It’s not often that you get to take the trip of a lifetime and call it work. As the staff representative for our AAHA Adventure CE Pack Trip into the Teton Wilderness just outside Jackson Hole, Wyo., however, I recently had the opportunity to do exactly that.

Bonding begins almost immediately as you get to know your peers over dinner, before packing your bags to head out on the mules the next morning. In the morning, the excitement is tangible as you drive out of town to the trail head. This is when you get a sense of how much energy, organization, and impeccable animal care go into putting on an endeavor like this.

As you head out on the trail, there is a sudden, overwhelming feeling of uncertainty, a feeling that quickly fades as you bond with your horse and take in all the majestic sights around you. I learned that the incredible sense of self-preservation these horses possess means you have to put your trust in them to get you up and down the steep, slippery, rocky hills and paths that are seemingly unpassable.

This is nature at its best. There are no cell phones, electricity, running water, or modern conveniences. Water bottles are filled from a spring in the ground and the closest you will get to a shower is jumping in a cold pool below a waterfall, or the creek, alongside the trout and beaver, as it runs in front of camp.

You have truly left civilization, although Wolverine Creek Outfitters make you feel at home. Your bedroom for the next four days is a canvas tent with a cot and mattress, they set up a bathroom for you that is more than a simple hole in the ground, and meals are not your typical camping food. There are no hot dogs or going hungry on this trip!

Days whizz by with horse rides to waterfalls and lakes, hiking, fishing, photography (I came back with over 600 photos!), relaxing and bonding with like-minded people.

CE is completed between activities and meals, as well as informally along the trail as you converse with those around you. Course work is presented in a round-table discussion format where everyone feels comfortable being open and honest while sharing their challenges and triumphs of practice management. You leave feeling less alone and part of a larger community.

The worst part of the trip is the encroachment of reality as you head back to civilization—emails, voice messages, and real world responsibilities—but a hot shower, warm bed, and the excitement of implementing new ideas will help ease you back to the daily grind.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity! We are set to hit the trail again July 30-August 2, 2016 for another incredible trip. Saddles fill quickly and it is a small group, so make sure to reserve your spot soon!

Learn more about the AAHA Adventure CE Pack Trip here or call Amy Johnson at 720-963-4424 for more information.

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