 8.8 million acres. Now the Forest Service has developed a draft plan that would weaken protections for 7.6 million acres of Idaho's backcountry forests.

These backcountry areas are the source of Idaho's clean water, critical wildlife habitat and offer the opportunity for solitude, a dwindling resource as Idaho continues to grow.


The Forest Service will be hosting 16 public meetings across the state beginning January 22 and continuing until February 28. A FULL LIST of the meeting locations and times is attached (in PDF format) AND is pasted below in this email. It will be CRITICAL for Idahoans to show up at these meetings and voice their support for maintaining current protections for the backcountry roadless areas we cherish.

Along with a number conservation groups from across the state, we will be hosting presentations and meetings in communities around Idaho to let YOU know about the draft plan, and what YOU can do to protect these special places. If you would like more information about attending a meeting, or scheduling a meeting for any group you're involved with (fishing, hunting, conservation group, audubon, sierra club, or even a group of friends!) please contact TOM SCHWARZ at or toll-free at 877-345-6933 ext. 27. Tom will also be coordinating transportation to public meetings if you live in a community not served by one of the public meetings ( i.e. Moscow, McCall, Sandpoint).

We are also encouraging supporters to submit LETTERS TO THE EDITOR to your local paper AND the Idaho Statesman ( encouraging attendance at local meetings and raising concerns with the draft plan.

Finally, please make sure to EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS to

You can get more information, points to comment on, the Draft Idaho Roadless Rule, the Draft environmental analysis, and links to more at

You can also get load of info at

Thanks you for your support!

Jonathan Oppenheimer
Senior Conservation Associate
Idaho Conservation League
PO Box 844, Boise, ID 83701
208. 345.6942 x26
Fax 208.344.0344
Cell: 208.867.3505

The Idaho Conservation League preserves Idaho's clean water, wilderness and quality of life.



January 22, 2007
Bonners Ferry
Kootenai River Inn
7169 Plaza St. Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
7:00 PM

January 23, 2007
Coeur d' Alene
Kootenai CountyCourthouse
451 Government Way Rm 1A/1B
Coeur d' Alene, ID 83816
6:00 PM

January 24, 2007
ID Dept. of Healthy and Welfare Office
35 Wildcat Way
Kellogg, ID 83837
6:00 PM

January 28, 2007
Clearwater County Courthouse
150 Michigan Avenue
Orofino, ID 83544
7:00 PM

January 29, 2007
Red Lion Hotel
621 21st Street
Lewiston, ID 83501
7:00 PM

January 30, 2007
Super 8 Motel
801 SW 1st Street
Grangeville, ID 83530
7:00 PM

February 11, 2007
Brooklyn Annex
200 Fulton
Salmon, ID 83467
7:00 PM

February 12, 2007
Custer County Courthouse
Main Street
Challis, ID 83226
7:00 PM

February 13, 2007
Blaine County Courthouse
206 South 1st Avenue, Ste 200
Hailey, ID 83333
7:00 PM

February 14, 2007
Mackay City Hall
203 S. Main Street
Mackay, ID 83251
7:00 PM

February 20, 2007
Idaho Falls
Shilo Inn
Grand Teton Rm
780 Lindsey Blvd
Idaho Falls, ID 83401
6:00 PM

February 21, 2007
Holiday Inn
1399 Bench Road
Pocatello, ID 83201
6:00 PM

February 25, 2007
Valley County
219 N. Main Street
Cascade, ID 83611
7:00 PM

February 26, 2007
Adams County Courthouse
201 Industrial Ave Council, ID 83612
7:00 PM

February 27, 2007
Twin Falls
Twin Falls City Council Chambers
305 3rd Avenue East
Twin Falls, ID 83301
7:00 PM

February 28, 2007
Boise City Hall
150 N Capitol Blvd Boise, ID 83702
7:00 PM

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Year Brings New Escapades

As 2008 begins our eyes, ears, and minds are flooded with the message of resolutions. What are we going to do this year to improve ourselves and our quality of life? I am viewing this new year as an opportunity and a challenge to have as many adventures as possible. I want to explore new regions, climb mountains, backpack the FCRNRW, and all the while refocus on my writing. I yearn to discover the desert in more detail, to encounter new experiences in the forest, and all the while do what I can to protect and preserve these precious places. I anxiously await what 2008 will bring. This new year will be everything I make of it; excitement, adventure, and new challenges!