Camino and Hiking Events in April 2017

The rain has finally stopped and spring is in full bloom here in Oakland. It’s Camino training season, so let’s get right to it! Below is the roundup of Camino related events, hikes and poles workshops in the SF Bay Area for the month of April 2017.

Monthly Lake Merritt Walk in Oakland
Saturday, April 1, 10:30 am

A walk around Lake Merritt in Oakland is held every first Saturday of the month, at 10:30 am starting at the Pergola. Afterwards, there is an optional brunch in the area.  For April Fool’s Day, we are switching things up and walking counter-clockwise around the lake. Crazy, right?  Details and RSVP on NorCal Facebook Group. I’ll be at the walk and brunch with a pocket full of Camino patches and free stickers for anyone who asks.

The next Lake Merritt walk will be on Saturday, May 6, 2017. If you are in the Bay Area, join the Peregrinos Northern California Facebook Group to get details on this and other events.

Technology on the Camino @ Oakland Rockridge Library
Saturday, April 15, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Have you wondered what technology you should take on your next Camino pilgrimage? Or do you feel that using technology on the Camino goes against the Camino spirit? Whether you like or loathe mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, e-readers, GPS, or any other type of mobile technology, this talk has something for you.

No more room at the inn! Pilgrims charging up their devices on the Camino Francés in Agés, Spain.

Devices being charged on the Camino Francés in Agés, Spain. Stop the insanity! Photo by Guy Joaquin.

Join Rob Nickerson at the Oakland Public Library Rockridge Branch for an informative discussion that will leave you with a better understanding of the technology options for the Camino. We will review the many technology options that are available for the Camino, including no technology, and explain what you need to know so that you can decide what is best for you. We will also look at smartphone apps that are designed specifically for use on the Camino. Bring your questions because there will be plenty of time for questions and answers. Open to all (American Pilgrims members and non-members). No RSVP required (just show up).

Meet us at 10:30 AM in the meeting room of the Rockridge Branch Library, located at 5366 College Avenue in Oakland.

Getting There

By Car: From eastbound 24, take the Claremont Ave. exit and turn left onto Claremont Ave. Turn right on Hudson St. and proceed straight thru to College Ave. The library is directly ahead to the right at the intersection. From westbound 24, take the College Ave. exit and proceed on Miles Ave. straight thru to College Ave. and turn left. The library is on the left just past Manila Ave. There is a small municipal parking lot adjacent to the library and metered parking along College Ave. (both 2-hour max). Please note any parking restrictions posted on surrounding streets.

By BART/Foot: From the Rockridge BART station, walk south along College Ave. away from the Berkeley campus. The library is on the left, just past Manila Ave. (0.3 mi).

For more/other directions, use Google Maps.

NOTE: The Oakland Public Library does not advocate or endorse the viewpoints of meetings or meeting room users.

About the Presenter

Rob Nickerson is Professor of Information Systems at San Francisco State University and a chapter steering committee member. He walked parts of the Camino Francés and the Camino Portugués in 2013, 2014 and 2015. On all his walks, he observed the use of technology by pilgrims, which sparked his interest in researching technology on the Camino.

Hike along the California Coastal Trail in Half Moon Bay
Sunday, April 23 at 10 AM

Event for American Pilgrims on the Camino – Silicon Valley Chapter

Hike along the California Coastal Trail in Half Moon Bay Sunday, April 23

Hike along the California Coastal Trail in Half Moon Bay

Meet at 10:00 a.m. in the Princeton Harbor Parking lot near Mavericks Surf Shop. We’ll hike south along the California Coastal Trail 3 miles to Half Moon Bay State Park, where we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch. Those who would like to hike further can continue south and those who want a hike of about 6 miles can turn back after lunch. Bring good walking shoes, a sack lunch, hat, sunscreen and layers in case of fog. Hope you can join us!

Hiking Poles for Pilgrims – Pacifica, CA
Sunday, April 30, 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Join fitness and wellness educator, Jayah Faye Paley, for a fun and interactive hiking poles class, designed specifically to help Camino de Santiago pilgrims prepare for and more fully enjoy the journey.

  • Learn and practice techniques to make going uphill easier and save your knees on the downhill.
  • Discover how to recruit your core muscles to help preserve your joints!
  • Improve posture, balance, upper body strength and performance AND confidence on the trail.

A variety of top-quality poles will be provided so you can explore which poles fit you best and help you achieve your hiking, walking and travel goals. You can also bring your own poles. Meet at Jayah’s home in Pacifica where you’ll get outfitted and cover some basics. Then hit the trail and practice skills and techniques on a beautiful coastal hike over varied terrain. If you bring your Camino backpack, we’ll include a session on pack fit.

Class Details
Date: Sunday, April 30
Time: 9:30 AM to approx. 3:00 PM
Location: 180 San Jose Avenue in Pacifica
Cost: $35
How to Sign Up: Send an email to and include any concerns and/or body issues in your message. Once you receive your confirmation email, send your payment of $35 in the form of a check payable to Jayah Faye Paley to 180 San Jose Avenue, Pacifica, CA 94044. Class size is limited to 8. This small group format allows Jayah to cater the learning so that each individual has the opportunity to receive some personalized instruction. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. If you’re not completely happy, you will get a full refund of the class fee. For more information about Jayah and other class options, visit Poles for Mobility. Please note that this event is not organized, endorsed or sponsored by American Pilgrims on the Camino; it is only being shared with you because we believe it might be of interest to you as a pilgrim.

