Category Archives: Backpacking

El Camino: Finisterre, Muxia, and Coast of Death

Zero Day: Travelling to the End of the Earth We have come to the end of our adventure. Tomorrow we board flights and head home.  Today was a relaxing, learn about Spain day. We took a tour to Fisterra and … Continue reading

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El Camino: Santiago de Compostela Zero

Zero Day: Santiago de Compostela Yesterday we arrived at Santiago de Compostela  however we arrived after the pilgrims mass had been conducted. Naturally then we decided to attend today, Sunday.  We were warned to get there an hour early to … Continue reading

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El Camino: Rua to Santiago de Compostela

Today’s trek: Rua to Santiago de Compostela We had only to walk about 18km or 11.25 miles. There was nothing to hurry for. Nothing to particularly see. As we walked we seemed to float along a path, not hovering, but … Continue reading

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El Camino: Arzua to Pedrouzo

Today’s trek: Arzua to Pedrouzo Today’s walk was not remarkable other than the knowledge that it is the second to last walk of our trip.  I spent the day with Lisa from Switzerland laughing and encouraging each other to go just … Continue reading

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El Camino: Palas de Rei to Arzua

Today’s trek: Palas de Rei to Arzua A few days ago I told a fellow pilgrim who was planning to get up super early to walk (in the dark and fog) that she should be cognizant that it would all be … Continue reading

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El Camino: Portomarin to Palas de Rei

Today’s trek:  Portomarin to Palas de Rei Three more walking days.  As we arrived at Palos Del Rei we stopped to eat and sit for a minute. Judy had picked a restaurant for its view of the Camino so that she … Continue reading

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El Camino: Sarria to Portomarin

Today’s trek:  Sarria to Portomarin Walking among people from all countries and backgrounds is very interesting. The variety of sounds and languages my attention.  The one constant throughly out this process has been the sound of my footsteps. There is … Continue reading

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El Camino: Triacastela to Sarria

Today’s trek:  Triacastela to Sarria Oh what a glorious morning!  We left Triacastela just as the sun started to peek past some rather dark clouds but I held my ground and didn’t toss on a jacket. We started walking ready … Continue reading

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El Camino: O Cebriero to Triacastela

Today’s trek:  O Cebriero to Triacastela Morning came a little too soon for me but I decided I felt well enough to walk. I packed a light day backpack my genius daughter gave me and carried the equivalent of pedialyte … Continue reading

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El Camino: Herrerias de Valcarce to O Cebriero

Today’s trek: Herrerias Del Valcarce to O Cebriero Today was the trek that wasn’t. At least for me. Judy got out there and conquered the five mile climb with no problem. She even took pictures so I could use them … Continue reading

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El Camino: Villafranca del Bierzo to Herrerias de Valcarce

Todays Trek: Villafranco del Bierzo to Herrerias de Valcarce. Yesterday was not a good day. I’ve been fighting something. It’s either food poisoning or a virus which has affected my gut. I haven’t eaten, can’t sleep through more than an … Continue reading

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El Camino: Molinaseca to Villafranca del Bierzo

Today’s Trek: Molinaseca to Villafranco del Bierzo Knowing you have to walk 19 miles can be a little daunting. As we walked I seemed to be stuck on a repetitive chant: Just focus on getting through today. Yesterday I ate … Continue reading

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El Camino: Rabanal del Camino to Molinaseca

Today’s Trek: Rabanal del Camino to Molinaseca Today started well with a great breakfast and an early start in the trail. I think everyone walking on our schedule might have been. Little more excited today than other days because we … Continue reading

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El Camino: Astorga to Rabanal del Camino

Todays Trek: Astorga to Rabanal del Camino We are all children of God. I went to evening vespers at a little church in Rabanal del Camino. I met the priest in the tiny gift shop and asked when the doors … Continue reading

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El Camino: Villadangos del Paramo to Astorga

Todays Trek: Villadangos del Paramo to Astorga The walk from Villadangos to Astorga was predictably long and hot but surprisingly fun. As we walked out of Villadangos we came across a man and I began to speak to him. Immediately … Continue reading

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El Camino: Leon to Villadangos del Paramo

Today’s trek: Leon to Villadangos del Paramo The man with the huge smile umbrella’d by a gray handlebar mustache said, “You went all the way to the canal didn’t you?” I made a face conveying shame and the table of … Continue reading

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El Camino: Leon Zero

Leon: Zero Day Waking late to a nice hot breakfast was the perfect start to our indulgent Zero Day in Leon. After a very pleasant laundry experience, (it’s the little things) we headed out to find and see the 13th … Continue reading

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El Camino: Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon

Todays trek: Mansilla de las Mulas to LEON! How do we conquer our mind? For some reason I had it in my head for the last few days that we would be walking many miles on the day we got … Continue reading

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El Camino: El Burgo Ranero to Mansilla de las Mulas

Today’s trek: El Burgo Ranero to Mansilla de Las Mulas We left Burgo Ranero a little later than we would have liked. This means that the “short” (I can’t believe I called it short) 11 mile walk was a bit … Continue reading

