The Mississippi Valley that we are nestled in has a storied history, generations of people living, building, and battling on the banks of the fourth longest river in the world. While it may seem that back in times of the olden days communities were more directly tied to the terrain, may it be through their means of transportation or agriculture, that was more out of a means of necessity. Today the advancements of our technologically focused lives may not get us outside as often as those who settled our land, but we can choose to step outside and enjoy the beauty of the Quad. There are still many adventures for us to be had here.
Not sure where to start? Plan for Adventure, LLC, (PFA), may just be what you’re looking for. It’s an outdoors club focused on helping you seek, set, and fulfill your adventure goals and there are so many different ways they can help.
The idea came from three friends, Flynn Schulz, Nathan Tackett, and Michael Kinney, during their times spent with the Outdoor Junkies, a Facebook group of individuals who loved being active, outdoors, and having fun doing it. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Kinney so I could learn more about what PFA is all about.
Mr. Kinney said during their times sledding, playing dodge ball, and bicycling, the three friends talked of starting this club, one that built a community around adventuring about in the Quad Cities Area, doing different outdoor activities like they were doing. Each one of these guys was individually active, running and bicycling daily, but working out on your own sometimes isn’t enough.
In August of 2013, Mr. Schulz passed away unexpected. Inspired to keep his memory alive, Mr. Tackett and Mr. Kinney started Plan for Adventure and it has grown into something really great and, I believe, will continue to blossom.
PFA wants to help you find the kind of adventuring you’re interested and guide you in setting and reaching your associated goals. There are several different avenues they work with: running, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, yoga, stand up paddle boarding, and camping. It does not matter what your skill level is, they have intro courses on many of the activities listed and also offer training services. PFA understands that approaching new things can be intimidating and they work very hard at making the group inclusive and welcoming. There are hugs and high fives given out during activities by everyone, for everyone.
Another thing I really like about PFA is they are inspired to help you find your passion and support you in any way.
If you take up an interest in mountain biking, PFA can introduce you to one of the local clubs focused solely on that. If you fall in love with running, they are friends with the area’s clubs and know how to connect you. Mr. Kinney said, “Whether it’s just a starting point or not, we know we’re not the best for everyone, we’re just happy to get you outside.”
PFA is working towards having an event every single day of the week, hoping to increase the accessibility and options of the group.
The things that they do are so neat. Every Sunday at 10am they meet at Lincoln Park in Rock Island for 30 minutes of self-paced cardio, with other option exercises thrown in, children and dogs welcome. These Sundays have become incredibly popular and continue during the wintertime in the Skybridge in Downtown Davenport. There are regular kayaking adventures, camping weekends, hikes, and bike trips.
On Saturday, May 23rd they had a Tower Climb event out at YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln on their Alpine Tower. This was open to all levels of climbing ability, from ladders to mountains, in a safe environment with trained staff to guide and support participants. It was $35 for nonmembers, $30 for members, whose annual fee is $20. The monies collected go to various sundries of having a club, to off set to cost of equipment and the cost of the free events, water, cups, insurance, a speaker.
As of right now, PFA has just under 200 members. It’s been 17 months since it became an LLC and has 2156 followers on Facebook. The goal is to continue to grow, to spread the word, and attract new members of all skill levels and curiosities, and build their community. If you are interested in being a part of Plan for Adventure, visit their website or find them on Facebook, both list their upcoming events and contain more pictures of their past events.
On their website, you’ll see, “Local Adventure: See the Quad Cities from a New Perspective.” They just might have something for you, a new way to experience the Mississippi Valley the surrounds you. Whether you are living local or visiting from out of town, you too can make your own history on the banks.
Have you tried a Plan for Adventure outing yet?