Costa Mesa, California

August 16, 2022

Dear Family & Friends:

My last adventure was in the Fall of 2019 when I solo paddled the Mississippi River from its source at Lake Itasca, Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Here is a video of that adventure. In 2020, I was grounded by the Pandemic. In 2021 through the Summer of 2022, I could not travel because of health issues in my family. Thank God, things have improved to the point I can now return to my bucket list. For my next adventure, I plan to walk the Camino de Santiago starting on August 24, 2022.

The Camino de Santiago (“Way of Saint James”) dates back to the 8th Century and is one of the most famous and sacred pilgrimage walks in the world. The walk crosses Spain and ends at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. The Cathedral is the shrine dedicated to Jesus’ Apostle, Saint James the Great, and is said to contain his remains. There are nine routes that can be followed to complete this pilgrimage. Here are a few: Camino Frances, Camino Primitivo, Camino Portugues and Camino del Norte. Camino Frances is the most popular and is the route I will follow. It starts at St. Jean Pied de Port, in southwest France, crosses the Pyrenees mountains, proceeds across northern Spain and ends at Santiago de Compostela. The distance travelled is 565 miles. After I complete the Camino de Santiago, I plan to walk the Camino Finisterre from Santiago de Compostela to the seaside cities of Finisterre and Muxia, an additional 80 miles. The time of my journey, from start to finish, is approximately six weeks.

Thousands of people complete the Camino de Santiago every year. Their motivations are as varied as the routes. Some people complete the walk as a form of spiritual retreat or spiritual growth. Others seek resolution of personal issues, including disappointment, grief, personal loss, or a vision for the way forward. Some pilgrims complete the walk as a test of their physical strength and endurance. Many pilgrims are drawn by the astounding beauty of the countryside, towns and villages. The warmth of the people who populate these towns and villages and communion with fellow pilgrims are major attractions. The Camino de Santiago pilgrimage is of great cultural and historical significance and is home to 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Great food and liquid refreshment are an added bonus. In my case, every one of these boxes can be checked.

As an added bonus, some of my family members may join me for part of this pilgrimage. More on this later.

As usual, I will blog this trip on my website and post photos and videos on my website and Facebook.

I have even more ambitious plans for 2023.