A Camino Hike in California

My son and I hiked the hilly Coal Mine Ridge trails of Portola Valley the other day. The trails reminded me of the Camino and that’s a good thing because I’m training with full backpack, around 12 lbs. I’m still trying to lighten my load and take even less, but that’s quite a challenge. And it was about 75 degrees. I wish I could take this weather with me. I’m hoping for dry weather and cool temperatures in Spain and Portugal. Alas, I’m not in charge. I’ll be working on remembering that.

We walked on the Spanish and Alpine Trails about 8 Km and didn’t see any other humans. Sometimes on the Camino last year, I walked long distances alone. I’m okay walking solo, but I’m not keen on being in the wilderness without other people nearby for long periods of time. I think it’s a safety concern, and on my coming Camino I hope to start with other pilgrims in the morning and know about any safety issues each day, bring a whistle and have emergency numbers in my phone.

The creek bed is dry, so balancing on this log wasn’t a problem. Not too high or too narrow and no rushing water.

We saw deer and scat of different animals. When I taught young children and lived near Folsom Lake, I took them on hikes and we played games identifying the local animals by looking for scat and animal tracks. Slow walks.

But this walk wasn’t leisurely. I’m training for long walks and moving from one village to another. Still, I’m planning to make this trek in Spain a Slow Camino, to stop to smell the flowers, take in the views, meet other pilgrims. My itinerary is in pencil.

We found a bench and rope swing, perfect rest stop. It was a hazy day. Rain, fog, haze or an amazing, clear day, where we can see forever, we are grateful to be able walk these spectacular trails and to treasure our natural resources. This land has been preserved for the public, recognizing the value for humans, animals, trees and plants, water, air, our environment. Our planet. Our home.

Buen Camino, Irene

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