Trim, petite and emitting enough energy to qualify for nuclear reactor status, Sue is Michigan’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program coordinator. Like the proverbial long-lived cat, she’s had her share of lives. She worked as a promotions director at Bass Pro Shops, a coordinator for NWTF’s Women in the Outdoors program and a state representative for Michigan’s 71st District. But she almost exhausted all nine of them when her truck hit a patch of black ice a few weeks ago.
“I was going slowly, as a matter of fact it seemed everyone was passing me,” Sue said. “Then
I felt the backend start to sway, and I did what I usually do to keep it straight, but the little S10 started to spin and kept spinning. I think I did two complete circles on the expressway, before I hit the guardrail, bounced across to the left side, got into some deep snow in the median and that’s when I was able to bring her back into control and slow down, then stop. Thank God all those other cars had passed me and that I didn’t hit another car. ”
The next weekend Sue was headed up north to host a BOW Discovery weekend, where 67 women had the opportunity to cross country ski, snowshoe, dog sled and check out a host of other courses including outdoor survival.
I doubt the outdoor survival class included instructions on what to do if your vehicle spun out like it had been deliberately wrecked by NASCAR driver Carl Edwards. However, Sue contends those schooled in the outdoors are more apt to prepare themselves for emergency situations.
“When we travel, we ready ourselves the same way we would when heading to the woods,” Sue said. “We make sure we have everything we need, especially in the north during the winter months.”
While Sue was lucky and had a cell signal where she wrecked, she advised thinking about what you would need to do to stay comfortable if you were stranded in the cold because of an accident or your vehicle broke down. A blanket, candy bar, first aid kit and water are items Sue keeps in her truck year round. In the winter, she adds disposable hand and foot warmers to the kit as well as an extra pair of boots and socks to stay warm.
The most important item to have with you is your brain, especially when you’ve recharged it with knowledge of first aid and CPR.
Sue said the big take home from the experience, though, was more mental modification than what she puts in her glove box.
“Don’t wait to try the things you’ve always wanted to try. Life can be over in an instant.”
Sue is taking her own advice. The dog sledding at the BOW Discovery weekend tripped her trigger and she’s already making plans to mush.
You shouldn’t wait either whether you’ve always wanted to shoot a handgun or cast a fly rod. Sue is trying to make it easier for those of you who are battling the two-headed monster called “time and money.” She’s lowered the cost of the BOW programs by offering one-day and weeknight events. And she’s trying to get more courses offered throughout the state to reduce drive time.
To find a BOW workshop in Michigan, visit http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/1,1607,7-153-10369_15424—,00.html
To find BOW events throughout the country, visit http://www.uwsp.edu/cnr/bow/map.aspx