Barbara Ball-McClure is a born and raised Michigander. She attended East Lansing High School and studied at Michigan State University, but her heart lives out West. After traveling all 50 states and growing an avid love for outdoor adventure she ending up creating a special attachment to Glacier National Park in Columbia Falls, Mont. Spending countless weekends camping and hiking the mountains, Ball-McClure said her love for the park became something she wanted to devote more time and energy to. “I was showing some friends my pictures I had taken out there, and they thought they were so beautiful,” she said. “They said they didn’t know why they had never been.” That was when she said the idea sparked. Ball-McClure has created a trip to Glacier National Park for a group of eight women to enjoy nature, mountains and relaxation with her providing all the necessary camping equipment. The trip, “Women Over Fifty” is taking place Aug. 18-24, and Ball-McClure said she could not be more excited to share her passion with other women. She picked those dates because the end of summer is when the park starts to die down from family travels and become more peaceful, that way the women can soak in their time to the full potential. “I think it’s an experience that a lot of older women would like to have, but maybe they don’t have the equipment, or any other people that would go with them,” she said. “I guess I’m pretty gutsy that way, I don’t mind being alone and independent.” Ball-McClure has put together an itinerary filled with hiking, horseback riding, lazy river floating and a day of nature photography. Her goal is for every woman to have fun and enjoy themselves with a variety of low-level activities to allow them to enjoy the scenery without pressure or stress. “Whenever I have taken my children on vacation, it never ends up a vacation for me,” she said. “I think a lot of women feel that way. We are always taking care of others and we forget to take some time for ourselves.” Hoping that this will become an annual vacation, Ball-McClure has already started looking into the future. She is considering also starting a women’s trip to Yellowstone National Park as well for next year. “I want the women to enjoy themselves and just relax in the mountains,” she said. “It’s good for you.” Katelyn Sweet is a senior at Central Michigan University studying Integrative Public Relations and Journalism.
Katelyn Sweet is a senior at Central Michigan University studying Integrative Public Relations and Journalism.