2018 Camino – Backpack Contents & Weigh-In

Okay everyone, here’s the backpack and everything in it and how much it weighs. I have decided to carry it on (if allowed and I should be as it’s the correct size) at least for the trip over. On the trip back I may check the backpack depending on how I’m feeling.


2018 Camino – Backpack Contents & Weigh-In

What Is the Camino?

As some of you know I’m leaving in less than a week to finish my camino. Two years ago I hiked the first 200 miles of the Camino de Santiago, ending my trip in Burgos. This year I’ll fly into Madrid, take a bus to Burgos, and hit the trail from there.

The Camino is an ancient pilgrimage route across northern Spain. See the map below:


As you can see there are many different caminos. But the main one is listed as number one on the map. It is called the Way of St. James and begins in St. Jean in France and ends in Santiago de Compostela in Spain. This is the route most people are referring too when they talk about the Camino. Here’s a close up:

Camino Close up

I’ll be starting in Burgos and walking across what is called the Meseta which is largely flat and sparsely populated, into the mountains of Galacia and then on to Santiago and the official end of the Camino at the Cathedral there. Then I’ll go on to Finisterre, which you can see on the map. Finisterre means end of the world, and I want to walk all the way to the end of the world and dip my toes in the Atlantic Ocean.

You can download my schedule here and be part of my Prayer Pilgrimage by sending me your prayer concerns.

Here’s a few links for you to check out if you’d like too:



Here’s a short video I did of my 2016 Camino:

There’s a ton of information online about the Camino, hope this helps gets you familiar with where I’m going and what I’ll be doing.

What Is the Camino?

First Impressions – Altair Timps

I’ve been hearing about Altair trail runners for a few years now. They tend to be either hated or loved by those who use them. I’ve been wanting to try a pair for a long time now, but didn’t want to take a shot of buying over the internet since I have a track record of getting the wrong sizes!

Monday I went to REI and checked things out. They  didn’t have any Lone Peaks in my size but I had been wanted to check out the Timp and they did have those, so I checked them out.

I learned that for me at least they fit to size. I’ve read a lot about having to buy a size larger in Altairs, but not so here at any rate.

The first thing I noticed when I put them on was how light they are. It’s amazing. They have to be the lightest trail shoes I’ve ever used. Here’s a shot of the pair I bought, for $110, which isn’t bad at all really.

Altra Timps

So this morning my old pay jet lag woke me up early, I decided to take advantage and make jet lag work for me! So I suited up, put on my Timps and headed out the door at around 4:15 or so. It was about 94 degrees and fairly humid. I ended up doing almost 5.5 miles and my feet felt great.

If you know about Altairs you know they have two outstanding features which I’ll comment about below.

Zero Drop

Most shoes are made with the heel being slightly higher than the toes. But Altair have a naturalistic philosophy so they decided to make their shoes like you feet, with no, or zero, drop from heel to toe.

When you put them on and stand up you feel this immediately. It stretches out your calf and Achilles tendon a lot more than traditional shoes. It doesn’t feel bad to me, just different. As I hiked I could feel the stretch for sure, especially at first going steeply downhill. But there was not pain at all.

I did notice that without that extra weight in the heel I walked a bit differently. I tend to plant my heel hard, which has caused me some injuries in the past. I stepped a bit lighter this morning which is probably a good thing.

Expanded Toe Box

If you look at the picture above you might notice the front of the shoe (the toe box) is wider than what’s normal on most shoes. That’s is another naturalistic feature of Altairs. They don’t squish your toes together but give them room to breath.

I have to say it felt good as soon as I put them on. The more I walked the better I felt. By the time I got home I was loving the feeling in my toes. I’ve had a lot of trouble in the Salomon’s I’ve been using, but not here.

Now granted I only did five and a half miles, but still my feet felt much better then usual at the end. I did notice some slight rubbing on one toe on my left foot. So time will tell on this and I’ll keep a close eye on it.

First Impression

My first impression of the Altair Timp is very positive. I’m looking forward to seeing how they do on longer hikes and am planning on taking them to Spain for the last 300 miles of the Camino. That will be the real test!

