Quest - A 12 Day Journey To Wholeness
This is an Initiation experience.
This is a 12 day wilderness quest that includes a four day solo fast.
You will receive support for your preparation in the lead up to the retreat (in the form of video conference calls and a handbook). The first four days of retreat will be focused on learning the ritual, ancestral and outdoors skills necessary to have a rich and rewarding experience during your four days of fasting during this rite of passage. When you return, there will be ceremony, feasting, sharing and integration. You will also receive a full year of spiritual support after your Quest.
There are three basic reasons people go on Quest:
- as a rite of passage to mark the end of one thing and the beginning of another
- to discover one’s direction or purpose and find a path that is compelling, fulfilling and contributes
- for renewal and reconnection with one’s inner compass or spirit or the earth itself
There are three main phases of the Quest: Preparation, Initiation, Return.
On this journey we will undertake them together, both online and in the field. You will be supported by me and your fellow questers over the course of a little more than a year.
Most of us don’t live in an intact culture that has nurtured us from before our birth, and has raised us in praise of our uniqueness and with a knowledge of how necessary we are, and encouraged us to discover the gifts we bring to our community.
In light of that, it makes sense that we don’t understand what a Quest is or what it’s for.
On this journey, we will set our hands to the difficult work of reclaiming some of the forgotten beautiful parts of human culture, together in a small and intentional community. Ritual, ceremony, rites of passage, retreat and communion are just some of the pieces we’ll put back into our lives.
Who goes on a Wilderness Quest?
The type of person that’s up for this challenge is someone who loves, loves, loves a certain amount of depth, complexity, and nuance on every level.
They pay attention to the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions of their life.
To be quite explicit, this program is open to men, women, non-binary folx, couples, and young adults 20 years and older.
The Quester is a bit of an iconoclast, always a little out of step with the mainstream, but proudly so. They are inventive and love figuring things out.
They might be a healer, a CEO, or retiree. They could be an entrepreneur or stay-at-home parent – no matter what they do, they are deeply engaged. However they’ve spent their moments on this planet, they’ve never been easily satisfied with simple answers or paint-by-numbers.
In fact, it’s probably been difficult for them to swallow a modality or teacher or career or anything of someone else’s creation because they don’t like being spoon fed.
Straight-laced or loosey goosey, Type A or Type B, in their prime or in decline, currently able-bodied or disabled – wherever they land on any spectrum – they share the same zero fucks approach:
They are determined to know their truth, honour it and live it.
Complete details are available on my website, plus:
- interviews with past Questers
- articles to help you determine whether now is them for you to Quest
Typically, people like to have a conversation with me before making a significant investment of time and resources like this. I think that's a wise move - feel free to reach out!
There are no better people to hold you in that space than Carmen and Ruben. – Jenn Richardson
- Traditional Territorial Welcome and Blessing from Shuswap Nation Elder, Drum-maker and Storyteller, Norman Retasket
- Easy day rides with gentle horses from Coldwell Ranch, a British Columbia century heritage ranch
- Meals prepared by a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef featuring organic and local foods (vegan menus available) with daily cheese and charcuterie hour
- Comprehensive teachings in the history, use and practice of the Quest as rite-of-passage including daily preparatory exercises
- Training in outdoor and survival skills such as selecting your solo spot, tarp techniques, fire starting and safety, and wilderness first aid
- Daily practices of group ceremony and ritual to develop spiritual literacy, facility and connection
- Four post-Quest video conference calls to provide continuous integration and support for your learning and self-discovery
Venue HighlightsCircle H Mountain Lodge is a cozy yet spacious venue featuring a large traditional main lodge and several small 100-year-old log cabins. This is a great place for pet lovers as there are several cats, dogs, horses, and pigs onsite.
Wifi is available in the Lodge where there's plenty of seating for relaxation.
If you fancy a morning hike or an afternoon break by the creek, there's nothing but nature as far as the eye can see and easy trails where you won't get lost.
- Free Wifi
- Free Parking
ScheduleDays 1 – 3
Afternoon experiential learning and practice
Finish by 4pm
Charcuterie, cheese and crudités in the Lodge around 5pm
Dinner at 7pm
Morning load pack horses and ride up to basecamp
Afternoon hike to select your solo spot and create your Stonepile with your Buddy
Dinner at basecamp
Sunrise ceremony and departure
Establish solo site
Begin solo fast
Days 6 – 8
Leave solo site after sunrise and return to basecamp
Ride horses back down to Lodge
Lunch and rest
Day 10 – 12
Circling and mirroring process
- Includes Meat
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
Menu/CuisineWe'll be feeding you three full meals plus two snack breaks a day throughout the Quest (aside from your four day solo). Wine, beer, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages also provided in your registration.
About a month before departure, we'll set up a time for a phone call or video conference so I can discover your dietary preferences and eating habits. If you have a very strict diet, you may need to bring along your own protein powders and such.
Since we are 100 Mile Diet proponents (our friends, James and Alisa, literally wrote the book), our menus focus on local humanely-raised meats and seasonal organic fruits and vegetables. Much of the produce comes from our own garden or local farms. We don't serve a lot of long-range imports like avocadoes and mangoes (though they do sometimes make an appearance in our smoothies and vegan meals). Definitely no exotics like açai or goji berries. Baking is mostly gluten-free but not exclusively.
We can be quite flexible with menu development so if you have any food concerns, let's talk about them during our pre-retreat call.
AccommodationsQuesters can choose either a private cabin with wood stove (easy to use - we'll show you how) with no bathroom, or a private room in the main Lodge with a shared bathroom. (There are no rooms with private bath onsite). For guests with severe pet allergies, a cabin is recommended as the cats do sometimes wander inside the main Lodge.
DirectionsTuesday, June 19 - Travel day. Give yourself at least 7 hours from Vancouver to Circle H Mountain Lodge, including pit stops.
Note that the Circle H Mountain Lodge, is an hour beyond Clinton.
You will need to drive or take a bus to Circle H as the nearest airports are either Kamloops or Vancouver, each several hours away. We are happy to connect you with other Questers for ridesharing.
There are two main routes from Vancouver to Clinton, BC. We prefer the Highway 99 route through Pemberton (Duffy Lake Road), though it is sometimes prone to rockslide closures. You can check for road closures on the DriveBC website.
If you can, take this route. Truly, it offers the best of all BC ecosystems: from West Vancouver over the Sea to Sky Highway, through Whistler, along the glacier peaks of Joffre Lakes Park, the drama of the Fraser River Canyon, and the calming grasslands around Lillooet. Plus, there’s a much better chance of seeing wildlife like deer, bighorn sheep, coyote and bears from the road if you take this route.
The Highway 1 route from Vancouver requires you to drive through the endless Fraser Valley with its endless traffic, though you are rewarded with some pretty cool views of the Fraser River canyon and Hell’s Gate. Plus, we always see plenty of eagles and hawks near Chilliwack and Hope.
Also, you have many more and much better opportunities for picking up supplies if you need to stop at one of the many malls in Surrey, Abbotsford or Chilliwack.
There is a daily Greyhound bus departing Vancouver at 6:30am and arriving in Clinton at 1:30pm.
You can purchase Greyhound tickets online up to three weeks in advance for the best price. It is more expensive to travel on weekends and those seats sell out fast. (Yes, even going to Clinton). Expect it to cost around $100 if you buy three weeks in advance.
Let us know if you’re planning on taking the Greyhound and we’ll be happy to drive to Clinton and pick you up from there on Tuesday, June 19, at 1:30pm.
Driving directions to the Lodge will be provided in your Handbook and explained in detail during a pre-event Logistics call.