As we walked I listened to the chatter of the women, words tossed over shoulders into the canyon grandeur. Hiking drew stories from us, stories of families and careers and challenges. Everyone in the group is married, all have children, many have faced the death of a parent, or a sibling. Several have battled and survived cancer. Years of their lives have been spent caring for their kids and supporting their husbands, many have also held demanding jobs. One woman has started a non-profit to address a devastating disease, one works with handicapped children on speech therapy, one rescues and fosters huskies. Another has gone back to work raising funds for a non-profit that helps the poor. One woman with three kids has gone back to school, obtained a masters degree and is working on a PhD. Two in the group are planning to hike Machu Picchu in June. One woman traveled from Florida to hike with her sister last year and when the trip was cancelled due to weather, came back again this year. Hiking the canyon in the winter is no small accomplishment, it requires training and planning and commitment. I found the magnificent aspects of the Grand Canyon were mirrored in the qualities of these strong women. Thanks to all of you ladies for your laughter, your stories and companionship on our journey.