Mary, at St. Louis Gathering, October 2007

 Lake City Minnesota Gathering, September 2007

About the Gatherings

Gatherings of women were held around Peace Fires along the way. The Grandmothers were asked to share their stories and wisdom. Nine Gatherings were held on each of the three sections of the river, with a few impromptu Gatherings along the way. Women of all ages were encouraged to attend. Gatherings were held outside, generally at dusk - in any weather. The women in attendance were given a list of suggested questions to get their thoughts flowing. The questions were often ignored if a woman's heart had something to share. Gatherings were recorded for accuracy. During the gathering we adopted a tradition in many cultures and used a talking stick. Ours was a fan that was passed around the circle. The fan was made by White Buffalo Man out of heron and raven feathers. The oldest woman in the group spoke first.

The Way Women Do Things

The Ripples Of Wisdom project landed like a pebble in a pool of water, creating ripples that touched the lives of many women and became a shared vision. The main planning teams included, Kitty Kennedy of Ely, Minnesota, Gwyn McKee of Sheridan, Wyoming, Heidi Favet of Ely, Minnesota, Heather Jeske Pharr of Ely, Minnesota and many others who put in countless hours of fund-raising, promotion, creating policies and procedures, inventorying equipment, and doing all the to-do's that are part of any trip.

Travel from the Mississippi River Headwaters to Red Wing, Minnesota

Softcover - 244 Pages

For more information see Book Page

ROW's Mississippi River Paddling Trilogy

A journey of women over age 50 with heart-stopping adventure,

breath-taking scenery, and inspiring women's stories.


ROW Travel Mug

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RIPPLES OF WISDOM

Nancy Scheibe ~ Artist

Grandmother is...

A title of great respect borrowed from the Native American culture. This term recognizes wisdom born out of time and experience, embracing women age fifty and older whether or not they have had children or grandchildren.

The dream materialized in 2004 when I paddled 570 miles of the 595 miles from the headwaters of the Mississippi to Red Wing. It continued in 2007 as I paddled 634 of the 683 miles from Red Wing to St. Louis. In 2011 I traveled the last 1033 miles from St. Louis to the gulf of Mexico paddling 523 of those miles. You'll have to read the books to find out why I didn't paddle every mile.

The Mission

The Ripples Of Wisdom Quest, as it came to be called, would celebrate the value, power, and sacred abilities of women by providing opportunities for Grandmothers to share their voices, by collecting their truths, and by sowing the seeds of these truths far and wide. The core belief behind this project is that women over fifty come from a generation that tends to be silent and unheard. Our culture hasn't placed value on their perspectives, and their valuable stories and healing wisdom is being lost. I was determine to create an environment where the Grandmother's' words would be heard, valued and documented.

That eight-year-old's dream resurfaced when I turned fifty and I wanted to prove to myself that life is just as vital at fifty as at any other age. I wanted not only to paddle the river, but also meet the women who lived along the river's banks. This idea evolved into a mission that made my fiftieth birthday adventure trip into a much deeper experience-one that eventually involved spending eight years raising thousands of dollars, traveling thousand of miles, coordinating events in which more than 350 women participated, and writing three books. Along the way I discovered all women are extraordinary.

Travel from St. Louis, Missouri to the Gulf Of Mexico

Softcover - 446 Pages

For more information see Book Page

Travel from Red Wing, Minnesota to St. Louis, Missouri

Softcover - 336 Pages

For more information see Book Page

ROW Bandana

Cotton bandana in forest green.

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Kee and the Herons

From the start of this journey I developed a deep connection to herons. They were constant companions on the river and guided us many times. When I returned and shared my story with my friend Dan Crealy, he was not surprise and believe it was his treasured Native Grandmother, Keewaydhoquay (Kee). Kee had been dedicated to bringing peace and balance back to all people. He said that Kee was a wise elder and many believed her loving spirit had retuned in the form of a great blue heron. Kee/Herons traveled with us and guided us each day of this journey to the Gulf of Mexico.

Peace Fires

The Peace Fire was started in 1995 by Bruce Hardwick, a Fire keeper from Rapid River, Michigan, at an international conference at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The fire was attended by over 1,500 people form the world over including Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi's grandson. Later Peace fires were attended by others such as Jane Goodall. The purpose of the fire is to awaken our consciousness about peace, love, sisterhood and brother hood. At the end of the conference, which became an annual tradition, participants made coal bundles which have been distributed around the world, where people are gathered with peace in their hears. Participants at our Gatherings were given Peace Fire coals to take with them. For more information about the Sacred Peace Fire go to www.neiupeaceconnection.com/peacefiretradition.htm

How it Started from the founder Nancy Scheibe

Have you ever had a recurring dream and wondered how amazing it would be to wake up one day and find yourself living it? As an eight-year-old girl I had a dream of paddling from the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Itasca State Park, which I'd seen on a family vacation, to Minneapolis, where I played on the river's banks almost every day. With my feet in the water I watched boats pass and imagined that I'd traveled the whole way on one of them, seeing how a creek just ten steps across, turned into the big river in my back yard.

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