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

Camino 2016 Day 5

It is said that all ttue pilgramages must be,at least in part,  painful.  If that’s true then this one is proceeding right on schedule. 

My legs were weak today and my feet continted to hurt only more than yesterday. 

It was a tough day.  Walked right by something I really wanted to see in the dark around 7 AM.

Today was an endless succession of hills, hills,  hills. Since the Spanish don’t seem to know what a switchback is,  you go straight up and straight down.  Most of them very step. 

We made it to one town with no place to stay. Next town didn’t either,  so another mile,  mostly uphill,  and we found a stop for tonight. 

Given my fatigue I didn’t use the phone much, but here you go. 

Here’s the famous free wine fountain, I didn’t drink the wine but some Aquarius  I bought from a vending machine you can’t see. It won’t upload, try again larer.

Camino 2016 Day 5

Camino 2016 Day 2

Today we walk a little less far than I had planned.  BUT as sore as my legs are that’s ok. 

The walk was basicly several hills with fairly steep uphill and very steep down hill sections.  Hotter today than yesterday and that didn’t help either. We walked for about 8 hours.

Here’s a few pictures. 

Camino 2016 Day 2

Camino 2016 Day 1

I’m a day behind on my posts so I’ll try and catch up. Here’s a group shot of the people I stayed with the night begore. The ladies were going to start later so Al and I pressef on together.

We got started late out of St.Jean. very step for the first 8 kilometers inbuilt we reached Orrison. After a brief stop we started towards the top.

The weather was pretty warm,  in the mid to upper 90s and humid. It wasn’t as steep as before bit long.  Finally we reached the statue of the Virgin, which symbolizes the top but isn’t.  

We went on and one and after some rough up hill stretches finally started down. By that time both Al and I were pretty low on water and pretty warm as well. 

We found the Fountain of Roland at the border with Spain.  What a blessing to relax and drink our fill of the cool water. 

We refilled and started down. Finally arriving at our Alburge at 6 PM.

Whata day.  Nit as  tough as the Grand Canyon, but tough that’s for sure. 

A few more pics.

Camino 2016 Day 1

Camino Countdown #5

This is the strange story about, of all things, a wallet. Now I’m not a big wallet kind of guy as you might imagine. In fact many of the wallets I’ve owned have darned near died of starvation!

But this wallet has a pretty amazing story behind it and I wanted to share it with you, because believe it or not it does connect to the Camino. The wallet in question is below:


In 2006 I had the chance of a lifetime and I took it. My sister Monica, her husband Scott and my two nephews Josh and John were going to Spain. She told me I could go if I could pay for the plane ticket. I could only stay for a week, and went for it!

On Thursday of that week we went to Granada and visited Alhambra. Among many things we saw the famous Court of the Lions. It was amazing and inspired me to, among other things buy the wallet. Here’s one of the pictures I took of the courtyard.

Court of Lions

As you can see the wallet has the lions and the fountain on it. So, like many tourists and especially inexperienced ones, I bought something pretty that I had exactly and precisely no use for. The beautiful yet sad wallet has sat in one box or another for a decade since then, never used.

But now our story changes. For my current wallet is falling apart and I don’t need to take everything I carry here with me. So I needed another wallet, a smaller one. And then I remembered the forgotten wallet. It’s some kind of miracle that I managed to find it, and am now using it as I prepare to go on the Camino.

So I bought the wallet in Spain as a tourist and now it’s going back to Spain with me, only this time I’ll be a Pilgrim not a tourist.

Who would have ever thought it?

Buen Camimo!


Camino Countdown #5