Camino and Hiking Events in July 2018

Happy summer! Below is lineup of Camino-related events and hikes for July 2018 in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am excited about these events because as a recent returnee of the Camino, local events provide some of the pilgrim camaraderie and experience of being on the Camino, right here at home. Plus, there are three unique ways to celebrate St. James Day in Northern California. He’s the reason for the pilgrimage, after all!

Lake Merritt Walk
Saturday, July 7, 10:30 am

Join us on this walk that takes place on the first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. We meet at the Pergola (aka “The Columns”) on the east side of Oakland’s Lake Merritt at 10:30 am, and start walking by 10:45 am. It’s a level, 3.3-mile walk around the lake that takes about an hour. Whether you’re a newbie or Camino veteran, everyone is welcome. Bring your questions, answers and pilgrim spirit!

Optional Pre-walk Yoga Stretch: At 10:30 am, join me (Laurie Ferris) on the grass near Pergola for some basic yoga stretches to get you warmed up for walking the lake or the Camino. No mat required.

Directions: Take BART to the Lake Merritt or 19th Street Oakland station and navigate your way to the Pergola. If you drive, make sure to give yourself enough time to find parking, as there are many activities on Saturday mornings in the Lake Merritt area. FYI: There is a small fee lot at the corner of Euclid and Grand Avenues that is close to the Pergola.

RSVP not required, but if you’re on the NorCal Facebook group, join event.

Meet and Greet at Camino Brewing Co
Monday, July 16, 6 – 8 pm

Join pilgrims in the South Bay for a Meet and Greet at Camino Brewing in San Jose. This is a great opportunity to get together to talk Camino. If you are thinking about or planning a Camino, Camino veterans will be there to talk with you about all things Camino-routes, what to pack, etc. RSVP on Facebook event
Or contact the Silicon Valley Chapter:

Like the Camino, “beer brings strangers together.” The Camino Brewing Company was founded by pilgrims who biked the Camino. They have been brewing Camino-inspired beer since 2015, and recently opened a taproom in downtown San Jose. Learn more at

Lake Tahoe Pilgrim Rendezvous
July 20 – 22, 2018


Join Dave and Monica for a weekend retreat before St. James Day to experience or rekindle the ‘SPIRIT’ of the Camino de Santiago. All amidst the natural beauty of the Sierra Nevadas. Share Camino experiences, community meals, Pilgrim Mass, Camp-out in the pristine mountain setting at 8900 ft. on Mt. Rose (North LakeTahoe), or enjoy the hospitality of a veteran Pilgrim’s home.  A heart and mind altering experience. Limited group, reserve early. There is no charge, like much of the Camino it is all Donativo. An open invitation to Pilgrims, both those who have walked a Camino to Santiago de Compostela, and those planning to walk a Camino in the near future.

For information, full schedule, and reservations contact:
David Jennings – Cbellasail@sbcglobal or (530) 412-0144
I had the pleasure of meeting Dave and Monica at a hike in Pt. Reyes when I was preparing for the albergue experience.

St. James Day Walk and Celebration in SF
Saturday, July 21, 2018

Walk: 10:30 am @ Streamline Café, 3560 Taraval St.
Mass: 4:15 pm @ St. James Catholic Church, Guerrero St & 23rd St.
Tapas: 5:30 pm @ Esperpento Restaurant, 3295 22nd St.

Join us to celebrate St. James—a few days before of his official saint’s day on July 25th—with a walk in San Francisco that begins near Ocean Beach and ends at the St. James Catholic Church in the Mission District. We will meet at the Streamline Café in the Sunset District and walk along Santiago Street and over to Mt. Davidson (the highest peak in SF) where we will pause for lunch while we enjoy magnificent views. The walk ends in the Mission District around 3:45 pm, so we will have some time to look around the church before the 4:15 pm vigil mass. You are welcome to attend the mass and pilgrim’s blessing (some of us did last year) or leave at that point. You can also head over to Esperpento Restaurant nearby on 22nd St. where we will regroup after the mass (~5:30 PM) for tapas and drinks to finish up the day in true Camino tradition. RSVP required for the walk, tapas, or both, on this form:

Meet at 10:30 am at the Streamline Café on the corner of 46th Ave. and Taraval St. ( for check-in and briefing. If you wish to have breakfast at the café, please arrive earlier (opens at 8 AM). We encourage all to use public transportation as both the start and end points are serviced by Muni and/or BART. Total distance is about 8 miles, mostly on sidewalks and paved paths with about 3 miles of trails and a 928-foot (280-meter) switchback climb up Mt. Davidson. We expect to finish the walk by 3:45 PM. Open to all.

Led by NorCal chapter members Sue López and Merula Furtado.

To help us with planning, use our online RSVP page to respond by Thursday, July 19.

Camino Happy Hour
Saturday, July 21, 5:30 pm
Esperpento Tapas Restaurant

Our July Camino Happy Hour immediately follows the  St James Day walk and mass in Mission district of San Francisco. Join us for the Happy Hour in addition to, or separate from the walk and mass, but please RSVP here by July 19th because we will need to reserve a table.

Why does the NorCal chapter do monthly Camino Happy Hours?  It’s another fun way to keep the spirit of the Camino alive! And, the Bay Area has so many great restaurants, we like the idea of trying a different one each month. If you have a recommendation for the next Happy Hour, please share! “BARTable” is a plus!

