Camino and Hiking Events in May

Lake Merritt Camino Walk + Optional Brunch
Saturday, May 7, 10:30 am

LakeMerrittWalkThis is an informal gathering that takes place on the first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. The group meets at the Lake Merritt Pergola on the east side of Oakland’s Lake Merritt at 10:30 and starts walking at 10:45 in a clockwise direction around the lake.  RSVP on Facebook.
Optional no-host brunch. We will gather for a post-walk brunch to celebrate the Pilgrims leaving in May.
Brunch will be at Camino at 12:30pm, after our walk. I have reservations for 6 people, but there is space at the table for 10. Please let me know if you would like to go. Camino is special and it’s pricey, but service is included. Cocktails are $14 and brunch ranges from $10 – 17. Bring cash for easy bill splitting. See menu below.
RSVP no later than 10am Sat. May 7.
Camino is located at 3917 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610
Click for driving directions.

RSVP for the June 4 Lake Merritt Walk and Optional Brunch.

REI Event: Marin Headlands Hike and Hops

Marin Headlands: Muir Beach Parking Lot
05/14/16, 09:00 AM – 2:00 PM Register Online
05/29/16, 09:00 AM – 2:00 PM Register Online
Member: $40
Non Member: $60

Explore some of the world’s most beautiful coastline right here in your own backyard on a 5 mile coastal hike with 1000 feet of elevation gain. Relax afterward with a pint in hand at the famous Pelican Inn in Muir Beach.

Poles: Skills & Techniques Plus Hike- 13392

05/21/2016 from 9:15am to 3:00pm
Tilden: Orchard Picnic Site
Price:     $48.00 (Resident)
$54.00 (Non-resident)
Ages:     18 and up
Spaces: 3 openings remaining
Register Online

TILDEN – Experience everything in the Basic Skills & Techniques class plus a springtime practice hike (5 miles). Learn individualized strategies for improving your performance on varied uphill and downhill trails. “Test drive” different pole models; learn which fit best and will help you achieve your goals.

Learning how to use poles helps walkers & hikers improve endurance, posture, balance, confidence and strength and enhances enjoyment of the outdoors. All levels focus on learning anatomically-optimal techniques to achieve greater skill while learning how to avoid joint stress or strain. Carefully select the class that best suits your physical ability and inclination. A variety of top quality poles are provided at all seminars.

Join The 2016 Trails Challenge


Join the 23rd annual EBRPD Trails Challenge! The Trails Challenge is a self-guided hiking program helping you discover your Regional Parks, while getting fit outdoors.

Download your free guidebook and get started! The booklet includes detailed trail descriptions for hikes in 20 Regional Parks or Trails. Hikes range from easy to challenging. There are trails open to hikers, bicyclists, dogs, and equestrians, and many are wheelchair accessible. While the program is designed to be self-guided, a number of naturalist-led hikes are offered during the year as well.

To complete the challenge, hike five of the trails – or 26.2 miles of trails –by December 1st and submit a trail log to receive a commemorative pin. As in past challenges, the honor system applies.

Trails Challenge 2016 participation just got a lot easier! Visit


Richmond to Rockridge Walk (“Rich to Rock”)
Saturday, June 11

Are you up for panoramic bay views, interesting urban art and “made-to-order” ice cream?  ¡Claro!

Looking across the bay from Albany Beach. Photo courtesy of Guy Joaquin.

Looking across the bay from Albany Beach. Photo courtesy of Guy Joaquin.

Join us for this full-day walk that starts at the Richmond BART station, follows the scenic SF Bay shoreline, winds through the charming neighborhoods of Berkeley, and ends at the Rockridge BART station in Oakland.  It’s a chance to walk a large part of the East Bay that we often just whiz by in our cars, and discover hidden gems along the way.  If you’re training for the Camino, this is a chance to try a longer-distance walk alongside experienced pilgrims.  And it’s easily accessible using BART!  Park at the Richmond station and take the train back from Rockridge at the end of the walk OR park at the Rockridge station and take the train to Richmond to start the walk (Fare: $2.70 one-way, free weekend parking at both stations).

From the Richmond BART station, we’ll walk down to the Richmond Marina and join the Bay Trail through Point Isabel (ruff, ruff!) and the Albany Bulb to check out the remaining urban artwork.  At University Avenue in Berkeley, we’ll head up into downtown via Addison Street and then through campus before strolling down College Avenue to the Rockridge neighborhood.