As things develop I hope to keep you updated with other posts.

Till then don’t stop walking!

First Impressions – Altair Timps

Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock

This is a book review of sorts. I just finishing reading Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?: Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock by Gregory Thornbury. It’s the first real biography of Larry Norman that I’m aware of.

Yes, I was a big fan of Larry’s music while not always being such a big fan of Larry himself. Besides not being on the same page as he was on many issues, Larry was a very controversial figure and over the years I found that very off putting.

However none of that changed my love for his music. I still love it, dated though most of it is. So I was excited to read a book that was written with full access to all his papers and material given to the author by the Norman family.

It’s a good read for the most part. I did get the impression that the author wasn’t much on the church in general and I couldn’t quite figure out where he stood on the Gospel itself. You might think that shouldn’t matter, but it does to me. Larry spent most of his life trying to communicate the Gospel and if you don’t understand it I doubt you can really understand Larry.

I’m sure a lot of people won’t like the book. It shows Larry warts and all. It also shows those around him warts and all. I was disturbed by the way the author talked about some other Christian musicians I’m also fond of. Randy Stonehill comes off in a particularly bad light. If the book is true then it’s sad that they never really reconciled completely as I had thought they had.

I also felt the author didn’t investigate the allegations that came very late in Larry’s life that he had fathered a child out of wedlock. He does talk about it but I wish he had interviewed those still living who are involved in this. Perhaps he tried and couldn’t, I don’t know.

All in all this is a picture of a man who was far from perfect. He loved Jesus, music and wanted to be a huge player in an alternative to the “church world” as it existed in the 1960’s and ’70’s. Like everyone else Larry Norman has plenty of faults and struggled to live up to what he preached. In the end he might have had as many successes as failures in that regard. But how many of us can do better? We aren’t all paragon’s of virtue like Billy Graham.

When the dust has settled on Norman’s life what’s left for those of us who never knew him is his body of work. That stands the test of time. In 2014 his signature album, Only Visiting This Planet, was inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry as one of the best rock albums ever made.

I doubt Larry Norman could have ever asked for much more than that for his work. He is gone but his work lives on. If you’d like to know more about the man behind the music, I encourage you to check this book out.

Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock

Billy Graham & the Gospel


Isn’t it funny that even when you know things will happen it’s seems to always be at least a bit of shock when they do? That’s how I felt this morning when I saw the new that Billy Graham had died at the ripe old age of 99.

What a life and what a man!

As far back as I can remember in my walk of faith Billy Graham was there. I had heard of him and knew that he was the most famous evangelist in the world. He didn’t have anything to do with my decision to believe the Gospel and follow Jesus but I knew about him.

In our Youth Group (embarrassingly enough called the “Key Teens”) we watched several of the movies the Billy Graham Association put out. They always ended the same way too – the star of the movie would go to one of his crusades, hear him preach and then give their life to Christ.

Sure enough that’s a good ending for a movie intended to be evangelistic, but I always wished they would have followed the character to see how he or she did in their new Christian life. I was probably secretly hoping they would have some of the struggles I had with understanding and living out my faith.

Billy was a fantastic role model for anyone in the ministry. I am tempted to say the role model given how most famous “evangelists” act and live today. But of course that’s not true. There are thousands of good people in the ministry out there and I hope God blesses them all. Hopefully I can number myself among them.

Still I can’t help but wish we had more Billy Grahams.

But we don’t and we won’t. He was a one of a kind. A man called to minister to a specific time in world history. That time has passed and so has Billy Graham. Let us remember him warts and all and learn all we can from him.

I’ve decided that I’m going to devote next weeks edition of Disciple Up to Remembering Billy Graham, I hope you’ll check out the episode when it drops next Wednesday morning. Listening to people talk about him on TV made me realize how most of them don’t understand the Gospel that the Bible teaches and that Billy preached. I want to talk about that and some personal memories of him as well.

Thanks Billy, God bless as you enter into your rest and the presence of your Lord Jesus.

#BillyGraham  #RIPBillyGraham  #Welldonegoodandfaithfulservant  #BillyGrahamandtheGospel



Billy Graham & the Gospel