Camino and Hiking Events in October 2018

Happy autumn! Below is lineup of upcoming Camino-related events and hikes in the San Francisco Bay Area. You will also find a sneak preview of NorCal Chapter T-shirts that I’ve been working on. And for those who might enjoy some different ways to alleviate stress, check out my October Yoga & Wellness Tribe Newsletter.

World Premiere Screening of Old Survivor
Tuesday, October 9th
Chabot Space & Science Center

One of my favorite Bay Area non-profits, Oakland Trails, has just completed their second documentary, Old Survivor, about the wonder and resilience of Oakland’s redwoods. In the 1850’s, fueled by the California Gold Rush, an ancient redwood forest was drastically logged to help build San Francisco. Yet one old tree was left behind.

The new documentary features “Old Survivor”, the only remaining old-growth redwood in the East Bay hills, and tells the story of Oakland’s resilient, ecologically amazing, and now protected redwood forest.

The world premiere screenings will be held on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at the Chabot Space & Science Center at these times: 5:45, 6:45, 7:30, 8:15, 9:00

Other screenings:
Sunday, October 14 at 3:00 pm
The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St, Oakland
Screening + Q&A after the film Purchase advance tickets HERE

Thursday, October 18 at 7:00 pm
The Octopus Literary Salon, 2101 Webster Street at 22nd St., Oakland
Screening + Q&A after the film Free event

Watch the trailer:

You might ask what the Camino connection is here. Oakland Trails volunteers make it possible for us to enjoy hikes on the network of trails throughout the East Bay Regional Parks. They maintain the trails, educate groups, bring underprivileged youth on tours, and lead donation-based hikes on holidays.

Above is a photo at the Sept. 3rd Labor Day hike, with Stan Dodson (on right), founder of Oakland Trails. I encourage pilgrims to attend these hikes because they are excellent for Camino training! The hikes have become affectionately known as “The Cookie Hike” because Stan gives a free cookie from La Farine Bakery for everyone who finishes. The next hike will be on Thanksgiving Day. Learn more and sign up for their newsletter at

Camino Norte and Primitivo Presentations with Ralph and Susan Alcorn
Bay Area REIs Oct. 10, 16, 24, and 30

While the most popular route of the Camino de Santiago is the Frances, hikers are increasingly looking for a less crowded or a new route. The Caminos Norte and Primitivo are great choices. Susan and Ralph Alcorn, who hiked both in 2015-16, strongly recommend the entire 500 miles of Norte, and/or the 200 of the Primitivo. In their digital slide show, the Alcorns will give an overview of the Caminos Norte and Primitivo–the routes, elevations, accommodations. Who is hiking? How difficult is it? How to train? How to pack? What resources are available–apps or maps? Throughout, you’ll enjoy images of the journey and get inspired to plan that trip of your own that you have been dreaming of.

All events are free, but seating is limited and filling up fast, so register in advance. Four sessions to choose from:

Wed. Oct 10. Concord REI. 7:00pm – 8:30pm  .View more info
Tue. Oct 16. Santa Rosa REI. 7:00pm – 8:30pm View more info
Wed. Oct 24. Berkeley REI. 7:00pm – 8:30pm View more info
Tue. Oct 30. Saratoga REI. 7:00pm – 8:30pm View more info

Healing Miles book available on AmazonSusan is the author of the newly published, Healing Miles: Gifts of the Caminos Norte and Primitivo.

I loved reading this before I walked the Camino Primitivo this year. I have added this book to my Camino Books page.

Sibley Hike to Tilden Steam Trains
Saturday, October 13, 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Not only are the Alcorns doing the REI presentation tour, but they have offered to lead a special hike for us! Join Bay Area long-distance trekkers and Camino veterans Susan and Ralph Alcorn on a 7-mile hike from Sibley to the Tilden steam trains. Moderate with some steep sections so a reasonable level of fitness is required. The route may be modified a bit, but basically an out-and-back hike through Sibley, EBMUD land, and into Tilden. 1,000 ft. elevation gain. Those who want a longer hike (approx. 2 miles) can take an alternate trail on the return trip to see the Sibley labyrinths.

Please wear suitable footwear, bring lunch and plenty of water. Poles recommended. If you would like to ride the Redwood Valley Railway steam train, bring a few dollars cash and you can ride the train during our lunch stop. This scaled-down steam train is fun for all ages. It goes along a scenic ridge at times overlooking the Bay Area, through the redwoods and a tunnel.

Meet at Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve
Directions / Map to 6800 Skyline Blvd · Oakland, CA

Although carpooling is encouraged, there is parking available in a lot, or on the street. Free entry. There are restrooms and water available at our start/end point in Sibley, and at our lunch spot in Tilden.

Optional Happy Hour: Have a meal or drinks after the hike at Paulista Brazilian Kitchen and Taproom on Park Blvd.

We are so lucky to have both Ralph and Susan as active members of the Bay Area pilgrim community. I think they might just be the Camino’s cutest couple! Read their story, Love and Life on the Camino, and see for yourself.

Ralph and Susan on the Norte (2015)

Ralph and Susan Alcorn on the Camino del Norte.

