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July 27, 2016
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August 10, 2016

Lightning soared and thunder erupted as I headed to Morgan Monroe State Forest to meet the women of the growing organization Purple Ink. Purple Ink is a human resources consulting firm, which offers customization and flexibility, with locations in Indianapolis and Grand Rapids, MI. I’m sure these women were a little hesitant driving down with their co-workers during the rainstorm that was making its way through the vast, open cornfields. Luckily, their fearless leader, JoDee Curtis, was confident the adventure hike would go on.

As we approached the Tecumseh trailhead, the first trail blaze on the tree invited us to partake on our journey into the wilderness. The Tecumseh Trail is named after Chief Tecumseh, who often traveled the trail prior to the defeat of his warriors by General William Henry Harrison at the Battle of Tippecanoe on November 7, 1811. More information on Chief Tecumseh can be found here.

The Tecumseh Trail blaze in Indiana is marked by a white rectangle. The portion of the trail we were on coincides with the Low Gap trail, which is marked by a white diamond. When you see a double blaze together it means the trail is taking a change of direction, road crossing, or other indication of variation on the trail.

Trail blazes direct our passage through the wilderness, and guide us along the correct path. We found out through our adventure hike that day that the women of Purple Ink were blazing their own trails in their personal and professional lives. The owner of Purple Ink, JoDee Curtis, blazed her trail by starting the business 6 years ago. She told the story of hiring her first employee, who announced on the trip that day she was pregnant!

Another employee told the story of when she started working at Purple Ink. She wanted to start working again after taking many years off to be with her family, but was nervous about being inefficient on the latest technology. She admitted that the last time she was working, email was not even around. She knew she could do the job, but she could not have succeeded without the support and strong leadership of the entire Purple Ink team.

The clouds cleared, and the rain luckily dispersed, we quickly were all able to delayer our ponchos and rain gear. As the women devoured their first backcountry meal on an MSR stove, they learned about the latest technology in filtering water with our gravity bag, and the principles of Leave No Trace.

The women of Purple Ink definitely blazed their own trail through the backcountry that day.  Their initial fear of the dark, stormy gloom quickly passed as they made their way deep into the woods. As in life, we sometimes have dark days, and go through trying times, but with the support and encouragement from our team and co-workers, we can get through most obstacles together. These women are most definitely blazing trails in their careers, in their family life, and in the community. I am excited to see where the trail leads them next.

Danielle Wolter Nolan
Danielle Wolter Nolan
Growing up in the country being outdoors was always second nature to Danielle, but as she grew older and moved to the big city she realized more people were spending more time on their phones or other technology, and much less time outdoors. She and her wife realized they are at their best when they are able to get outside, challenge themselves, and live life adventurously. Danielle wants to share the love of the outdoors, nature and adventure with others, which is why they started their business, DNK Presents. The benefit of having a healthy work life balance provides a positive mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Athletics and sports has always been a huge part of Danielle's life. She credits the success and the growth in her professional and personal life to all the valuable lessons she learned being a Division I collegiate golfer and coach. She is blessed to share her passion for the great outdoors while helping individuals and groups find and explore their next great adventure.

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