Renaissance Trails

In the Path of Saints, Indians & Southwestern Banditos

SEi Summer Trip for Young Men

This is a sketch and feasibility outreach for a potential trip this August. This SEi trip is designed to cultivate adventurous Renaissance souls and will incorporate key ingredients of all SEi activities. We will take an inscape into a particular niche of US History and the West, including some paths of outlaws like Billy the Kid, Sky City of the Acoma Pueblo, Southwestern missionaries, and historic Santa Fe. Of course, good meals, hikes and outdoor activities, conversation, music, friendship, and other (expected and unexpected) adventures will fill out the trip.

Students will be expected to keep a journal and share a "best story" or two at the final feast. We will have short supplemental readings in history and literature and will read and discuss Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop. Many historical and legendary references in the book will have relevance during the trip, such as a lost painting of St. Francis by El Greco, the mysterious spiral wooden staircase in Santa Fe, events in the Acoma Pueblo's city on a mesa (Sky City), the life and dedication of French missionaries, and a short, humble, fierce legend: Kit Carson.

We will also explore and discuss the virtue of courage on a few occasions during the trip, and have one conversation on a short Scripture passage. (Journal and reading time will be woven in throughout the trip. Optional daily Mass will be available for the most part and will include visits to historic missions).

See below for more details and a daily sketch.

Please give feedback to me or Alex Hoff and let us know your interest and availability. Y'all will have "first dibs," but we will open up invites to others who have not yet participated in a SEi event. And to those who can't make this trip--this is just the first...

Warm regards,


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Rough Plan

  • August 3rd, depart Houston in early am, brief visits to historical sights, reading
  • August 4th, banditos trails, mt hike, games, short presentation, and conversation
  • August 5th, visit ghost town, Sky City of the Acoma Pueblo, short talk, to Santa Fe
  • August 6th, nature hike, games, book discussion, and conversation
  • August 7th, explore Santa Fe, free time, adventurers finale feast
  • August 8th, blaze trail back to Houston
  • The cost of the trip is expected to be between $1500-$1800. (some scholarships will be available)
  • The group size will be 10-12 students.
  • The age group includes high school students and possibly young college students.
  • Mr. Presberg and two other teachers will lead the trip (likely Patrick Love from The Heights--a capable cook and musician, among other notable qualities--and Alex Hoff--for the last two days).

Notes: We will travel in a nice van with plenty of space and stay in a lovely private mountain home outside of Ruidoso, NM for the first 2 nights and in another elegant private home outside of Santa Fe for the next 3 nights. Free time to read and explore will be part of the schedule throughout, esp. on Aug. 4th and 7th.

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Samuel & Erasmus institute

Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.

~ Erasmus