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Hiking Joshua Tree, A Social Media Meet Up

Social media and real life… A topic that gets much debate these days. Some people say that the use of these platforms: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc harbors a person’s connection with real people, real places in real time. Sure, looking up from our phones while in the line at your morning coffee joint could perhaps result in a hi and hello with a stranger who you may have common ground with, which is rarely bound to happen these days.

But, I, @Im_NicoleMarie am here to tell you that for me, and us at @WomenWhoHike the use of social media, connecting with people of like mind is one of reward, inspiration, connection and for me, has turned into plenty of real time, real life and real adventure with these real people.

Last week, a person I connected with via DM last year, @justinlfricke, decided to meet up for one afternoon in Joshua Tree National Park. We had met before, but now he was coming my way and I jumped at the chance to connect once again, in the outdoors, where we share a common bond. We are both hikers, climbers and visual creators. So, I was looking forward to seeing one another in person, catching up and doing what we love.

As we were getting our sunset plans together, we got a message from fellow adventurer, and also fellow Merrell ambassador, @kylekesterson. He was making his way from Arizona to us, just in time before nightfall. Bonus. The two of us, suddenly, was about to become three. Kyle and I had met before, also thanks to social media. While adventuring in the Nevada area, I came across Kyle thanks to our use of common hashtags and last year we met up, also here, in Joshua Tree for a sunrise and afternoon adventure one random Friday. We’ve kept in touch since, not only via social media but also through text and email, checking in with one another since Kyle has been on the road in his van.

As the day grew later, we all decided to extend our stay in Joshua Tree and then… three became four. Instagram DMs and texts started to come in to us both, Justin and I, saying Morgan, @morganbrechler was also making her way to the park for a couple of days. Morgan and I, both female adventurers had never met before. But, we both knew what each one of us was about thanks to social media posts. And, both of us are also further connected thanks to our Merrell connection.

We made plans the next day to reconvene in the afternoon for some climbing and also a sunset hike to the top of Ryan Mountain. So, the four of us, with our packs, climbing stuff, gear and footwear from @merrelloutside hit the trail, hiking against 30mph winds, getting acquainted and reacquainted, laughing at and with each other as we made it up and down as the night fell upon us.


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