Wild Story Wild Soul: Men’s Backpacking Trip
with Darren Silver
Wild Story Wild Soul is a 4-night, 4-day immersive wilderness and retreat experience based out of private land and the vast West Elk Wilderness outside Paonia, Colorado.
Blending group work, embodiment practice, wilderness camping/hiking, and more, the long weekend is a unique opportunity to make major leaps in your capacity to endure hardship, experience pleasure and show up for what is most important to you in life.
We will begin the work at a private farm and retreat space in Paonia, where we will spend the first night and morning brushing off the road dust, getting to know each other, spending time in council, and getting prepared for our time in the wilderness.
Wednesday afternoon we’ll get into a couple cars and make the drive to the trailhead (about 1 hour). From there, we’ll begin our 2.5 day walking loop in the gorgeous and truly epic West Elk Wilderness. The West Elks are a band of mountains at the western edge of the Rockies, less than 50 miles from desert to the west, and less than 50 miles from the alpine paradise of Aspen and the Maroon Bells to the East.
The days are filled with time outdoors, hiking in the morning and afternoon, with plenty of pauses for a sip of water, dipping in a mountain stream, enjoying a sun-bathed snack, laughing and just being men in the wilderness. We’ll have a long lunch break before continuing again to arrive at our evening camp, where you’ll enjoy a fresh, homemade meal prepared for you on site by your guides. Mornings start with coffee or tea, and a delicious breakfast. Again, all prepared for you.
In the evenings and afternoons we will work with a story. We’ll hear the story as it is told in parts, around the campfire, each night we are gathered. We’ll “find” ourselves – and each other – in the story, listening for and identifying themes and situations that resonate, that illuminate, that trouble us, that guide us. Through community and personal ceremony and ritual, we’ll enact and embody new ways of walking through the world. Ways that, as men, we are guided to and through with the help and sometimes challenging support of the story, the wilderness, and our brotherhood of men.
On Saturday evening we’ll return to Paonia, to our retreat space, where we’ll spend Saturday evening around a fire, beginning to integrate and let our bones and muscles relax and soak up the good medicine of the story and the bonds we have forged. Sunday morning breakfast will be followed by council and time on the land to witness each other as we each begin to return to our lives, burdened and freighted with the gifts and secret knowledges we have gathered from our time in the mythic realm, our time in the wilderness, and our time inside the story.
Arrive and opening fire
Breakfast, group practice, leave for wilderness
Depart wilderness, group integration
Dates: June 26-30 (Wednesday-Sunday)
Cost: $695-895 Sliding Scale
All breakfasts + dinners included (Lunches not included)
Intake interview and application required