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?

Doctors, Tests & Pushing On – All Glory To God!

Docs office

I snapped this picture this morning at the doctors office. It pretty well summarizes what I like so much about him and his office. They are laid back, very personal, yet offer the best of care. Hopefully he’ll last at least as long as I do so I won’t have to find a new one again!

I went in at 8:30 AM, turned in my 24 hour heart monitor. Waited and then had an echo cardiogram. No one told me not to eat so it took a bit longer but we got what was needed. Then after much more waiting I did the “stress” test on the treadmill.

Through the years I’ve heard a lot about how hard and strenuous this test is and I was a bit apprehensive about it since I’ve lost so much of my conditioning in the last few months. Well they’ve either lowered the standards quite a bit or I have a lot of out of shape friends – because it was a breeze!

The fastest the treadmill went was 2.5 miles an hour. Anyone in the distance walking/hiking community will tell you that speed, on flat terrain, is really slow! I mean Poky McSlowville kind of slow!  I didn’t even breath hard for the 15 minutes it took, much less work up a sweat.

I need to listen to myself more often when I teach on how fear always magnifies things far beyond what they really are.

Anyway – bottom line the old heart is fine. I’m officially cleared to do what I want. So I’m keeping up the hiking to rebuild my strength and endurance. I will also be starting to diet and get rid of this 40 pounds of blubber I picked up over the last year starting January 2nd. I hope to enjoy Christmas and New Years but not too much on the food side. Then in January it’s on!

I want to say that I’m so grateful to God for allowing me to do this at this stage of my life. I know plenty of people who can’t, and by all rights I should be one of them. Most of my adult life I’ve been sedentary and overweight. Somehow through all that my heart has held up. I am a blessed man and believe me I know it and am grateful to God for it.

Thanks for your prayers and concern. Now start praying God will kick me hard in the booty and these slabs of fat will fall of starting in the new year!


Doctors, Tests & Pushing On – All Glory To God!

Starting Over

Me hiking 11-18-17

Yep, I’m starting over. Not quite from the very beginning but pretty close. After missing my planned hike on the Arizona Trail due to sky high blood pressure I’m nearly back to where I started.

About 3 years ago I started hiking and losing weight. It culminated in 2016 by hiking in and out of the Grand Canyon in one day, and then hiking the first 200 miles of the Camino.  What amazing experiences. I came home firmly focused on doing more long range hikes.

But my blood pressure intervened and after a more than a three month battle it’s almost back where it should be.  However having to take all that time off has taken it’s toll. I’ve gained mucho weight and my hiking stamina is waaaaaay down!

I just got in from walking 2.47 miles in the desert. It took longer than it should have, but I managed to finish without being totally exhausted. So that’s a good sign. When I starting hiking a few years ago I couldn’t even do two miles, and was wiped out in the effort. So I’ve lost lots of ground but I’m still better off than when I started.

For all of that I’m grateful. I’ll be 65 by the end of the year and am also grateful I’m able to do what I can do at this age. I am also determined to get back what I lost and get back to where I want and need to be.

So yes, I’m starting over, by the grace of God, and am looking forward to where this new road will take me. Will I finally get to the Arizona Trail?

Stay tuned…film when I get it!!



Starting Over

What I’m About To Do On My Fall Vacation

Once upon a time school teachers actually had students stand up and talk about what they did on their vacation. These presentations were usually accompanied by some sort of props either illustrating their trip or some bought while on it. I’m not sure if I ever did anything like that as a kid. I seem to have some vague memories of it but nothing for sure.

So I thought I’d do a report on what I’m going to do before I actually do it, just to give me something to write about on this blog. Here goes…

Just over a year ago I took two weeks off, went to Spain and walked the first two hundred miles (approximately) of the Camino De Santiago. I came home realizing I couldn’t afford to make two more trips to complete it, and aside from a couple of very special people, it hadn’t been the experience I thought it would be anyway.

So I began searching for something like it but not it and hopefully a lot closer to home. Turns out there really isn’t anything like it. I began to realize that, like it or not – and I didn’t, I was going to have to do the camping thing if I was going to continue to do any long form hiking.

Sigh – but then I stumbled upon the Arizona Trail and was a bit happier. Yes, I’m going to be camping, etc. But at least it’s pretty close to home. So starting on October 10th I’ll be hitting the Arizona Trail for two weeks, hoping to do a little more than 200 miles in that time. It’s a lot rougher than the Camino and I’ll only have two chances during that time to get a shower and bed, so it’s really going to be different.

The Arizona Trail (AZT) is a fairly new trail that runs from our border with Mexico to the border with the state of Utah. It runs through a lot of mountains and of course goes through the Grand Canyon. For more information visit the official site here.


Obviously I won’t be able to get anywhere near finished in just two weeks. But I’m hoping to get from from the start to the little town or Oracle, which is a little bit north and east of Tucson.

AZT Southern map There’s a close up for you.

I’ll probably post more later, and will do a pre-trip video on what I’m taking etc. I don’t know how often I’ll be able to post while on the AZT. But when I get home I’ll be posting what I hope will be a lot of videos.

Till next time.

What I’m About To Do On My Fall Vacation

Why It’s So Hard To Hike the Grand Canyon In One Day

I found this video on YouTube last night and this guy explains just why hiking the Canyon is so much harder than it looks better than anyone I’ve ever seen, including me! You might remember I did this last year when I was 63 and it exhausted me completely. I’m very happy to finally find someone who captures why it’s so diffiult.

He can’t pronounce Kaibab right and his distance for the length of Bright Angel trail is wrong. He says it’s about 6.3 but it’s really longer than the South Kaibab and less steep. It’s length is about 9.5 miles.

But he explains why 17.5 miles in the Canyon is like double or triple that most other places. Listen and learn my friends.

Why It’s So Hard To Hike the Grand Canyon In One Day