I attended the Winter Literary Retreat in 2015 and will be attending both retreats in 2016. Why am I attending again? There are so many reasons. Lochsa Lodge in the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho is the perfect setting for this retreat. The lodge is a beautiful gem nestled in the snow-covered mountains. As you head west from Missoula, Montana, to the lodge, you quickly learn that you are, for the most part, losing contact with the outside world. Without distractions, this is a great way to immerse yourself in the reading material.
Clay Jenkinson is a wonderful discussion leader, and he makes everyone feel welcome and at ease. He keeps the discussions on task and always makes them interesting. His discussions always include references to Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. I don’t think you can find a better setting to feel at least of bit of the essence of this book: to live deliberately.
Book discussions are scheduled periodically throughout the day in the main lodge. The reading material is discussed in a relaxed group setting around a lovely fireplace. Through the windows, you can often glimpse snow falling.
Besides the group discussions, there are also opportunities to be on your own. You can go hiking or snowshoeing. You can read, write, nap, or eat. Yes, you can always eat! The restaurant and its staff are amazing. My personal favorite is a group hike on a snowy trail to a warm spring set back in the woods. It is a little bit of heaven on earth.
All of the reasons cited above are great reasons to attend the retreat. However, the best reason for me to attend again is to meet great people with interesting and varied backgrounds. I have made dear, lifelong friends from this trip that mean the world to me.