My Weekend at Pursuit Series

I went to Pursuit Series last summer and it was one of the best weekends of my life. You should go too!

Last year I had the absolute pleasure of spending a long weekend in the High Sierras with The Outbound Collective at their event called Pursuit Series. Pursuit Series is an adventure camp for adults, but there are no camp counselors, just rad outdoor guides that encourage and empower you to try new activities while also giving you all the resources you need to safely do so.

Going into Pursuit weekend I thought I knew exactly what to expect... Some cool outdoorsy people, opportunities to try new things (I really wanted to try paddle boarding and rock climbing outside), along with some fun happy hours accompanied by campfires and music. I was right on all accounts, but there was so much more I hadn’t planned for.

We arrived at Pursuit Series late Thursday night, so we simply pitched our tents and went to bed. Friday morning, we awoke to a perfect, cool summer morning and headed into camp to see what was going on. We followed the smell of coffee and emerged from the forest into a huge grassy clearing where a morning yoga class was already flowing. We grabbed a cup of coffee and wandered further into camp where almost every single person we walked by smiled and gave us a cheerful “good morning!” Around the edges of the clearing, vendors were set up for the weekend, but our eyes immediately gravitated to the giant white tents that had been erected with couches and tables underneath to relax in, as well as a huge bar for happy hour. As we walked further, we noticed some people were already laying in Eno hammocks journaling or sitting around campfires enjoying their coffee while chatting with new friends about the activities from the day before. Throughout the area, corn hole boards were set up, tables of giant jenga were waiting to be toppled over, and at the end of the clearing was a big stage where live music would be performed in the evenings. My friend and I looked at each other and she said, “This weekend is about to be amazing.” She wasn’t wrong.

If I wrote about every single thing I did over the course of the long weekend, you would be reading a novel. Some of the highlights of my week are as follows:

  • Stand up paddlboarding (SUP) on a high mountain lake and playing on a rope swing. I thought SUP was going to be so hard, but after the guides explained exactly where to put our feet, how to balance, paddle and relax, it was so much easier than anticipated. Whenever anyone fell off the board, they got a whooping cheer and others jumped in after them.
  • Rock climbing on an 80” granite wall; I had climbed in gyms multiple times, but never outdoors. After the guides went over safety, belaying and knot tying, we were climbing. Towards the top of the wall I was stumped. I didn’t know which direction to go and I started to realize how high up I was. I looked out over the forest and heard someone shout “YOU’VE GOT THIS!!” I didn’t recognize the voice, so I looked down and saw someone I’d never seen before giving me a thumbs up and a resounding “WHOOP!!” That was all I needed, I smiled and pushed on.
  • Hiking up to a summit and then participating in a yoga class overlooking the valley. I’m terrible at taking deep breaths and relaxing, so it was a treat to stop at the summit and flow with everyone and take in my beautiful surroundings.
  • Titos Vodka mixology classes that used all organic and natural ingredients to make some amazingly refreshing drinks! We learned all about the business and what it takes to make vodka and the drinks were seriously amazing. I always have a bottle of Titos in the house now because I was so impressed with their business practices and how good the drinks were.
  • Attending a night photography class. I had never taken pictures of the night sky before and wanted to take a shot at it. After 30 minutes, the instructors had every single person set up taking amazing pictures of the night sky! The instructions were straightforward and never in a million years did I imagine I would be taking pictures of the Milky Way!

 


I’m someone who spends most of my free time outdoors, but I spend most of my time outdoors doing activities that I’m familiar with and have done for years. While I consider myself a pretty adventurous person, it can still be daunting to try new outdoor activities, especially when you don’t have all the equipment. But at Pursuit Series I had all the equipment at my disposal, guides that answered all my questions and people surrounding me who cheered me on even when I fell.

The energy of the weekend was contagious and left me feeling like I could try anything and succeed. If I could pick one word the describe how I felt at the end of the week it would be empowered. Like I said before, I knew I was going to try new activities, but what I didn’t know was how the amazing energy of the other attendees was going to affect the experience.

If you can make it to one of the three Pursuit Series events this summer, GO. Challenge yourself to try new activities, to meet new people and step out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to fly solo either. Although I went with a friend, we split-up frequently to do different activities and we both ended up meeting so many new people. To be honest I was shocked at how easy it was to make new friends; the community that descends on these events is super diverse, but everyone has common ground of loving the outdoors. If you’re nervous to go because you don’t spend time outdoors, Pursuit Series is the perfect place to try new activities and you will not be the only person who’s “new” to the activities. I promise you will be surrounded by an amazing, supportive group of people who will cheer you on and you’ll wonder why you were ever nervous or apprehensive in the first place.

I’ve tried to put into words how amazing the energy of the weekend was, but it’s simply too hard to do. You have to experience it yourself! So, if you can go to Pursuit, go and have one of the best weekends of your life!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Jess FischerExplorer

An east coast transplant exploring the wild and wonderful PNW ⇞