Our Upcoming Tours & Retreats

Water and the West
January 13–18, 2019
Lochsa Lodge, ID
see the full itinerary

Shakespeare without Tears
January 19-24, 2019
Lochsa Lodge, ID
see the full itinerary

Steinbeck's California
March 2-8, 2019
Pacific Grove, CA
see the full itinerary
 

Please contact us with your questions or to make a reservation.
(888) 828-2853

Winter Retreats: Humanities at Lochsa Lodge

In January of 2019, join us for a peaceful humanities retreat in the heart of Lewis & Clark’s Bitterroot Mountains. Enjoy good food, fine wine, a magical landscape, snug cabins, great books, and the kinds of conversations you always dream about when you read. Clay S. Jenkinson is a master conversationalist, facilitator, and storyteller, and he looks forward to these days of playful but serious discussion for the full year.

Bring your friends. Make new ones. Rest, read, sip, meditate, converse, confess, and argue in the best sense of the term. Soak in the hot springs.

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We meet for conversation mid-morning, early afternoon, and occasionally in the evening, but there will be plenty of time each day for reading, writing, outdoor exploring, and an optional group activity. Lochsa Lodge offers you a beautiful setting near the magnificent Lochsa River; hearty, country meals; a daily outdoor campfire; and a crackling fire indoors. The lodge, rebuilt in 2001, is modern. The cabins are snug, some of them Spartan. Some cabins were built in 1929, others in 2002. They are precisely what you envision when you think of a winter retreat in the woods.

There will, of course, be some talk about the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

In 2019, we are offering two retreats at Lochsa Lodge. Come to one. Come to both. Come join our whimsical mix of laughter and delightful conversation and intellectual insight.

Join us for Water and the West and Shakespeare without Tears.

 

Water and the West

There isn't enough of it, now more than ever. The history of how water has been redistributed throughout the lands beyond the hundredth meridian is utterly fascinating. We'll concentrate on three river systems in the West: the Columbia, the Colorado, and Clay's Missouri River, each one sometimes claiming to "the most industrialized river in America."

Among the subjects: William Mulholland's theft of the water of California's Owens Valley for Los Angeles; the building of the great dams on the Colorado and the Columbia; the devastation of Native American homelands by the great earthen dams on the Missouri River; John Wesley Powell's attempt to rethink the western development paradigm in the face of the scarcity of water in the region; the likely impact of global climate change on American water supplies and access; salmon. And much more.

We will begin by centering ourselves in the "water commonwealth" at Lochsa Lodge.

 
 
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Shakespeare without Tears

Some of the best writing in the English language comes from the pen of poet, playwright, and actor William Shakespeare. Many people feel intimidated by Shakespeare, perhaps because of their high school encounters with Julius Caesar or Romeo and Juliet. Clay’s approach is to demystify Shakespeare, to teach participants how to read Shakespeare with joy, confidence, and discernment.

Although Clay is often regarded as a historian, his actual training, at the University of Minnesota and Oxford, was in English Literature, the Renaissance, Shakespeare, John Donne, and John Milton. All of his degrees are in English. With the help of the best film adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, Clay will guide us through two plays per day, plus some sonnets, and related poetry by his personal favorite John Donne.

 
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Clay has taught Shakespeare at Pomona College, the law school of the University of North Dakota, the University of Vermont, and Bismarck State College.

You will be amazed by the level of joy, laughter, and unpretentious literary satisfaction you experience in this humanities retreat.

 
 

John Steinbeck's California

This week-long journey is a lovely mix of talk about Steinbeck’s books and exploration of the California that inspired some of his best work. Spirit of place mattered to Steinbeck. The Gabilan and St. Lucia Mountains, the Salinas River Valley, Salinas itself, Pacific Grove, Carmel, and Monterey are as important as the characters in his fiction. He often pauses to describe the landscape of his youth. And he had a love affair with the great row of canneries in Monterey that gave him his closest friendship in life—with Ed Ricketts—and the setting for some of his most enchanting fiction.

 
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The adventure begins with an evening with Steinbeck himself, portrayed by our host and humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson. Because Steinbeck was a reluctant and often petulant interviewee, he’ll be presented to our guests by Russ Eagle of North Carolina, Clay’s dear friend and one of Steinbeck’s greatest fans.

Our days will begin with after-breakfast book discussions, because Clay believes you cannot come to terms with Steinbeck’s California landscapes without a significant encounter with Steinbeck’s prose—his powers of description, his imagination, his political and social concerns, and his capacity to create narrative.

 
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After our playful but searching discussions we’ll venture out to explore Steinbeck’s world. Your cottage is within walking distance of the Point Pinos Lighthouse and the Pacific tide pools where Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts worked and played, while developing their philosophy of the interconnectedness of life, the futility of trying to deny the dynamics of nature, including human nature, and the ways in which groups (the phalanx) have “purpose” that eludes the understanding of mere individuals, whether they are brine shrimp or Oklahoma preachers.

Come join the adventure as we explore great landscapes and great literature with old friends and new in Steinbeck Country.

 
 

Make a Reservation

We are currently taking reservations for Shakespeare without Tears and Water and the West. Reservations for Steinbeck in California will open soon.

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Nancy Franke
e-mail: nfranke@comcast.net
Telephone: (360) 805-0877
Fax: (360) 794-2134

 

Traveling single? We can match you with a roommate or ask us about our single room supplemental fee.

Please read our Terms & Conditions and Frequently Asked Questions. We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for your protection in the unexpected event you many need to cancel. Travel insurance can be provided by your local travel agency or by contacting our office.

Clay S. Jenkinson is onboard for the duration of all tours and retreats.