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Are you a woman who likes to dance upon this earth?

You are? Then you've come to the right place.

The Trail Dames Podcast is just for you.


Dec 7, 2021

Ada- In 2000, I retired from the telephone company in Chicago, Illinois, where I worked as a computer programmer and business systems analyst.

In the ensuing years, I’ve developed a passion for painting and drawing (who knew!); herb and flower gardening and, of course, hiking. I find spending time in the mountains with the Trail Dames or on my own in nature to be rejuvenating and creatively inspiring. The best part, the very best part, is time spent in our gorgeous Georgia /North Carolina mountains with my awesome daughter.
One of the greatest joys of my life here in Georgia is hanging out with my Melissa and our sister Trail Dames. I love this organization and its underlying principles. It is so empowering to encourage one another - one step at a time - and sit around the fire at night listening to one another’s experiences. We’ve laughed together until we cried and cried together until we laughed and watched our precious friendships deepen.

I was delighted at our annual Standing Indian Campout to receive my official trail name, Falling Star (and, yes, there is an exciting story behind it).

I recently took my granddaughter and 3 great grandchildren on a weekend camping trip to Fort Mountain with my daughter, Melissa; something I would never have tried until I received camping knowledge from the Trail Dames and hiking experiences with them. (And, yes, there are juicy stories we can tell!)

At Fort Mountain, I spent an afternoon hiking with my 5-year-old great grandson. We stopped at every puddle, twig, bug and snail to touch, discover and question as only a 5-year-old can. I was completely captivated by that precocious little boy and felt very grateful for him and the gift of nature. 🙂

Melissa- I was born and raised in Southern Indiana in a small town called Huntingburg. It was the BEST childhood. I had a horse, was in the marching band and color guard, had a huge circle of the same friends literally from kindergarten to well after high school (and some, still to this day) and spent my summers riding my horse, camping, walking in the woods, listening to the tree’s and taking in the smells of nature. My Pawpaw was a huge part of that growing up. They lived in a perfect little log cabin he built with timbers from my great grandfather’s barn. They had about 22 acres with a lake, which, of course, we swam and fished in often. My mom did a lot of home cooking, spent her whole life making sure I knew who I was, had the confidence to not allow anything or anyone to derail me and made me believe I could do anything, if I just worked hard enough in life. She was, and still is, the best… best friend!

I moved to Chicago, IL when I was 21, and that is where I met my husband Mark, the love of my life, for nearly 30 yrs now. We got married the next year and then moved to FL right after. That’s where we raised our beautiful daughter, and I began what has been the most amazing career for myself. We were there until 2006, when my job transferred me to the Atlanta area. We now have 3 adorable grandchildren (2 girls and 1 boy) who are the joys of our life. We love to travel, spend time just hanging out as a family and laugh….Mark literally makes me laugh every day, out loud, at least once!

I really enjoy traveling (as mom puts it, “wheels under us”) and especially cruising, hiking, camping, listening to music (all kinds and I sing and dance, when no one is looking of course!), reading and just being with family. I lead a small group bible study at my church, which is such a source of grounding and inspiration in my life and have made the dearest of friends in my adult life with them.

The Trail Dames have given mom and I the most wonderful memories and inspiration already and we’ve only just begun! We have met the most amazing, fearless, supportive, kind and loving women in the Dames. We have been welcomed with open arms and always made to feel like family. Pam & Kim were a huge part of that as they were the first Dames we met and got to know. We are so blessed to be part of this community and although we won’t ever be those hikers doing extreme, long hikes, we so enjoy the relaxing saunter we’re able to do at times and take in nature the way we’ve always loved to do!

Guest Links-
Melissa on LinkedIn:

Melissa on Facebook:

Connect with Anna, aka Mud Butt, at

You can find the Trail Dames at:
Our website:

The Summit:

The Trail Dames Foundation:



Hiking Radio Network:

Hiking Radio Network on Instagram:

Music provided for this Podcast by The Burns Sisters
"Dance Upon This Earth"