Date & Time Details: January 31 - February 11, 2023 - Start Time 3pm End Time 6pm

Location: Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California

What to Bring: This is an all camping quest. Participants are responsible for their personal camping/backpacking gear. Please CLICK HERE for our Quest Equipment List.

Meals : Participants are responsible for bringing 7 personal breakfasts and 7 lunches, and personal snacks. Dinners will be provided. More details will be included in the preparation materials sent out after registering.

COVID-19: To protect the health of you, your fellow participants, and our guides, please review our COVID-19 POLICIES AND PROTOCOLS. We also ask participants to be especially vigilant in the weeks leading up to the program to avoid exposure to the virus.

Prices
  • $1,900.00 to $2,500.00 – Sliding Scale Price: you are free to select any price within this range
  • $2,500.00 – High End Program Price: choosing the high end amount or more allows us to compensate our guides at a higher rate
Program is fully booked

Winter Desert Quest – January, 2023

January 31 - February 11, 2023

With Pete Fonken and Laura Blakeman

Program is fully booked

THE ANIMAS QUEST – This is an All Camping & Backpacking Quest.

This contemporary Western embodiment of the ancient, pan-cultural vision fast is a dynamic wilderness rite for all who are seeking greater depth and clarity about life purpose and meaning. As a rite of initiation, the quest is a ceremonial descent to the underworld, in which you die to your familiar way of belonging to the world, uncover the passion and wisdom of your soul, and retrieve the gift that is yours alone to bring to the world, enhancing personal fulfillment and genuine service.

The Animas Quest catalyzes the encounter with soul by temporarily displacing everyday consciousness through five primary means: (1) solitude for three or four days and nights while (2) fasting (i.e., drinking water only), (3) being fully exposed to and enfolded within the forms and forces of nature, (4) enacting a series of ceremonies, and (5) employing a set of practices (soulcraft) that support you in crossing into the mysteries of nature and psyche.

Most often, our quests take place over a total of 11 days, 8-11 of which are spent in the wilderness. Preceding your time of solitude are five full days of preparation activities that enhance your ability to benefit from the fast. The first two and a half days of these five may be held at a retreat center or car-camp before we journey to our wilderness base camp (or, on some programs, remain at our car-camp).

During the five preparation days, we work with dreams, poetry, deep imagery, ceremonial drumming and dance, dialogues with nature, the way of council, and other practices to help us slip out the door of our everyday lives and access our own deeper, wilder currents.

The heart of the quest consists of the solo: three days and nights without human companionship in nature, fasting, engaging in personal ceremonies, saying yes to the mysteries of soul, tending the true mythos of your life, praising and grieving, and birthing a vision. Upon your return to base camp, there are three days of reincorporation activities, preparing you to embody among your people what you received on your fast. The last of these three days takes place back at the retreat center or car-camp.

This is a backpacking Quest, however no previous backpacking experience is required (in fact, many of those who have quested with us have never before been camping or backpacking!).

We ask that couples, family members, or friends not attend this program together.

NOTE: There may be additional Anza Borrego Park fees required to be paid upon entry. These fees are not included in the Program cost.

 

ANZA BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California. Five hundred miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and many miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the California Desert. The park is named for Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, or bighorn sheep. The park features washes, wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas. Visitors may also have the chance to see roadrunners, golden eagles, kit foxes, mule deer and bighorn sheep as well as iguanas, chuckwallas and the red diamond rattlesnake.

 

 

 

Guides

Pete Fonken
Peter Fonken’s guiding is informed by a lifetime spent wandering wild places while listening to and learning from other than human beings. He feels strongly that nature’s wisdom can help us access our intuitive knowing, thereby allowing a reintegration of authentic wildness and a deeper connection with Soul. He is also fascinated with the human psyche and is committed to exploring its nuances. Peter has been a ranger, guide, wildlife biologist, writer/editor, yoga teacher, and graphic designer during his peripatetic journey through life. He has a M.S. in zoology and a B.A. in both creative writing and biology, is the…
Learn more about Pete Fonken
Laura Blakeman
Laura Blakeman is a catalyst for cultural change who draws from her unique trans-disciplinary background in the performing arts to craft whole-person, contextually-informed learning experiences across the corporate and cultural sectors. She has spent decades working as a somatic educator and experience designer, producing dance events, live art immersions, and experiential programs that center marginalized ways of knowing, doing, and being. She is currently researching and writing extensively on the relationship between complexity, uncertainty, and beauty, and is a co-founder and creative partner at the Wolf Willow Institute. When she is not guiding, she can be found at home amongst…
Learn more about Laura Blakeman