Date: Saturday, June 11
Time/Place: Meet at Richmond BART (outside the ticket gates) at 9:30 AM for check-in and briefing, leave by 10:00AM and plan to arrive in Rockridge around 6:00PM
Distance: 16 miles/26 kilometers (más o menos)
Level of Difficulty: Moderate (this is a full day of walking and although generally flat terrain, being an urban setting, the majority of the walk is on pavement and sidewalks)
Open to: Everyone (both current and “yet-to-be” APOC members welcome)
Drop Out/Drop In Points (w/ approx. arrival times)

  • Mile 5, ~12:00PM, Mudpuppy’s Café at Point Isabel Regional Shoreline Park, aka “The Happiest Place on Earth for Dogs” (1 Isabel St., Richmond), have lunch ~1 hour, food/water and restrooms available, 1.6 mile walk to/from El Cerrito Plaza BART station
  • Mile 11, ~3:30PM, Sea Breeze Market & Deli (598 University Ave. at Frontage Rd., Berkeley), food/water and restrooms available, AC Transit Bus 51B to/from Downtown Berkeley and Rockridge BART stations (Fare: $2.10), map and weekend schedule at
  • Mile 13.5, ~4:30PM, Downtown Berkeley BART (2160 Shattuck Ave.)

Be Sure to Bring: A bag lunch to eat at Point Isabel (or buy one at Mudpuppy’s Café) and also sun protection as there is little shade until we get to Berkeley

Canine Pilgrims: Dogs are welcome, too! But please bear in mind that this is a long, “thru” walk and carefully consider your dog’s capabilities.  Public transportation policies are basically prohibitive for our situation (BART and AC Transit require pets to be in a container).  Taxi, Uber, Lyft cars, etc. may/may not accept pets.  So we’re recommending this as a “circuit” walk.  Park and meet us at Mudpuppy’s Café for lunch and then walk a section (e.g., to the Albany Bulb) and return back on your own.  Otherwise, please have someone with a car on call to pick up, if needed, or at the end.

Après-Walk: Depending on group size and interest, we can end with ice cream at Smitten (yes, they make your order from scratch) or Dreyer’s for an Oakland-local scoop, and perhaps carry on for drinks and/or a bite to eat in the neighborhood

RSVP by Friday, June 10 to Guy Joaquin (walk leader).  Email any questions, too.  Please let us know if others will be joining you and if you plan to use one of the “drop in” or “drop out” points.  “Drop In” Walkers: Also include your mobile number so you and Guy can keep in touch on timing and location on the day of the walk.

He had me at ice cream. Count me in!

Third Annual Pilgrim Get Together in Lake Tahoe
July 22-24, 2016

David Jennings  is hosting the 3rd Annual Pilgrim Renewal on July 22, 23, 24  at North Lake Tahoe, Mt. Rose Campground (above Incline Village, NV.)  Veteran Pilgrims and those planning to do a Camino are welcome.

Bella Tahoe from the Flume trail. Photo courtesy of Dave Jennings.

Bella Tahoe from the Flume trail. Photo courtesy of Dave Jennings.

Campsites have been reserved at the Mt. Rose Federal campground for tent campers, and all meals and activities are centered at the campground.  Home stays can be provided for those who do not tent camp.
Friday, 22nd Happy Hour Social at 5:30 PM at Campground followed by a community dinner.
Saturday, 23rd (Feast day of St. James) Breakfast at Campground followed by a hike (moderate 7+/- miles), but depending on turnout there may be options.  Evening Mass, with social time and dinner to follow at campground.
Sunday, 24th Breakfast followed by a hike (5-6 miles) returning to cars for return home about 2:30PM.  The weekend with the exception of minimal camping fee is donativo.
Early reservations are much appreciated to assure space for everyone. Contact Walt Scheer for Campground reservations or Dave Jennings for home stays.

More details on our Facebook Group and  NorCal Chapter page coming soon.

I’m off to Portugal soon

I have a pre-Camino tour of Portugal with my mom, then I start my Camino on May 21 from Ponte de Lima on the Camino Portugues Central route.  I am getting very excited!  Blogging might not be as frequent, but follow my adventures in (almost) real-time via

The Camino Provides Patch
I designed a patch for my own backpack and ordered extra to sell on Etsy and at Bay Area events. The shell points the way along the Camino and reminds us to keep moving forward in life. Ultreia!  Click for more details.

Why the patches? I had no idea I’d design a patch and have so much fun with it! It has brought out the Girl Scout in me.  I am not selling these for profit, rather, I’m doing this just to make my blog sustainable. I’ve spent a lot of my own money and time building this resource to share discoveries over the last year, as the Camino calling has been so strong. Now I’m deep into the training and prep phase so I am sharing the tips from experts. There are costs to host my blog, so I partner with like-minded sponsors who have something of value to share with other Camino enthusiasts. You won’t see random ads on my site that have no connection to the Camino. You will see an occasional Camino book, product, or my own designs linking to my Etsy shop. I don’t ask for donations like some website do (I already work at a non-profit!), but I do like to create accessories for those who have embraced the Camino lifestyle. I love to share a good thing. Always have, always will. 🙂

If you know of any Camino related events for the SF Bay Area that should be included in the monthly roundup, please use the comment form below, or email me.

For those that live elsewhere, there are Camino hotspots nationwide and the American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) website has a listing of local chapters where you can find pilgrim events. There are also many active Facebook groups to learn about events in your region.

See you on the Camino!

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