NorCal Chapter T-Shirts – Sneak Preview

I’ve been busy working on a design of new T-shirts for our Northern California chapter. This involved refining the logo I made for our chapter stamp earlier this year; doing research on best fabric; asking feedback from chapter buddies; and making design tweaks. I even have a couple of peregrina friends test them out on the Camino this month!  I’m happy to reveal the two styles that we have narrowed down, both in a super-soft blend of 50% polyester,  25% cotton, and 25% rayon. Unlike our previous chapter shirts in 100% cotton, these shirts are lightweight enough to actually be worn on the Camino!


The ladies style is a form-fitting t-shirt with a slightly lower neckline than the classic T-shirt. They come in five sizes:  S, M, L, XL and 2XL (note: they run small) and a variety of colors including Clay (pictured above).


The Unisex crew comes in 8 sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL and a variety of colors, incuding Navy, pictured above. NorCal chapter logo front center or upper left chest.

The  shirts will sell for around $25 each + tax & shipping. These shirts should be available to order by the general public in November, just in time for holidays.

Pre-Order Opportunity for Bay Area Pilgrims
For those planning to attend our Welcome Home Potluck on November 10th (details below) and would like to order shirts, email me by October 20th and I’ll send you payment info and color options. I am looking for models to wear their t-shirts at our event November 10th for a Camino T-shirt fashion show. Are you America’s next top Camino model? Perhaps!  


Welcome Home Potluck
Oakland, California
Saturday, November 10, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

St Augustine Catholic Church

St. Augustine Catholic Church
400 Alcatraz Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

Help us celebrate this year’s returning pilgrims at our annual Welcome Home Potluck. We’ll be gathering at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Oakland, near the border with Berkeley. To start us off, Emilio Escudero will lead a session on returning home that focuses on “unpacking” the psychological and spiritual aspects (the “intangibles”) of the Camino. He’ll share a strategy for reflecting on your experience and keeping those things you want in your life going forward. After lunch, we’ll take our Camino “Class of” photos and returnees will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and share a little about their experience. RSVP required. Click here to RSVP.

Galician-style octopus, wines, tapas (and beds!) advertised in O Cebreiro on the Camino francés.

Doors open at 9:30 AM and we plan to finish up by 3:00 PM. If you can help with setting up, meet us at 9:00 AM. We also need help with cleaning up afterwards. All are welcome (paid members and non-members).


To help us with planning, a response is required. Use our online RSVP page to respond by Thursday, November 8. Please, responses via the online page only.

Getting There

By Car: Use Google Maps or your favorite map app for directions. St. Augustine is located at 400 Alcatraz Ave. off of College Ave. in Oakland. Meet us on the bottom floor of the gym/multi-use building across the courtyard from the church (follow our yellow arrows). The church is on the right side between Dana and Colby Streets. The parking lot is located on the west side off Alcatraz Ave.

By BART/Bus/Foot: From the Rockridge BART station, take AC Transit bus 51B towards the Berkeley campus and offboard at College/Alcatraz (15 min). Walk west on Alcatraz Ave. to St. Augustine (0.3 mi). To walk from the station, head north along College Ave. towards campus and turn left on Alcatraz Ave. (0.7 mi).

What to Bring

Your favorite dish or drink to share. Extra points for something from the Camino. Wine counts, too! Here’s a request to cover our bases: If your last name begins with A-P, bring a food dish (main, side, salad with serving utensils). If it begins with Q-Z, bring a dessert or beverage (coffee will be provided). We’ll have 3×5 index cards on hand to make a label for your dish.

Be Green! We encourage you to bring your own plates, cups and utensils to help us to minimize trash and reduce costs on disposable items. There is a kitchen to wash items after use.

El Rastro

El Rastro is a gigantic flea market in Madrid. We’ll hold our own version again. Bring your excess gear, memorabilia, guidebooks and other good “junk” you thought you needed, but don’t anymore. There will be an area to display your items. This will be a “cash free” zone. Bring it and forget it! See something you want? Take it.

Chapter T-Shirts

We’re excited to unveil new shirts with an updated design, based on our chapter sello (stamp) that features the beloved shell motif and Latin quote, Solvitur ambulando (It is solved by walking). Come check out the new fabric, style/color options and find out how to order your own.


Please help us cover our expenses (room and supplies) with a cash contribution to our donativo box at the check-in table. Your generosity allows us to focus our resources on our mission that includes supporting the Camino infrastructure through our grant programs.

Unpacking the Camino- Silicon Valley Chapter event
Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 12 PM – 3 PM

One of the challenges of walking the Camino is the re-entry into our everyday life at the conclusion of our pilgrimage. People will have the opportunity to reflect and participate in the discussion with other pilgrims. This event is for everyone, not just those who walked this year, but anyone who walked in the past or hope to walk in the future.

Potluck-please bring a dish to share. Meet at 12:00 p.m. for a potluck lunch, followed by our discussion.

Learn more and RSVP on Silicon Valley Chapter’s Facebook Event

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

2018 is almost sold out, but I will be ordering the 2019 patches soon.

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!

Digame, por favor.

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