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El Camino: Sahagún to El Burgo Ranero

Today’s trek: Sahagún to el Burgo Ranero. This morning we left Sahagún, the mileage midpoint for the Camino Frances. Getting to this point is an accomplishment in and of itself. We should arrive in Santiago on October 6. We are … Continue reading

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El Camino: Calzadilla de la Cueza to Sahagún (Mid Point)

Today’s trek: Calzadilla de la Cueza to Sahagún We spent the night in a hostal in Calzadilla de la Cueza where we were treated like family and enjoyed a marvelous meal. We retired early and left a window open in … Continue reading

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El Camino: Carrion de los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza

Today’s trek: Carrion de los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza We had a short but very hot walk from Carrion De los Condes to Calzadilla, a very small town with very nice people. By now you know that due to … Continue reading

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El Camino: Fromista to Carrion de los Condes

Todays trek: Fromista to Carrion de los Condes Imagine being happy that you only have about 13 miles to walk so you sleep in a little and have breakfast before heading out. Then you realize how hot it is and … Continue reading

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El Camino: Castrojeriz to Fromista

Today’s Trek: Castrojeriz to Formista Walking today reminded me that we walk in this manner every day. We get up hoping for the best and start our days with joyful expectation. Some days it goes as planned. Other days we … Continue reading

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El Camino: Hornillos to Castrojeriz

Today’s trek: Hornillos to Castrojeriz I was able to walk without constant focus on my feet today. Well, until the path turned rocky. But mostly it was a great day. We walked 12.5 miles from Hornillos to Castrojeriz. Hontanas, the … Continue reading

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El Camino: Burgos to Hornillo

Today’s trek: Burgos to Hornillos This morning we began our walk to Hornillos. Soon we were at the gate where they filmed the scene in which M. Sheen lost his back pack to a teenaged boy in the movie, The … Continue reading

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El Camino: Burgos Zero

Burgos. Zero day. We spent the day in Burgos getting chores done and exploring. The people here are so nice and have a great sense of humor. We started at the bank getting change for laundry. I was kicked out … Continue reading

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El Camino: S. Juan de Ortega to Burgos

Today’s Trek: San Juan de Ortega to Burgos. We left San Juan Ortega as per our normal routine with the exception that we were carrying damp clothes that just didn’t want to dry in our equally damp room. Once we … Continue reading

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El Camino: Belorado to S. Juan de Ortega

Today’s Trek: Belorado to San Juan de Ortega We woke up to an extra dark morning. A peak out the open balcony door revealed dark clouds overhead. The clothes left out to dry still wet. I felt annoyed. Another day … Continue reading

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El Camino: Santo Domingo to Belorado

Today’s trek: Santo Domingo to Belorado We’re sitting in a restaurant in Belorado amongst a large groups of peregrinos all talking about why they are walking the camino, how they feel, and how they are looking forward to the meal. … Continue reading

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El Camino: Najera to Santo Domingo

Todays trek: Najera to Santo Domingo After such long treks these past few days, walking 14 miles on mostly even trail seemed like a treat. We walked quietly through a two smaller towns and a number of grape fields. All … Continue reading

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El Camino: Logrono to Najera

Todays trek: Logroño to Najera We walked from Logroño to Najera today… then another two km to find our hostal. So all in all we walked 19 miles. Yep another step or two and I would have been crawling. But. … Continue reading

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El Camino: Los Arcos to Logroño

Today’s Trek: Los Arcos to Logroño Hiking can teach you a lot. Especially when you have to hike through the mud. There’s strategy to consider: do I tip toe? Use sticks or not? Hop over it? Walk around it or … Continue reading

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El Camino: Estella to Los Arcos

Today’s trek: Estella to Los Arcos As the day started I began to dread dressing my feet. After years of hiking I know where I get blisters and how they progress. I purchased some supplies the night before and decided … Continue reading

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El Camino: Puente la Reina to Estella

Today’s trek: Puente la Reina to Estella Another extremely hot day for those walking El Camino. The book describes our route as “gently rolling hills and delightful natural paths.” Uh, no. Rolling hills is like saying up, down, up, down, … Continue reading

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El Camino: Pamplona to Puente la Reina

Today’s trek:  Pamplona to Puente la Reina There’s a certain kind of comfort in putting on hiking boots even though the day before you couldn’t wait to get them off. The protection these boots provide is wonderful. But they are … Continue reading

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El Camino: Akerreta to Pamplona

Today’s trek: Akeretta to Pamplona. Have you ever noticed that everything that you fear but face anyway turns out not to be anything big at all? We walked 18 miles yesterday. I completely dreaded waking up this morning thinking I … Continue reading

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El Camino: Roncesvalles to Akerreta

Roncesvalles to Akerreta September 1st, 2018 The world is really not that big. Ok yes, it’s huge but if you venture out of your own little plot of real estate you might discover some astonishing things. We’ve made some friends … Continue reading

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El Camino: Orisson…to Roncesvalles

