Thursday, September 13, 2012

Old Journeys and New Beginnings

It has been a busy month for WRA! We have tweaked our mission and solidified our 2013 expedition schedule. Instead of taking young women on wilderness adventures, we have decided to provide wilderness excursions for women 25+, especially business women who are dissatisfied/bored with work and are looking for a different type of getaway experience. Instead of going to Vegas, on a cruise, or going to the beach, women can vacation from 3-5 days on a river in West Virginia to reconnect with nature and truly escape the business of the city.

What is Wild River Academy?

The Wild River Academy encourages women to seek out their full potential through outdoor experiences. In a society that emphasizes comfort and convenience, women need to search for opportunities to grow and realize their individual strength. The Wild River Academy empowers participants by providing wilderness experiences in the DC Metro Area and beyond, turning people from tech-savvy to tent-savvy. 
We provide river expeditions to women who are looking for an opportunity to reconnect with nature and get to know other professional women in the DC area. Trips generally run 3-5 days, from Thursday to Monday, March to September. We work hard during the day but at night we kick back with some music, good food, and great company. WRA leads bachelorette party wilderness excursions for groups of up to 11 women. Our motto? Earn your fun!
​The Wild River Academy also provides motivational public speaking services, emphasizing the benefits of wilderness travel in building happy individuals and healthy communities. In 2011, Natalie Warren and Ann Raiho were the first two women to travel the historic Hudson Bay Fur-Trade Route from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay, following Eric Sevareid's route from Canoeing With the Cree. Natalie is currently giving presentations on this adventure to encourage young women to get outdoors! For more information see,, and email to schedule a presentation for your organization.
Upcoming Events and Presentations
Hudson Bay Bound Presentations
September 28th @ 8PM, Potomac Paddle Sports
December 7th @ 8PM, Clara Barton Community Center
December 10th @ Sadie Pope Dowdell Library
Office Presentations
Looking for a quick TED talk for your company? Hudson Bay Bound does 15 minute presentations to share stories and motivate business men and women to go on wilderness trips. Take a quick break from your work day, grab a cup of coffee, and get inspired!

For a little taste of the adventure, here is a journal entry from the last day of the Hudson Bay Bound trip:

August 25, 2011
"10 more hours of paddling ahead. We felt as far away from York Factory as we ever had. Our wrists ached, hands clenched, and our minds, more than anything, were on the verge of insanity. We needed a good kick in the ass to light our fire again. The river was beautiful -- high white-mud eskers on the right and low lying spruces decorating the left bank. The ruggedness of the terrain continuously reminded us of our isolation. As breath-taking as it was, it was not the tundra we had expected, not the tundra we knew and loved from years ago (Ann and I met on a river trip in the arctic tundra in 2007). Our stomachs turned, our stroked slowed, and we became desperate for the hours to pass. All of the sudden from behind us we heard a huge clap of thunder that spooked us both. Just then, a pack of wolves, 5 total, one black, came out to the river bank from behind the spruce. The air was still -- a suspicious calm. The wolves stopped in their tracks when they felt our presence. We stared. They stared. Myhan (our dog) barked. A bird broke the silence with a loud cry and goosebumps rose from our skin. We glanced at the dark cloud looming behind us and we were off with a motivation reminiscent of our efforts on the Red River. We reached "The Rock" (he hasn't been in movies lately because he has dedicated the rest of his life to be a kilometer marker on the route to Hudson Bay), a big rock on the river bank that signified our remaining distance of 50k....40k....30k...Two more hours. We sang every song we knew, including some Christmas medleys. We saw seals, woodland caribou, and a black bear. Every white rock looked as if it were swimming our way and I joked that someone should spray paint them all black to soothe the nerves of canoeists paddling through polar bear country..." TO BE CONTINUED

If you would like to join our mailing list, please go to and send us your email. We will keep you posted on upcoming presentations and let you know when to register for wilderness trips. As always, thanks for your support!

Natalie Warren
Wild River Academy