Backpack and the necessities

So last night I packed the backpack with the majority of my essentials. Total weight so far is 13 pounds. I still need to add my clothes. It’s going to be close. I am trying to keep it at 15 pounds without my water. I was thinking about taking a travel size flat iron so I don’t have to wear a hat 24 x 7. This trip is about living/traveling with the minimum. So I guess no flat iron, no makeup. I knew that, but now I have to live it. I can do it, I will do it. It’s amazing how society seems to dictate how we should look. I try not to let that happen but sometimes it does. I hope to learn to live “That the inside is more important than the outside”.

Devils Slide to Tahquitz Peak

Today we headed to the San Bernardino National Forest in Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Wilderness Park.  Idyllwild was a nice surprise, somewhat like Big Bear but less crowded. Lots of great places to eat we were told by fellow hikers on the trail.  It is nestled in the mountains above Hemet and above Cabazon.  Yes, Angelica was tempted to haul us all to the Outlet Mall in Cabazon for some shopping.

Starting out together.

There were 11 hikers with us today.  The biggest group yet, ages from 20 something to 50 something.  We all headed out together but ended up in groups of two or three as the hill was a 2,500 foot elevation gain and breathing was difficult at times.  We all had a great time and the views were spectacular.  The weather was great and the company even better.  We finished the day with a nice Mexican lunch with nice size portions at Arriba Enterprise Mexican in Idyllwild.

Andi and her daughter Briana finally had an opportunity to join us.

Jodie and Gina leading the way down.

A hike that I would recommend to anyone.

The view on the way up.

The view on the way down.

A few steps closer to the “Camino”. I am feeling like my stamina is improving with every hike.

History and Legends of the Camino

Found this on a website today.  Interesting.

The Camino de Santiago is named for Santo Iago, or Saint James – one of the 12 Apostles and rumored brother of Jesus Christ. According to legend, his body was found in a boat that washed ashore in Northern Spain thousands of years ago. His remains were transported inland and were buried under what is now the grand Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, which marks the end of the Camino. His bones were rediscovered in the 9th century, when a hermit saw a field of stars that led him to the ancient, forgotten tomb.

Map of the Camino

Map of the Camino

In the millennium following its re-discovery, millions from all over Europe have walked thousands of miles to visit the remains of the disciple. At the height of its popularity in the 11th and 12th centuries, anywhere from 250,000 – 1,000,000 people a year are said to have made the pilgrimage.

According to Catholic tradition, if you faithfully completed the arduous trek, one’s sins were forgiven. If one completed the pilgrimage during a Holy Year – the infrequent occasion when St. James Day, July 25th, falls on a Sunday – a plenary indulgence was granted, allowing one to bypass purgatory and enter straight into heaven. In the Middle Ages, wealthy aristocrats would often hire people to walk in their name in order to, by proxy, absolve them of their sins without actually setting foot on the Camino.

Historically, many countries have provided criminals with the choice to either serve prison time, or do the Camino. Even today, Belgium will sometimes allow minor crimes to be pardoned by completing the pilgrimage. While, in these cases, the Camino was used as a form of punishment, its impact upon a pilgrim’s connection with themselves and their world community could instead be regarded as an unconventional form of rehabilitation.

The Camino de Santiago’s creation remains shrouded in myth. One such belief, not frequently found in print, is that the Spanish government and the Catholic Church invented the entire story to entice Christians to Spain, so that once there, they could be enlisted to fight against the Moors invading from the South. It is also claimed to be an ancient Celtic route, as well as astrologically and energetically aligned to promise personal transformation and spiritual growth – whether one is seeking it or not.

UNESCO has declared it a Universal Patrimony of Humanity and a World Heritage Site. In 1987, the European Union declared the Camino de Santiago to be the first European Cultural Itinerary. Although originally known as a Christian pilgrimage, the Camino now attracts people of all faiths and backgrounds – from atheists to Buddhists, adventurers to mourners, and college students to retired friends.

Bridge to Nowhere in the San Gabriel Mountains

Today I set out on a new trail. Mark Deaner was our trail leader for this hike.  He chose the Bridge to Nowhere in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Bridge to Nowhere

Bridge to Nowhere

It turns out we use to go to the San Gabriel Mountains as children with our parents and some of our cousins, aunts and uncles.  Those were good times. Plenty of fun, water and family time.  I feel lucky to have those memories and they came flooding back to me today.


This hike was filled with plenty of water crossings, rocks to climb and beauty everywhere.

IMG_0695 Today I was able to spend some quality time with my sister in law, Gina Caire.  We had a great time trekking through the many trails and varied terrain. She was a great addition to our hike and was quite the hiker.  She kept up with us and did not miss a step. There were new memories created today, I look forward to spending more time with her.  She agreed to come back and hike with us.


Also along for the hike was Angelica who as I mentioned before will be joining me on the “Camino”. She too was a trooper today.  There were some pretty brutal rocks to traverse near the bridge to nowhere.


This was probably the toughest hike I have done so far, almost 9 miles and 5 1/2 hours.  I came home took a quick shower and crashed.  That was of course, after a nice lunch stop at the local Taco Nazo (famous for fish tacos).


One step closer to the “Camino”




Today I planned on adding bike riding to my workout routine.  However, my brain decided it could not shut down last night and I didn’t get much sleep. So… no bike ride this morning.  Maybe mañana.