Today’s trek: Orisson to Roncesvalles Up and at em in Orisson… ok no. I woke up at 0730 and as a result we missed breakfast. Not to worry the night before we ordered lunch and eating some of that delicious … Continue reading

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El Camino: St. Jean…to Orisson

Today we received the first two stamps in our Pilgrims Credencial. As per my normal, I forgot the Spanish issues Credencial so I had to buy another (French) at the Pilgrims office. We left Saint Jean at ten am after … Continue reading

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El Camino: Travels to the Trailhead

Sacramento to San Francisco to Biarritz Beside the fact that my backpack grew overnight and weighs way too much, everything went pretty well on our journey today. We made all our connections, enjoyed our inflight meals, laughed at ourselves, and … Continue reading

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El Camino: Departure

Last night I finally felt ready enough to load my pack, sans camera equipment that will be carried everywhere I go. As I packed with the goal of keeping under 20 lbs in mind I asked myself, “Do I really … Continue reading

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El Camino: Packing and Unpacking

Judy and I met this morning, to talk a little about where we are with our lists of things to do and pack.  She has been on a trip for the last week or so and this is our first … Continue reading

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El Camino: Decisions, Decisions.

A few years ago, on a ferry taking us out of the wilderness and back to our awaiting vehicle I engaged in conversation with a lovely woman named Susan who having been injured, was leaving her backpacking trip a little … Continue reading

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How Wild is Your Wild?: What do you really need to backpack in the wilderness?

  Have you read the book WILD by Cheryl Strayed?  It’s interesting and thought-provoking read.  That book was published in March of 2012.  I took my first hike during that summer (the Mist Trail in Yosemite) and hiked up Half Dome … Continue reading

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Effie Yeaw Nature Center

Sundays are days reserved for going outside.  If we can, I load up the car and take Avi out somewhere in nature.  Sometimes we explore the banks of the Sacramento River since it is a few blocks from home and … Continue reading

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@AbuelaAfuera

I am so grateful to be able to share my voice about getting people of color outside, especially when they go with family, both young and old. Please listen… https://she-explores.com/podcast/abuela-afuera-grandmother-outside/

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Bridges and Waterfalls. 

There’s something to be said about taking a chance on people and doing something new with them.  I have been very busy the past few weeks and particularly the last two. I have been coordinating a huge home project, helping … Continue reading

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Cesar Chavez Taught Me to Love Climbing Mountains

  A little late, but I was reminded to share this when I took my 78-year-old father, my 89-year-old father-in-law and my 22-month-old grandson to visit Helen and Cesar at the National Memorial. I mentioned to my mom as we … Continue reading

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Loch Leven Trail…Donde you are?

Every year, in an effort to introduce the children to the notion of hiking and backpacking, my sister Lenora organizes a “baby” (now “kid” trip).  When the two littlest ones were tiny, the hike involved a two mile roundtrip hike … Continue reading

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Impassable at High Tide? Wait, what?

This time of year is usually marked by a long backpacking trip with my fellow hiker chicks across some portion of the John Muir Trail.  We started this quest about three years ago and were progressing nicely through our goal … Continue reading

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Teach Your Children (and Friends) Well

  On Cesar Chavez Day we spent time in Yosemite. I spend as much time in YNP as I am able and this day was poised to be a great time and as per usual it was. The scenery is … Continue reading

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Cesar Chavez Taught Me to Love Climbing Mountains

I grew up in Arvin, California.   This small town sits at the foot of Bear Mountain, toward the south-eastern end of the Central Valley. I recall that if it were a good year, the snow level might reach down past the foothills to … Continue reading

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Moro Rock, I Come in Peace

All my life I have carried this crazy image of my poor mother whimpering, while hugging granite wall during a climb up the railed, stair stepped path to the summit of a great mountain. I don’t know exactly how old I am … Continue reading

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Is it Wrong to Sing Red River Valley Aloud in a Movie Theater?

We walked into the movie theater just before the start of the movie WILD. We sat behind a man, an elderly woman wearing headphones to help her hear the movie and a younger woman. I assumed the elderly woman was … Continue reading

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Day 7: Gratitude Moves

My friend asked to give voice to my gratitude for three things, once a day for a week. Today I got my sorry self out of bed at 5:30 in the morning and went on a hike at Montaña de … Continue reading

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Day 2: Gratitude is Seeing the Connection

Gratitude is Seeing the Connection
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On the JMT with JiffyPop

A couple years ago my ex sister-in-law, now just sister convinced me to go on a day hike with her. I knew she was plotting to entrap me in her web of hiking gear, and exaggerated tales of beauty and … Continue reading

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Surge and Tranquil Fury

Thinking that I would love to share my favorite park with a couple of friends who’d never really hiked before, I began cajoling them a couple months ago.  I promised it would be a less strenuous hike than those they … Continue reading

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I Lost My Pride Up There

Going hiking in Yosemite is one of the easiest things you can do.  Trails are well marked.  There are tons of people, so you’re never really alone. It is, however, so much more fun to hike a trail with someone … Continue reading

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