I attended one of Jayah’s poles workshops in Oakland and learned some valuable lessons. I highly recommend Jayah’s workshops and using trekking poles to reduce injury on the Camino. Below are a few photos from the workshop I attended.

More Upcoming POLES Seminars 2017

Limited Participation Classes are kept small so each person can get individualized attention. 

  • Classes can fill, so please sign up early or get onto the wait list.
  • Very low cost class fees help to support local parks/programs.
  • Register by calling the number listed or check calendar for links.

Learn much more about classes, times and sign up info on Calendar at Check website for details, free support group meetings, product info, pole purchase consultation, tutorials & more.

Private Meet-up Groups available for poles class attendees.
Mobility: PoleWalking   Hiking:  AdventureBuddies

  • Mobility classes feature indoor practice and optional lovely pole walks.
  • Hiking class locations scheduled seasonally for optimal trail and weather conditions, views and flowers or shade.

REI Free Clinics in April, May, June & July.  Hiking with POLES & Fitness for the Trail & for LIFE!

Hiking with POLES: Skills & Techniques BASICS  (for all level hikers)

Half day seminar helps hikers learn poles, trail and body skills. Beginner to experienced hikers will learn techniques without the additional time or challenge of a practice hike. Uphill: Improve power, endurance, spine function.

Downhill: Develop skills for feeling safer and preserving joints – Save your knees!

  • Thurs, May 11 Avenidas Senior Center, Palo Alto Foothills Park 650-289-5400
  • Thurs, June 1        Live Oak Park, Berkeley  510-981-5150   Easy terrain – very light hiking, hybrid class
  • Thurs, June 22 Roberts/Redwood Regional  888-EBParks

 Learn How to Use POLES for Hiking & Outdoor Exercise (Skills Class PLUS Practice Hike)

Learn everything in the Basic Skills & Techniques class PLUS enjoy serenely-beautiful seasonally-appropriate Practice Hike.  Learn individualized strategies for improving your performance on varied uphill and downhill trails. “Test drive” different pole models; learn which fit you best. Hikes 3 to 5 miles.

  • Sat, April 22 Point Reyes National Seashore  415-663-1200 (repeats August 26) beautiful all year round
  • Sat, April 29 Sunol Regional Wilderness,   888-EBParks
  • Sun, May 14 Friends of Mt. Tam, Mt. Tam – check calendar
  • Sat, August 19 Pacifica Coastal Training & Hike (often includes whale watching), check calendar

POLES 2 & 3 – Practice Hikes (Basic Skills or Day hiking class prerequisite)

Refine/expand skills, review, practice and learn pole and trail tips to help you more fully enjoy your poles and the outdoors. On practice hikes, we have more time to delve into the nuance of your most excellent form.   “Test Drive” poles.

  • Sat, April 1 Black Diamond Mines, 888-EBParks glorious in Springtime
  • Sun, April 9 Poles 3 + Yoga: Tilden Park, 888-EBParks
  • Sun, April 9 Poles 3 + Yoga: Redwood Regional & Seasonal Parks, 888-EBParks
  • Sat, May 13 Poles 3 + Yoga: Sunol Regional Wilderness, 888-EBParks   bucolic & full of flowers

Learn How to Use POLES for Balance, Mobility and Walking

Easy-to-learn pole techniques and gentle exercises empower people with mobility challenges to maintain walking form, navigate everyday obstacles, reduce risk of falling, restore spine function, improve stamina and strengthen muscles that support weight-bearing joints. Optional lovely practice PoleWalk.  Special balance poles & tips provided.

  • Thurs, April 6  Albany Senior Center 510-524-9122 (includes bus ride to Berkeley Marina) (Repeats July 13)
  • Sat, April 8 Kennedy Grove, Fern Cottage 888-EBParks
  • Thurs, April 20 Santa Rosa Senior Center 707-543-3737 (repeats July 27)
  • Tues, April 25 Mastick Senior Center, Alameda  510-747-7510
  • Wed, April 26 Mill Valley Community Center
  • Wed, June 28 Margaret Todd Senior Center, Novato, 415-899-8290

2017patchIf you are planning to walk a Camino this year, check out the new Camino Provides 2017 patch. The theme this year is LOVE. The rainbow design was inspired by chakras, love, peace, and pride.  Just $4 each at

My mission is to celebrate the Camino de Santiago and the pilgrim’s journey, from the Calling to Compostela and beyond. I do this by sharing informative tips on training, gear, and routes; by promoting Camino related events in the Bay Area; by interviewing pilgrims and sharing inspiring stories; and by curating content relevant to the Camino. Sales of my designs help to defray the costs of hosting and managing this blog so that I can keep sharing the Camino love!

There are always opportunities to train for or learn about the Camino. 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 who live elsewhere, there are Camino hotspots all over the USA and the American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) website has a listing of local chapters where you can find Camino events. There are also many active Facebook groups to learn about events in your region. Check your local REI store for workshops and presentations about the Camino. Check for events in your area.

apoclogoVisit the Northern California Chapter page on the APOC website.

Join the Peregrinos Northern California Facebook group (closed group for Northern California residents only)

Buen Camino!

Digame, por favor.

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