Feast of Saint James Potluck
Wednesday, July 25th, 6 – 8:30 pm
Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Piedmont, CA

Join us for a pilgrim potluck to celebrate St. James on his designated saint’s day, July 25th. Because it falls on a Wednesday this year, we’re doing a casual gathering in the Gibson Center at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. Bring an entrée, side dish, tapas, dessert, or drinks to share. Bonus points for Camino-inspired or Spanish recipes, and drinks (wine, beer, non-alcoholic, etc.). Let this be a feast fit for a saint, or at least hungry pilgrims!

We will have a brief presentation about St. James by David DeMent, who walked the Camino francés with his daughter in 2017. There will be a blessing for departing pilgrims by Rev. Beth Foote (see bio below). We will have our chapter stamp available, so bring your credential to get your official NorCal sello. And, the Wise Pilgrim Camino Map poster will be on display so you can plan your next Camino!

Date / Time: 
Wednesday, July 25, 6 – 8:30 PM
Doors open at 5:30 PM (We appreciate volunteers to help with setup or cleanup)

322 St. James DrLocation:
Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Gibson Center
322 St. James Drive, Piedmont, CA 94611
A free parking lot is located at the Corpus Christi school behind the church at 1 Estates Drive.
The Gibson Center is downstairs from the west side of the parking lot.

As always, we encourage carpools, public transportation and Lyft or Uber. Coordinate carpools with friends or via the Facebook event.

By June 23 on the Google RSVP Form, with guest name(s) and potluck item you plan to bring.

Pilgrim Blessing:
Beth FooteFor pilgrims who have yet to depart for their Camino this year, there will be a special blessing by a Bay Area peregrina. Rev. Beth Foote is an Episcopal Priest who specializes in Interim Ministry in the Bay Area. She has served as Interim Rector at St. Anne’s, Fremont, and was Associate Rector at Trinity Church, Menlo Park for six years. Beth walked the Camino francés over three trips. She started in St. Jean and walked to Burgos, and Leon – Santiago in 2013; she returned to Spain in 2015 to walk the Meseta from Burgos to Leon. Beth writes about her pilgrimage experience on her blog, She lives with her husband Hale in Alameda, where they raised their three young adult children.

Hosted by Northern California Chapter Coordinators Laurie Ferris and Guy Joaquin.
Questions? Email us at

REI Presentation: Using POLES for Hiking & Outdoor Exercise! With Jayah Faye Paley

Whether you’re a beginner hiker, a back packer, a cross-training athlete or someone who faces mobility challenges, learn how and why optimal use of poles significantly improves your performance and confidence on the trail. Using poles while hiking or walking engages your whole body and is terrific exercise. Save your knees as well as improve endurance, balance, spine function, agility, core strength and weight management. Optimal use of poles means achieving the many benefits without creating stress or strain in the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, even the neck. This session will include a discussion of movements and techniques that provide a noticeable difference in your spine function and posture. Jayah Faye Paley, creator of 2 award-winning DVDs (1 for hikers and 1 for people with mobility challenges) (, will discuss how anatomically-optimal use of poles can expand your horizons and make it easier to enjoy the trails. You spend less time looking at your feet and more time really being in nature.

FREE! Register at:
6:00 – 7:30 pmCorte Madera REI
9:00 – 10:30 am @ Dublin REI

I attended this presentation at REI Berkeley on June 26 and highly recommend attending this, along with any of Jayah’s poles workshops with hikes, such as the one below!

Using POLES for Hiking & Outdoor Exercise: Basic Skills & Techniques + Practice Hike at Redwood Regional
Sat, July 28, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Redwood Regional Park, 7867 Redwood Rd, Oakland, CA 94619, USA (map)
Learning how to use poles will prolong your hiking life, engage your whole body while hiking and significantly enhance your performance and confidence on varied terrain. Uphill pole techniques enable you to feel more power and endurance; downhill techniques help save your knees!

Optimal use of poles improves your posture, balance and upper body strength. Using and strengthening core muscles helps preserve joints, especially your spine. Optimal use prevents stress or strain in the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulder and neck.

Hike in the Redwoods, less than 5 miles.
Small group class size – first time participation limited – please sign up early.
$55  To sign up: 888 EB Parks, option 2, then 3 or visit


Angel Island Hike
Saturday, August 25th

More details coming soon!

Health & Hiking POLES Weekend Retreat in Point Reyes with Jayah Faye Paley
Friday, September 14, 12:30 pm to Sunday, September 16, 4:30 pm

The weekend will include structured classes, group movement and exercise sessions as well as a variety of health and wellness discussions. Participants may enjoy all or some of the activities. Learn and practice skills, routines and movements to enhance your health and well-being as well as optimize and program your fitness.
Expert instruction will help you improve your ability to hike efficiently and comfortably using poles. A variety of top quality poles will be provided – learn which model fits you best and will enable you to achieve your hiking goals.
RATE: $265 Member Price / $285 Non-Member Price
Weekend rate includes two nights’ accommodations and most meals.

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.

Visit 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!

The Camino Provides patch


The rainbow shell design was inspired by the concept of chakras. Learn more.
Purchase for $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.  Purchases help to defray the costs of hosting and managing this blog so that I can keep sharing the Camino love!

2 thoughts on “Camino and Hiking Events in July 2018

  1. Hi Laurie, thanks so much for posting about our meet and greet at Camino Brewing! Your newsletter says Monday July 14. It’s actually Monday July 16. Thanks!


    Lisa Hettler-Smith 134 S. 12th Street San Jose, CA. 95112-2136 (408) 393-6292 mobile


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